The way I'd like to cite papers in my work is 3 characters of the last name of the first author + year of publication without spaces, 'et al.' and comas.
I'd like to use Citavi, as it has convenient Word add-on, but I haven't found how to shorten last names there so far. After all, if it is possible in another program, I will give it a try.

Such citing style was chosen to enhance reading experience, as reader can relate to the cited paper much easily by the last name and the year of publication and trace it throughout the document. This style is yet shorter, than patterns officially available in Citavi.

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  • Besides technical aspects. How a reader can trace what are you referring to? – Alchimista Jan 18 at 11:25
  • Can’t you just manually assign the correct reference name? All citation tools should allow and remember this. – eckes Jan 18 at 11:44
  • @Alchimista through context and of course bibliographic list – MrCheatak Jan 18 at 12:20
  • @eckes particularly in Citavi it is allowed to change fields only through available options, which don't include last name shortings – MrCheatak Jan 18 at 12:27
  • 1
    @Alchimista [Ste2002] gives much more information than [1], e.g., those familiar with the literature know that Ste means Stevenson whose 2002 paper is entitled XYZ. – user2768 Jan 19 at 16:25

There's an easier LaTeX solution (compared to another answer):

\section{First section}

First statement \cite{gascuel97}, and a second statement \cite{sokal58}.

\bibliographystyle{alpha}  %Sets [Ste2002] bibligraphy style
\bibliography{sample}      %Imports bibliography file

  • Is there an advantage other than less lines of code? Biblatex is much more powerful and intended to replace Bibtex (used in your answer). See for example: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/8411/… – L_W Jan 18 at 11:28
  • Fewer lines of code wins it for me, beyond that advantages include: easier to remember/understand, fewer dependencies, ... – user2768 Jan 18 at 11:31

If you are willing to use LaTeX instead of word, there is a very simple solution to achieve something close to what you want. The relevant command is to specify the "alphabetic" style, when loading the biblatex package. \usepackage[backend=biber, style=alphabetic, citestyle=alphabetic]{biblatex}



\addbibresource{sample.bib} %Imports bibliography file

\section{First section}

First statement \cite{gascuel97}, and a second statement \cite{sokal58}.


the resulting citation styles

  • I guess I'll have to remaster the work into LaTeX? – MrCheatak Jan 18 at 11:19
  • There might be a solution in Word, but I can't help with that. Maybe someone else has an answer for you before you commit to using LaTeX. – L_W Jan 18 at 11:21
  • I'd definitely try LaTeX if had a little bit more time. Now it would be faster to type everything manually in Word – MrCheatak Jan 18 at 13:03

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