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in the APA style, in the first occurrence of a citation with more than two authors and less than six authors all author names should be displayed, for example: "(Gannod, Burge & Helmick, 2008)". In the second, third, ... occurrence, only the first author should be displayed followed by "et al.", for example: "(Gannod et al., 2008)".

The APA biblatex style should do this automatically as mentioned in many forum posts - but it doesn't. The "et al." version is also used in the first occurrence.

Here's my minimal example code producing the problem:

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper,oneside]{book}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} 
\usepackage[backend=biber,style=apa,maxbibnames=1000]{biblatex}

\addbibresource{apaproblem.bib}
\begin{filecontents}{apaproblem.bib}
@inproceedings{gannod2008,
      author = "Gerald C. Gannod and Janet E. Burge and Michael T. Helmick",
      keywords = "icm",
      title   = "Using the Inverted Classroom to Teach Software Engineering",
      booktitle = "2008 ACM/IEEE 30th International Conference on Software Engineering",
      year    = 2008,
      pages   = "777--786",
      doi = "10.1145/1368088.1368198"
}
\end{filecontents}
\begin{document}

That's the output:\\
First citation: \parencite{gannod2008}\\
Second citation: \parencite{gannod2008}\\
That would be the correct output:\\
First citation: (Gannod, Burge \& Helmick, 2008)\\
Second citation: (Gannod et al., 2008)

\printbibliography
\end{document}

And that is the output:

That’s the output:

First citation: (Gannod et al., 2008)

Second citation: (Gannod et al., 2008)

That would be the correct output:

First citation: (Gannod, Burge & Helmick, 2008)

Second citation: (Gannod et al., 2008)

How can I solve this problem?

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1 Answer 1

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The output

First citation: (Gannod et al., 2008)

Second citation: (Gannod et al., 2008)

from

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper,oneside]{book}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} 
\usepackage[backend=biber, style=apa]{biblatex}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@inproceedings{gannod2008,
  author    = {Gerald C. Gannod and Janet E. Burge and Michael T. Helmick},
  title     = {Using the Inverted Classroom to Teach Software Engineering},
  booktitle = {2008 ACM/IEEE 30th International Conference on Software Engineering},
  year      = 2008,
  pages     = {777--786},
  doi       = {10.1145/1368088.1368198},
}
\end{filecontents}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}
That's the output:

First citation: \parencite{gannod2008}

Second citation: \parencite{gannod2008}

\printbibliography
\end{document}

is correct APA style according to the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. In the 7th edition of APA style there is no longer a distinction between first and subsequent citations to the same work. See for example https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/basic-principles/author-date (esp. the notes about Chapter 8) for a basic overview of the citation style or https://apastyle.apa.org/instructional-aids/whats-new-7e-guide.pdf for a short summary of changes between 6th-edition and 7th-edition APA style.

In 7th-edition APA style three or more authors are always reduced to the first name + "et al." (unless the citation would become ambiguous).

The style you describe in the question is what you'd need in 6th-edition APA style, which you can get with biblatex-apa6's style=apa6,.

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper,oneside]{book}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} 
\usepackage[backend=biber, style=apa6]{biblatex}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@inproceedings{gannod2008,
  author    = {Gerald C. Gannod and Janet E. Burge and Michael T. Helmick},
  title     = {Using the Inverted Classroom to Teach Software Engineering},
  booktitle = {2008 ACM/IEEE 30th International Conference on Software Engineering},
  year      = 2008,
  pages     = {777--786},
  doi       = {10.1145/1368088.1368198},
}
\end{filecontents}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}
That's the output:

First citation: \parencite{gannod2008}

Second citation: \parencite{gannod2008}

\printbibliography
\end{document}

First citation: (Gannod, Burge, & Helmick, 2008)
Second citation: (Gannod et al., 2008)

But if you are writing a new document in APA style, you probably want to stick with biblatex-apa's style=apa, and 7th-edition APA style.

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  • Thanks a lot! That works, and your answer is really helpful!
    – cspannagel
    Jul 7, 2022 at 20:32

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