For example, the author B.D. Acharya uses the shortname BD or B.D. in papers instead of his full name that is apparently Belmannu Devadas. I cannot be 100% sure for what the BD or B.D. stand for in this example. So in referring to authors, do I refer to them with their full personal name or by their author name that they use in their publications?

I think the usage of the author publication names is correct because it may even be impossible to find the full personal name. So what is more correct way to refer to the publication with the name standing in the publication even abbreviated or with full name?

  • He uses his fullname in his webpage. Aug 15, 2016 at 17:34
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    @Masi that is not the question: there can be authors of the same name and there may be a good reason why an author uses some abbreviated name, to distinguish from other authors -- it is far too risky to use other name than standing in the publication in references.
    – hhh
    Aug 15, 2016 at 17:35
  • Please, state your bibliography style because it determines the correct answer. Aug 15, 2016 at 17:35
  • @ ihhh There are many paper styles. Some not strict. It is safer to use the full author names full all entries in bibliographies of academic articles. It looks very bad if your Bibliography's stale changes from one citation to another. Aug 15, 2016 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


It is customary to refer authors by their last names when citing them within an academic article. It would also be better to include their initials too along with their last name.

I don't think the usage of short names such as bare initials would be encouraged within an academic article. IMO, it would be better to avoid this practice in papers.

  • I understand this but some authors such as here do use only their initials, without mentioning their full names -- so in referring to them, I use the names with initials that they use. Rest of my bibliography mentions full names but only initials when authors not revealing their full personal names in publications. It cannot be required that you could find their full personal names by googling? There can be many authors of the same name and I feel it is best to use the author name what the authors use themselves, right?
    – hhh
    Aug 15, 2016 at 17:46
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    @hhh: Actually it is not required in practice in papers. You really don't have to refer their full names all the times, unless you find someone with the same initial with the same surname in your paper.
    – Ébe Isaac
    Aug 15, 2016 at 17:51

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