Citations in-text seem completely random

I need help in formatting my in-text citations.

As in the last 12 years working with endnote, I have set the settings to “If ‘3’ or more authors, list the first ‘1’ author(s) and abbreviate with ’ et al’.”

And I do that for both first and subsequent appearances.

Now I want to do an in-text citation with four authors -> endnote cites the first three and then uses et al.


“David, Frank, Ha, et al. 2015” (but I want it obviously to show as “David et al. 2015” (which has worked that way in the last 12 years). [I also do not want the comma before et al. but it shows this anyhow]

I tested other references with four authors and they are shown with 2 authors et al.


“Ezling, Robert, et al. 2007” [I also do not want the comma before et al. but it shows this anyhow]

However, a reference with five authors is correclty cited as

“Dattan et al. 1997” [It only abbreviates with et al. but not with “, et al.” as I want it]

yet another one with five authors again gets abbreviated with after two authors with et al.

Is this a bug? It seems the in-text citations are completely random.

I have been using endnote for many years submitting to very different journals and using different styleguides. This is quite weird and I could not help myself through playing around with the settings.

Can you attach the output style you are using?   Depending on the ambiguous settings and first time cited and 2nd time cited setting, you could get variation.  If you attach (first need to zip the file because I don’t believe the forum has been fixed to accept a .ens file yet) the output style, I can have a look at it.  If that is not possible, PM me for my email and email it to me, and I can check it that way.  If it is an “out of the box”  output style, just give me the name, and I will download it.  (Have you tried downloading a new version to see if it has corrections?) 

Dear Leanne, thanks for your quick reply. Please see the output style in the attachment (zipped).

Chicago 16th (2.56 KB)

I changed the ambiguous settings in this one to be a, b and not adding extra authors (both were set, but it seemed that the adding authors was dominant over a,b settings).  

see if it fixes it.  But also check what the publisher requriements are. It maybe that they want additional authors to distinguish multiple publications by the same first author in the same year?  

Chicago 16th Author-Date change (2.71 KB)