Citation displays as (Smith et,al., 2012) with weird comma; can't find fix

I’ve got EndNote X7, and I’m using APA 6th.

The record entry for the reference looks like this:

Author:  Smith, John A.; Jones, Tom B.; Curly, Joe

(Names changed to protect the innocent.)

When I drop in a second citation, it correctly gives me an “et al.”

But for some reason, my “et al.” looks like “et,al.”

And I went through all the configuration menus … there’s no reason I can see for that stray comma.

And all my other "et al."s are correct.

I even tried changing the “Author” record into 3 lines (1 author per line) … no fixy.

I COULD just edit the cite in text, but if I go to refresh, the comma will return.

I COULD just remove the link and correct it as text without the ability to refresh every again, but that kind of defeats the purpose. And how do I know when it will re-occur in some other citation?

I COULD waste hours clicking around, tweeking this or that hoping for some quirky solution to this quirk problem, but I’ll probably break something else in the process.

I would like to know why … otherwise I’ll have a difficult time trusting the software.


I would suggest the following:

You should have the authors on separate lines that is how EndNote knows where an author ends and the next one begins.

The other thing to try would be to unformat and reformat the document. Please see our website for those steps:

If the above does not help then:

Please contact Technical Support directly

1-800-336-4474 option 4 then 1 or

You need to do both of Tony’s recommendations  – as after you edit the record to have single authors per line in the record, 

Smith, John A.

Jones, Tom B.
Curly, Joe

then you will need to then “convert to unformatted citations”  then “update citations and bibliography” to fix this, as I suspect that the unformatted temporary citation will have multiple authors {Smith, John A.; Jones, Tom B.; Curly, Joe, Year #recNo} and so it isn’t matching your single author per line record and is being pulled from the old “traveling” version of the record embedded in the word document.  After fixing the record and unformating, Endnote will ask for the correct citation from your edited library.