Some citations are shown incorrectly.

Some citations are shown in an incorrect format. It should be Surname, Year  but some are shown as Firstname Surname, Year. 

The user is using Endnote Web. The Word version is 2013 on a PC running Windows 7.

Copying the text to a new file and selecting Update Citations and Bibliography corrects some of the entries but not all. Installing the latest Endnote Web Plugin did not fix the problem. Instant Formatting is turned on.

Any suggestions?

This is invariably due to the fact that two citations to different papers by the same author are entered slightly differently, often a difference in initials, or spacing or sometimes something not visible - the best way to fix it is to copy the author from one record to replace that of the other record.  update and it usually goes away!  

Additionally, if they are using the APA format, per the APA Specifications, the initials should appear in the formatted citations for Clarity, and not necessarily just for disambiguation.

You can find the details of this formatted recommendation here, on the Official APA Style Blog…

I do hope this helps to elaborate.


  1. that clarity IS disambiguation, no?  

As I suspect you know, SteveH – endnote would not beable to handle the final APA directive in that Blog, shown below.  

Another related item to note is that if the reference list includes different lead authors who share the same surname and first initial, you should provide the authors’ full first names in brackets (see the Publication Manual, p. 184).


Janet, P. [Paul]. (1876).

Janet, P. [Pierre]. (1906).

Text Citations

(Paul Janet, 1876; Pierre Janet, 1906)