I'd like to properly refrence an article whose author is mentioned as A Consensus Document (it has some 25 authors).

I have never seen this kind of authorship before; the citation entry generated by the website does not contain an "Author" field (which is problematic for BibTeX and somewhat intriguing on a personal level).

I don't know what would be appropriate to remedy this situation. Would adding an author such as Consensus Document make sense?

Otherwise, could I just add the first author in alphabetical order1, or would this misrepresent the authorship?

Another possible alternative is that, since one of the authors (not the first one in alphabetical order) wrote a foreword to the paper, maybe he could be considered as the first author instead?

1 The authors are only presented in alphabetical order.

  • This post seems to solicit opinion-based answers...
    – Werner
    Aug 19, 2015 at 20:15
  • I was expecting for a more formal definition of what authorship should constitute in this case, if such exists, otherwise I may delete the question if indeed there's no such notion.
    – anol
    Aug 19, 2015 at 20:34
  • 3
    I don't think it's opinion based to the extent that there is an accepted practice. It's not terribly TeX related though. I don't think that "A consensus document" makes sense as an author. Presumably the authors represent some entity (foundation, company, association?) and I would use that as the author, formatted like a corporate author. Googling the phrase seems to bring up lots of statements from medical societies. But determining whether this is the correct way to cite might also be field dependent, so you would need to see what the practice is for similar documents in your area.
    – Alan Munn
    Aug 19, 2015 at 21:38
  • 1
    Otherwise, it would probably be best to specify all authors in your .bib entry and let BibTeX shorten the list when creating the label. But you cannot assume somebody is first author unless you know they are, which you don't. Indeed, insofar as 'A Consensus Document' means anything to me, it suggests that none of the authors should be considered as having priority. But, As Alan says, this is off-topic for this site. The correct strategy may depend on: your discipline, the kind of document you are writing, how/where it will be published, &/or the style used for the references and citations.
    – cfr
    Aug 19, 2015 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


The website you've linked to, under the "How to cite" tab, suggests the following format for the entry:

(2008), Vacuum Assisted Closure: Recommendations for Use. International Wound Journal, 5: iii–19. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-481X.2008.00537.x

Note that there's no author information at all. I suppose that's not a problem for numeric-style citation call-outs, but it sort of begs the question what should be done if authoryear-style citation call-outs are to be used.

The printed article itself provides the string "Expert Working Group" (followed by the names of all members of the group) where one would usually provide the authors' names. This suggests using a "corporate author" approach, along the following scheme:

  author  = {{Expert Working Group}},
  title   = {Vacuum Assisted Closure: {Recommendations} for Use},
  journal = {International Wound Journal},
  year    = 2008,
  volume  = 5,
  pages   = {iii--19},
  doi     = {10.1111/j.1742-481X.2008.00537.x},

Note the use of double curly braces around the argument of the author field.

If that's too unconventional for your taste, you might try either

  author  = {{Expert Working Group (Apelqvist et al)}},

or, more simply,

  author = {Jan Apelqvist and others},

as the content of the author field.

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