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## 4.2 Citation Styles

The standard LaTeX macro `\cite` works well with numeric or simple key citations. To deal with the more complex task of author-year citations as used in many natural sciences, a variety of packages has been developed which define derived forms of the `\cite` macro. RefTeX can be configured to produce these citation macros as well by setting the variable `reftex-cite-format`. For the most commonly used LaTeX packages (`natbib`, `harvard`, `chicago`, `jurabib`) and for ConTeXt this may be done from the menu, under `Ref->Citation Styles`. Since there are usually several macros to create the citations, executing `reftex-citation` (C-c [) starts by prompting for the correct macro. For the Natbib style, this looks like this:

 ```SELECT A CITATION FORMAT [^M] \cite{%l} [t] \citet{%l} [T] \citet*{%l} [p] \citep{%l} [P] \citep*{%l} [e] \citep[e.g.][]{%l} [s] \citep[see][]{%l} [a] \citeauthor{%l} [A] \citeauthor*{%l} [y] \citeyear{%l} ```

If citation formats contain empty pairs of square brackets, RefTeX will prompt for values of these optional arguments if you call the `reftex-citation` command with a C-u prefix. Following the most generic of these packages, `natbib`, the builtin citation packages always accept the t key for a textual citation (like: `Jones et al. (1997) have shown...`) as well as the p key for a parenthetical citation (like: ```As shown earlier (Jones et al, 1997)```).

To make one of these styles the default, customize the variable `reftex-cite-format` or put into ‘.emacs’:

 ```(setq reftex-cite-format 'natbib) ```

You can also use AUCTeX style files to automatically set the citation style based on the `usepackage` commands in a given document. See Style Files, for information on how to set up the style files correctly.

This document was generated by Ralf Angeli on August, 9 2009 using texi2html 1.78.