Bibtex Bibliography Style Et Al Usage

There should be no need to edit a file manually to have the desired number of authors before 'et al.' in either the citations or the bibliography/reference list.

The number of authors listed in citations and the bibliography is managed by the bibliography style. For example, using the APA style (which requires up to the first six authors before 'et al.' for book references in the bibliography):



output (not formatted, just the text from the )

Found in (Man et al., 2025).


Man, A., Woman, A., Man, S., Man, T., Man, F., Woman, S., et al. (2025). This book. Men & Women.

You would need to identify an appropriate style, usually provided by the publisher if they accept contributions produced using (Any)TeX or from the pre-configured styles available, or you could produce your own if the requirement is sufficiently important. If you want suggestions for possible styles it would help if you said which style you are currently using and the changes you want to achieve.

To give an example of a different style using the same file but with the bibliography style changed:

This style produces (again, just the text from the ):

Found in [MWM+ 25].


[MWM+ 25] A. Man, A. Woman, Second Man, Third Man, Fourth Man, Second Woman, Third Woman, Fourth Woman, and Fifth Man. This book. Men & Women, 2025.

This does not truncate the number of authors in the bibliography at all (unlike the first example using the APA style).

Natbib uses the citation style associated with the corresponding bibliography style if no specific citation commands are declared. There are some additional commands to control some punctuation parameters. See the example below:

\documentclass{article}\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}\usepackage[english]{babel}   %Import the natbib package and sets a bibliography and citation styles\usepackage{natbib}\bibliographystyle{abbrvnat}\setcitestyle{authoryear,open={((},close={))}}     \begin{document}   \section{First Section} This document is an example, Two items are cited: \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite[see][chap 2]{latexcompanion} and Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein}.     %Imports the bibliography file "sample.bib"\bibliography{sample}   \end{document}

The specific command to format the citation style is:

The parameters, comma-separated, tell LaTeX to use the authoryear citation mode and use double parentheses as opening and closing marks. Below a list of possible parameters that can be passed to this command:

  • Citation mode: , or .
  • Brackets: or . You can manually set any other opening and closing characters with adn .
  • Citation separator: , .
  • Separator between author and year:
  • Separator between years with common author: <code>yysep={char}.
  • Text before post-note: .

The are other additional citation commands depending on the citation mode. For instance, in the example above the command takes two extra parameters; the first optional parameter see is printed before the citation mark and the second optional parameter chap 2 is printed after the citation mark. Below a table describing some additional citation commands:

command description
Textual citation
Parenthetical citation
Same as but if there are several authors, all names are printed
The same as but if there are several authors, all names are printed
Prints only the name of the authors(s)
Prints only the year of the publication.

For more information about the rest of the commands in this example see Bibliography management with natbib

  Open an example of the natbib package in ShareLaTeX

[edit] Further reading

\setcitestyle{authoryear, open={((},close={))}

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