First name and/or first initial appears in parenthetical citation

The first name or initial is appearing in several of my parenthetical citations within the text of my document.  I have re-entered the information manually in endnote (X1, Windows 2007)), but it does not correct the problem.  This is only occurring in a handful of my citations.  Please advise.  Thanks.

The appearance of initials usually occurs to distinguish primary authors having the same name. You might check to see if this is the case.

You don’t mention the style you’re using but you’d might also check the Author Name setting of your output style. [Go to the toolbar, select EDIT, OUTPUT STYLE, EDIT name of style. Then within the “Citations” section, select "Author Name.]  In the right column under "Name Format, check that Initials is set to Last Name Only, and the Use initials only for primary authors is checked-off. Close the window when finished.


The ‘APA publications manual’ recommends the use of author initials to distinguish between ambiguous authors, and that option is included in the default APA 6th EN output style.

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish variations in an authors name, particularly when users have cut & paste details into an EN record, with extra trailing spaces etc. If you have made changes to an authors name in an EN record, these changes will not always appear in the corresponding Word document when you re-format the bibliography.

If you alter details in the author / date / record number [by completely re-entering the record] fields in the EN record, the program will not find an exact match when you format the bibliography, and will continue to use the original details from the ‘travelling library’ embedded in the Word document [using field codes]. If you edit these fields in records in your EN library, you may need to unformat the citations in your document, and then format the bibliography, so that EN picks up the changes that you have made.

I find that many users prefer to  edit the EN APA Output style [as suggested in previous reply], rather than try to manage consistent author data entry. Particularly if they regularly download records directly from databases.

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Hi Dave,

I have exactly the same problem as you!

I am not sure any of the solutions above would apply though, as the problem only crops up in a few instances, so that suggests that the library is formatted in the right way, or else Endnote would do it wrong throughout, right?

Did you manage to fix it? If so, how?!

Thank you


A couple instances of inclusion of author initials when they are the same author, is invariably due to subtle differences between the two records with that author.  The easiest way to fix this, is to copy the 1st author from one record to replace the other.  If that subtle difference is in a Unicode character, you might have to delete an reinsert the new record in your manuscript, but it is usually something like the initials had punctuation, or no punctuation, or one instead of two initials. 

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mmh ok, but I don’t have moultiple references by this author…or rather, I have the same author coupled with different ones (eg Stein & Glenn, Stein & Levine, etc.), so EndNote should not need to get confused right?

Anyway, I did what you suggested, Leanne, and now all my Stein & …look exactly the same. Except my current Word document has a few references to N. Stein, which will probably all need deleting, or Word will remember my old formatting for Stein, and still put that one in. ooh great fun this EndNote isnt it…

I meant all the Stein references look the same ‘In EndNote’.

And I now have this problem of word continuing to

[use the original details from the ‘travelling library’ embedded in the Word document],

as mentioned in Greg’s post…

try unformatting the manuscript and reformating. (and turn CWYW on again, from the third tab during the process) it usually fixes these kind of things, or prompts for the newly edited reference.

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whops, I’ve realised they were nonsense - basically: all sorted: thank you!

I’ve also realised could have used the original tip about editing the Style so that EndNote ignores the initials, regardless of whether it thinks it’s the same author or a different one, but hey, this way I got to learn about lots of tools in EndNote, so thank you everybody, esp Leanne!

you can delete them I think?

Thank you.  Unchecking the “use initials for primary authors with the same name” fixed the problem partially.  (I had to click on “Edit APA 6th” under Output Styles to find this area.)  However, as was also suggested, multiple citations from the same author must have the exact same spelling and punctuation.  To do this, decide which spelling you want to use, open each reference and type in the preferred name.  Endnote will help you prefill this information.