BibTeX field: author

How to use the author field in BibTeX?

The author field is used to store the list of authors of a work. Multiple authors can be included in this list by using the “and” separator. Before we can compile a list of authors that is correctly interpreted by BibTeX, we need to have a look at the basics of the BibTeX name format.

BibTeX divides a person's name into four parts:

  • First: First names or given names
  • Last: Last name or family name
  • von: a particle (e.g., de, de la, der, van, von)
  • jr: a suffix (e.g., Jr., Sr., III)

BibTeX's internal name parser knows three ways these name parts can be combined:

  • Method 1: First von Last
  • Method 2: von Last, First
  • Method 3: von Last, Jr, First

Let's put these rules into action with some examples:

% The King of Pop: Michael Joseph Jackson
author = "Michael Joseph Jackson"
author = "Jackson, Michael Joseph"
author = "Jackson, Michael J"
author = "Jackson, M J"

% An example with a suffix
author = "Stoner, Jr, Winifred Sackville"

% An exmaple with a particle
author = "Ludwig van Beethoven"
author = "van Beethoven, Ludwig"
author = "van Beethoven, L"

% Corporate names or names of consortia
author = "{Barnes and Noble, Inc.}"
author = "{FCC H2020 Project}"

How the author field is used in BibTeX entry types

BibTeX entryDescriptionauthor field
articleJournal articlerequired
bookletPrinted work without a publisheroptional
inbookAny section in a bookrequired
incollectionA titled section of a bookrequired
inproceedingsConference paperrequired
mastersthesisMaster's thesisrequired
miscMiscellaneous: if nothing else fitsoptional
phdthesisPhD thesisrequired
techreportTechnical report or white paperrequired
unpublishedA work that has not yet been officially publishedrequired