I'm using apacite with the natbibapa option:


Citations in the text (\citep{} and \cite{}) currently appear from newest to oldest. How do I reverse this order?

  • Welcome to TeX.SE.
    – Mico
    Nov 20, 2023 at 2:28
  • Please clarify what you mean by "Citation [call-out]s in the text (\citep{} and \cite{}) currently appear from newest to oldest." E.g., are you referring to the special case where the arguments of a given \citep instruction all share the same author(s) but were published in different years?
    – Mico
    Nov 20, 2023 at 2:31
  • Hello Mico. I am referring to the case where the arguments were published in different years by different authors. If I cite a paper from 2020 and another from 1990, the former appears before the latter. How do I reverse this?
    – AMfrn
    Nov 20, 2023 at 16:03
  • Thanks for your follow-up. Real quick: Alphabetically speaking, does the surname of the author of the 2020 piece precede the surname of the 1990 piece? E.g., does "Jones (2020)" come before "Smith (1990)"? If so, that would be entirely in keeping with APA6 formatting guidelines (which is what the apacite package implements).
    – Mico
    Nov 20, 2023 at 16:40
  • In the present case it does, but my concern merely has to do with chronology, since I've been asked to make my references appear from oldest to newest (irrespective of surnames). Is it possible to achieve this?
    – AMfrn
    Nov 20, 2023 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


Excerpting from p. 10 of the user guide of the apacite package:

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You've indicated that you load the apacite package with the option natbibapa. The excerpt posted above explains why the group of citation call-outs generated by a single \citet or \citep command is sorted first alphabetically by authors' surnames (and only secondarily by publication years).

When writers employ the apacite citation management package and the associated bibliography style (also called apacite), they typically do so because they're required to do so. If you're not actually compelled to use apacite, you may want to revisit your choice to use apacite and switch to a different citation management package.

OTOH, if you absolutely, positively must use apacite, then feel free to tell the person who has "asked" [!] you to follow a different sorting style whether he/she really wants you to violate APA6 formatting guidelines. And if that person says "yes" to your question, I suppose it's time to start replacing the \citet and \citep directives with the apaclassic alternatives...

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