When citing two articles from the same author using different initials, one should cite each article with the relevant initials, even if they are different. This is answered here.

But what about differences in the last name of the same author when referencing inline? Russian authors, for instance, must transliterate their names and there are sometimes inconsistencies in the way this is done. For example, E. Mashchenko writes his or her name E. Maschenko here (published 2015), but E. Mashchenko here (published 2013). Basic knowledge of Russian transliteration suggests that Мащенко is to be transliterated as Mashchenko, and that is indeed the spelling the author uses on Research Gate, suggesting that the Maschenko spelling is an error.

Yet, because the point of referencing is to make it easy for other researchers to find the sourced material, the literal spelling Maschenko should be preferred when citing Maschenko (2015). When citing both articles inline, which of the following would one write?

  • (Mashchenko, 2013; Maschenko, 2015)

    which would be correct, but misleading and strange because this is the same person.

  • (Mashchenko, 2013, 2015)

    which doesn’t adhere to the above standard.


4 Answers 4


The APA style blog addresses this and has some suggested wording: "Smith-Hartman (publishing as Smith, 2010)" blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2017/05/… That may be not quite the right wording for a transliteration issue, though.

You could write "Мащенко (published as Mashchenko 2013; Maschenko 2015) found that..." This might be the simplest way to quickly address the confusion, while allowing the citations to match the bibliography and published record. (Other answers have nicely explained the importance of this.)


Inline citations should match what appears in bibliographies, and bibliographies should match what appears in the publication record. You can augment what’s listed—for instance, you could provide the original Cyrillic rendering in the bibliography to indicate the authors are in fact the same person—but I would leave the citation uncorrected.

  • I like adding the original spelling but bibliographical systems are generally reluctant about adding this information where it belongs, i.e. with the author name (rather than at the end) — the exception being BibLaTex. Apr 3, 2018 at 16:01
  • @KonradRudolph: I would just do this at the final pre-submission step after everything else has been finalized.
    – aeismail
    Apr 3, 2018 at 16:16
  • 10
    Right, in file manuscript_FINAL_3.5_DRAFT.docx. Apr 3, 2018 at 16:30
  • 1
    Even with LaTeX, I’d still likely wait until near the end of the process to mess around with the BibTeX entries. But your joke still stands. :-j
    – aeismail
    Apr 3, 2018 at 17:17
  • In the one case where I’ve previously needed this, I had a script that exported and patched various parts of the references that I managed with Paperpile (my go-to reference manager). No manual work required. Of course this won’t work for many people. Apr 3, 2018 at 17:20

You can use the correct (Mashchenko, 2013; Maschenko, 2015) version and address the issue that it might be misleading by explicitly stating that Mashchenko and Maschenko are the same author and perhaps by explaining why the issue has arisen.

  • 8
    Could you write, for instance, (Mashchenko 2013; Maschenko 2015, [same person])? This would be in the same vein as writing "no relation" between two people with the same last name.
    – Pertinax
    Apr 3, 2018 at 14:19
  • 15
    @Pertinax "[same person]" could be "[both refer to Мащенко]" Apr 3, 2018 at 14:41
  • 29
    The APA style blog addresses this and has some wording: "Smith-Hartman (publishing as Smith, 2010)" blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2017/05/… That may be not quite the right wording for a transliteration issue, though. Perhaps "Мащенко (published as Mashchenko 2013; Maschenko 2015) found that..." Apr 3, 2018 at 17:02
  • 8
    @cactus_pardner I think you should make your comment into an answer
    – Luca Citi
    Apr 3, 2018 at 21:39
  • 1
    @cactus_pardner That link is useful, thank you. It does not address, however, how to simultaneously cite two spelling variants inline side by side. I like your proposal of using "Мащенко (published as Mashchenko 2013; Maschenko 2015)". If you make this into an answer, I will accept it.
    – Pertinax
    Apr 4, 2018 at 16:17

Well, first you do what the publishing guidelines say.

If they say nothing, one feasible option is, in my opinion, to use both spellings this way:

(Mashchenko [Maschenko], 2013, 2015)

This goes with the policy that such a bibliographic entry should allow one to search for the paper. Sure it is not optimal that people may have to search for two different spellings, on the other hand, this makes it clear that it is the same author. Another option is this:

(Mashchenko, 2013, 2015 [published as Maschenko])

Because I think that you personally should refer to the author using one name, and keep the alternative spelling only for the bibliographic entry.

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