APA 7th et al error in EndNote 21

Since updating to EndNote 21, the CWYW Word plugin is not applying the APA 7th “et al” rule for citations with 3 or more authors properly. APA 7th requires only the first author then et al for any citations with 3 or more authors, but the plugin is now applying the rule for only four or more authors. E.g. instead of Smith et al, it’s saying Smith, Jones & Brown.

I’ve checked in the output style and it is set correctly in the “author lists” setting under citation settings: it says “if 3 or more authors, list the first 1 author and abbreviate with et al”. However this is not what it is doing!

I’ve tried editing the style to “if 2 or more authors”, and that has made it display citations with 3+ authors correctly. However I would also expect that to change a citation with 2 authors to et al, e.g. Smith & Jones would become Smith et al - but it hasn’t done this. That suggests to me that the rule is interpreting “3 or more” to mean “more than 3”, which isn’t the same thing!

I’ve checked on another laptop that still has EndNote 20 installed and this problem doesn’t occur, so I think it’s a bug that’s been introduced with EndNote 21. Would appreciate if this could be fixed asap - we’re about to roll out EndNote 21 to all users at my university and this is likely to cause a lot of problems.


Hi lwoods. Any update on this problem? I am encountering the very same problem, suddenly Endnote gives me 3 authors in in-text citations and I find no way of adapting it.

Unfortunately no, I haven’t heard anything else! I’m a bit disappointed no one from Clarivate has responded to this to be honest, this is a major issue for anyone using APA 7th.

The only workaround I’ve got is the one mentioned in my original post, you can edit the output style so the “author lists” setting under citations settings says “if 2 or more authors” instead of 3. This does fix the problem, but obviously isn’t consistent with APA 7th rules so may cause other problems later. I would really appreciate a response from Clarivate to confirm they are investigating and can fix this bug!

This is still occurring. This is the email I received from support:

This is currently a known issue in EndNote 21. This has been raised to the Development Team to be reviewed.

For now, the only workaround is to edit the style file. In the style file, it is currently set to If 3 or more authors list 1 author followed by et al. This needs to be edited to If 2 or more authors list 1 author followed by et al.

Edit both instances in the style file then select File from the top left portion of the screen followed by Save As. This requires you to save the style as a new name.

In Word, please then select the EndNote tab then select the style field. Please select ‘Select Another Style’ and then select this new style. This will update the citations to the right author listings.

I would suggest posting this issue on the suggestion page:
EndNote Product Suggestions - Discourse.

Posts made on the suggestion is directly viewed by our Development Team. This would be the best way to make your voice heard

Agreed. This issue is quite frustrating and requires a lot of tedious extra work for everyone.

Came to say I’m having this error too. Annoying problem to have!

For the citation style et al bug, update to Endnote 21.2 and I have confirmed that the bug has been fixed for APA 7th.
For the bibliography et al bug, see the link below.

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