Comma before et al when disambiguating

I am using Endnote 20 and a custom style.

I have two references: Smith, Jones, Wilson, Lee & Kelly 2021 and Smith, Jones, Fredericks, Kelly & Nguyen 2021. I want them to display like this: (Smith, Jones, Wilson et al. 2021) and (Smith, Jones, Fredericks et al. 2021).

In my custom style, I ticked the box ‘Add more authors until the citation is unique’ in the section on differentiating ambiguous citations.

It displays like this: (Smith, Jones, Wilson, et al. 2021) and (Smith, Jones, Fredericks, et al. 2021).

How do I get rid of the comma? I do not have a comma before et al in the Abbreviated Author List section. All the other et al.s in the document display without a comma just fine.

Grateful for any suggestions - I’m a new user. Thanks!


Here’s how you can modify your custom style in EndNote:

  1. Open your EndNote library.
  2. Go to ‘Tools’ at the top of your screen and then select ‘Output Styles’.
  3. Locate your custom style in the list and open the style editor.
  4. Navigate to the ‘Citations’ section, then go to ‘Author Lists’.
  5. Here, ensure the settings are configured to list authors until the citation is unique. Also, check that there’s no comma before “et al.”.
  6. Save your changes. If you’re modifying a default style, you’ll need to save it under a new name.
    Once you’ve done this, your citations should display without the comma before ‘et al.’.

Hope this helps.