Why does the same author appear differently in the text and reference list?

Sometimes the same authors last name will be shown with or without an initial, or even with the full first name visible in the reference. You might also see that the same reference have an a or b behind the year.


This is the cause of the problem:

  • Your EndNote library contains duplicates..
  • The same author name might be written in different ways in your EndNote library..

Please note: References with a and b behind the year might be correct depending on what style you are using. A and B are used to seperate references with the same author(s) and year.

You should make a backup of your library before you begin. Then you will need to remove any duplicates from your library:

  1. Start EndNote and open your library
  2. From the menu: References - Find duplicates
  3. You will see a window containing the duplicate references
  4. Compare the references
  5. Click Keep this record to keep the most accurate one. You are able to change the reference information at the same time.
  6. Continue until you have seen all the duplicates
  7. Choose References - Show all references in order to see all your references again
  8. Go to the EndNote toolbar in Word and click Format bibliography/Update bibliography

You will need to make sure that the name for the same author is written identical:

If the name Ole Olsen is written "Olsen, O." in one record in EndNote, and another record contains "Olsen, Ole" these will be shown with a and b behind the year, if the year is the same for both references.

  1. Start EndNote and open your library
  2. Search for the author name you want to check
  3. Edit the names so they are identical for the same author. Please make sure that there are no spaces after the name. If the name is written in red, it means that it's a new name within your library.
  4. Go to the EndNote toolbar in Word and click Format citations and bibliography

If it continues to say a and b in Word, you have most likely two records of the same reference within your library, although these are added differently to your library:

  1. See which titles have a and b behind the year in Word
  2. Find the same records in your library
  3. Delete any excess titles in EndNote so you only keep one record of the same title
  4. Please note that both the titles will be shown in Word even if one is deleted in EndNote
  5. Go to Word and remove the deleted reference. Insert the correct reference in its stead.

If you have many duplicates you might want to do this:

  1. Search in Word for the references you want to change, for example search for name/year: "Olsen, 2001"
  2. Delete either the a or b reference and insert the correct reference in its stead
  3. Select and copy the correct reference
  4. Click Search for next in the search box
  5. Select the a og b reference, and paste the correct reference
  6. Continue with step 4-5 until the problem is solved

It's a good idea to keep the EndNote library organized in order to prevent problems like this.

Please feel free to contact us at endnote@usn.no if you have any questions.

You can also search for a solution using EndNote FAQ.