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5.2.1 Author-Year Citations

The default behaviour of citations with bibliography styles such as plain is to produce a numerical reference in square brackets. If you're using bibtex (rather than biblatex, described below) you can override this using a number of packages. One such package is natbib. This comes with some drop-in replacements for the standard bibliography styles: plainnat, unsrtnat and abbrvnat. The natbib package comes with a variety of package options, but I'm just going to mention a few of them: authoryear for author-year citations (default), numbers for numerical citations, super for superscripted numerical citations, round for round parentheses, square for square parentheses and sort&compress which sorts multiple citations and compresses consecutive numbers into a range. For example, [4,2,8,3] will become [2-4,8].

So for citations that give the author and year rather than a number, you need to load natbib in the preamble:

\usepackage[round]{natbib}

and specify one of the natbib bibliography styles:

\bibliographystyle{plainnat}

There are two main replacements for \cite:

\citet[<pre>][<post>]{<key>}

for textual citations and

\citep[<pre>][<post>]{<key>}

for parenthetical citations.

Unlike \cite, these commands have two optional arguments. The second <post> is a suffix, the same as \cite's only optional argument. The first optional argument <pre> is a prefix. If only one optional argument is present, it is assumed to be <post>, so if you only want a prefix and no suffix, you have to specify an empty argument for <post>.

Example:

(Using the same thesis-ref.bib database as earlier.)

Listing 16:

A textual citation \citet{turabian96} and a parenthetical citation \citep[see][Chapter 9]{goossens97}.

Result:

Image showing typeset output click here for a more detailed description.


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