How would I alter the bibtex referencing format in the references section from:

Author. Journal. volume. Year

to be:

Author. Year. Journal...

I cannot seem to find a command that changes the referencing format of such citations.

  • 1
    @Kate Which bibliography style (.bst file) do you use?
    – Joseph Wright
    Sep 17, 2012 at 8:39
  • You can use custom-bib to create a new .bst producing the format you are after.
    – Guido
    Sep 17, 2012 at 9:31
  • @Kate, joseph asked which bibliography style you use; this is the thing in braces in the command \bibliographystyle{...} in your latex file. if you can tell us what those ... are, in your file, we have a chance of finding something that matches it, but does “author-year” the way you want. Sep 17, 2012 at 12:36
  • I use \bibliographystyle{plainnat}, the journal I am submitting into requires the references like the following: De Pol-Holz, R., O. Ulloa, L. Dezileau, J. Kaiser, F. Lamy, and D. Hebbeln. 2006. Melting of the patagonian ice sheet and deglacial perturbations of the nitrogen cycle in the eastern South Pacific. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33. So, we have authors, year, title, journal, issue, page numbers.
    – KatyB
    Sep 17, 2012 at 12:54

1 Answer 1


It is not to hard to change plainnat.bst to place the year immediately after the author. Unfortunately, plainnat.bst does not format the authors as described, i.e., Author, I., I. Author ... Again it is possible to modify the behaviour. The best solution is to use custom-bib to generate a new bibliography style.

You can use the following procedure

  1. Open a terminal window
  2. Run latex makebst
  3. Follow the prompt and answer the questions in the prompt
  4. Use \bibliographystyle{<new>} where new is the name of style selected in one of the first question of 3. above.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .