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Chapter 12. Managing Citations > 12.3. The author-date system

12.3. The author-date system

Depending on the structure of the sentence, the author-date system normally uses one of two different forms for references: if the author’s name appears naturally in the sentence, it is not repeated within the parentheses or brackets; otherwise, both the author’s name and the year of publication are used. This style poses an unsolvable problem when LaTeX’s standard syntax should be used, as only one command (\cite) is available.

Consequently, anyone developing support for the author-date system has had to extend the LaTeX syntax for citing publications. The following example shows the two forms and their implementation (with two new commands) as provided by the natbib system.

12-3-1
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Extending the LaTeX syntax for citing publications does not solve the problem completely. In order to produce the different forms of citation references needed in the author-date system, the information that is passed back from the bibliography through the optional argument of the \bibitem command needs to be structured. Without a special structure it is impossible to pick up the data needed for the textual references (e.g., producing just the year in parentheses). That is, a bibliographical entry like


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