EndNote: Working with Word

Using EndNote to manage your references and format your bibliography

Unwanted author initials in in-text citations

Question:
I’m using the APA 6th edition format in text. However, when I insert the author, it’s inserting as (J. Biggs, 2006) rather than the correct format: (Biggs, 2006). How do I fix this?
 
Answer:
This is a common occurrence in documents. Firstly, EndNote is correctly conforming to the APA 6th manual to use initials in the in-text reference if there is more than one author with the same last name in your document. However, sometimes the initials are there when you do not have different authors with the same last name… so they are unwanted and need to be removed. Unwanted author initials can come from the author’s name being inconsistently entered in different references in your EndNote library, e.g.

Biggs, J.
Biggs, J B
Biggs, J. B.
Biggs, John
Biggs, John B.
 
Different references by the same author with a different form of name will trick EndNote into thinking that they are different authors, so you need to make them all the same.
 
1) Clean up the Authors Term List:

  •  In your EndNote library, go to Tools > Open Term Lists and select the Authors Term List
  •  Scroll down to find the author and delete incorrect forms of name – leaving just one entry, usually the fullest form of name (i.e. Biggs, John B.)
  •  NB Deleting terms in the term list does not change anything in the reference, but this is a useful step in order to make the next step easier.

 
2) Clean up the author’s name in each reference:

  • Click on Search tab (bottom of library window) and search where Author – Contains e.g. Biggs. This is important as Biggs may be a 2nd or later author on a paper, so if you only scroll down the list of references to identify the author you won’t find all occurrences.
  • Open each reference (or use Quick Edit tab) and highlight the name you need to change, then start typing in the author’s name again (last name first). If you have cleaned up the term list then it should automatically select the correct form of name.
  • Close the reference to save it, or click out of the reference if using the Quick Edit tab. Repeat this step for all references that have the incorrect form of name.
  • Now return to your document and Update Citations and Bibliography. Hopefully you will no longer see those initials (unless of course there are different authors with the same last name)

 
3) As a last resort you can edit the style to remove the instruction to include initials in the in-text reference...but note that you will be using a non-standard style format, ie not conforming to APA 6th style.  To do this:

  • Click on Edit > Output Styles > Edit "your style"
  • On the left, choose Author Name under Citations
  • Remove the tick in the box next to "Use initials only for primary authors with the same name"
  • Click on File > Save As ... and save your file with a slightly different name (eg APA 6th No Initials)
  • Now return to your document and select the new (renamed) Output Style and click on Update Citations and Bibliography.

 
If after steps 2 or 3 your document does not refresh on clicking 'Update Citations and Bibliography', you may need to 'Convert Citations and Bibliography' to 'Unformatted Citations', and then 'Update Citations and Bibliography' again.

Warning: If you have never worked with unformatted citations you may find some unmatched citations in your document, which will involve you re-selecting each unmatched citation (there might be a lot of them!). So here is another piece of advice: regularly unformat citations in your document throughout the life of that document. Every day, every week... just don’t wait 2 years to do it, you may have problems which will test your patience whilst trying to fix it!
 
Also... it is the same advice for those using the Australian Government Harvard style ... but you might want to jump straight to option 3 as your fix. Even though the Harvard section of the AGIMO Style Manual (formerly AGPS) does contain a similar instruction to add initials in-text, overall the Harvard style is less prescriptive, so you can remove the “Use initials only for primary authors with the same name” with less worry about its ramifications.