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I am aware that BibLaTeX has a certain quirk where it will output as many author names in a citation as are needed to make the (author list, year) combination unique.

Below, I have three citations for three different years, and BibLaTeX still outputs two authors for the 2017 citation ("Ataman, Negri, et al. 2017"), even though it should behave like the 2016 citation ("Sennrich et al. 2016"). What is going on here?

Even if I remove the last author of the 2017 paper -- so it has exactly the same amount of authors as the 2016 paper -- it still cites the first two. When I completely remove the 2018 paper, it starts behaving, but I don't see why.


Output:


MWE:

% main.tex
\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[
    backend=biber,
    style=authoryear,
    citestyle=authoryear,
    maxcitenames=2
]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{ref.bib}


\begin{document}

\cite{sennrich_neural_2016}; \cite{ataman_linguistically_2017}; \cite{ataman_evaluation_2018}

\printbibliography

\end{document}

with bibliography

% ref.bib
@inproceedings{ataman_evaluation_2018,
    address = {Boston, MA},
    title = {An {Evaluation} of {Two} {Vocabulary} {Reduction} {Methods} for {Neural} {Machine} {Translation}},
    url = {https://aclanthology.org/W18-1810},
    urldate = {2022-12-18},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the 13th {Conference} of the {Association} for {Machine} {Translation} in the {Americas} ({Volume} 1: {Research} {Track})},
    publisher = {Association for Machine Translation in the Americas},
    author = {Ataman, Duygu and Federico, Marcello},
    month = mar,
    year = {2018},
    pages = {97--110},
}

@article{ataman_linguistically_2017,
    title = {Linguistically {Motivated} {Vocabulary} {Reduction} for {Neural} {Machine} {Translation} from {Turkish} to {English}},
    volume = {108},
    issn = {1804-0462},
    url = {http://archive.sciendo.com/PRALIN/pralin.2017.108.issue-1/pralin-2017-0031/pralin-2017-0031.pdf},
    doi = {10.1515/pralin-2017-0031},
    language = {en},
    number = {1},
    urldate = {2022-12-18},
    journal = {The Prague Bulletin of Mathematical Linguistics},
    author = {Ataman, Duygu and Negri, Matteo and Turchi, Marco and Federico, Marcello},
    month = jun,
    year = {2017},
    pages = {331--342},
}

@inproceedings{sennrich_neural_2016,
    address = {Berlin, Germany},
    title = {Neural {Machine} {Translation} of {Rare} {Words} with {Subword} {Units}},
    url = {https://aclanthology.org/P16-1162},
    doi = {10.18653/v1/P16-1162},
    urldate = {2022-11-07},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the 54th {Annual} {Meeting} of the {Association} for {Computational} {Linguistics} ({Volume} 1: {Long} {Papers})},
    publisher = {Association for Computational Linguistics},
    author = {Sennrich, Rico and Haddow, Barry and Birch, Alexandra},
    month = aug,
    year = {2016},
    pages = {1715--1725},
}
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  • By default uniquelist applies for all name lists regardless of the year. If you want disambiguation only if the years are the same, go with uniquelist=minyear,. If you don't want disambiguation, go with uniquelist=false,.
    – moewe
    Feb 26, 2023 at 9:05
  • @moewe That seems to work. Post it as an answer and I will accept.
    – Mew
    Feb 26, 2023 at 11:16

1 Answer 1

1

By default the uniquelist disambiguation features applies for all name lists regardless of the year.

If you want disambiguation only if the years are the same, go with uniquelist=minyear,. If you don't want disambiguation at all, go with uniquelist=false,.

For more details have a look at the explanation of the uniquelist option (p. 70) and §4.11.4.2 Name Disambiguation > Lists of Names (uniquelist) in the biblatex documentation.

1
  • Two comments, for future reference: (1) With uniquelist=false, "no disambiguation at all" only applies to the author list, but the citations will (luckily) still be disambiguated via a letter suffix, e.g. Mikolov et al. (2013a) vs. Mikolov et al. (2013b). (2) Switching from uniquelist=minyear to uniquelist=false requires recompilation with Biber before the effects are visible.
    – Mew
    Mar 20, 2023 at 15:58

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