Quick Query - Citing author names in thesis


Hi All,

Just a quick query ...

When you first cite an author, do you have to put their first name (or do you just refer to surnames throughout your thesis)?

By the way, I'm a social science PhD student.



just surname


depending on how you phrase the sentence, the year should be in brackets.


surname for me also


(Fluffymonster, 2007)


Same here!
(surname, date)
I tend to use the style from Social Science and Medicine (journal), which is also an option for automatic referencing with the referencing software I use (Refman)


Hi Goods,

I use the surname, followed by the initials of the author, then date

Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum:)


Hello Eppi. Welcome to the forum


Hi Eppi

404, you made me laugh Perhaps I should indeed change my surname by deed poll to fluffymonster. I think it would look great.


Do it! That would be so cool, Dr Fluffymonster



usually it is just surname, although I've seen papers in my field (education)when both first name and surname are used. In this situation I would stick to the surname, unless there are two people with the same surname of course.


I am social science - for me its always been surname and date - initials or name in ref list/bibliography at end


um, against the vast majority... i have found that quite a lot of published papers do mention first names, not always, but in some cases at least - mostly the first time an author is mentioned. Like:

"Among others, Peter Muster has written about this. In his seminal book (Muster 2004) he argues that.... Muster also claims that..."


The exeption to the above mentioned rule is a paper with just two authers on it- you then cite both surnames (404 and Fluffymonster, 2007).

Quite frankly- use Endnote, that'll insert the references correctly for you. Also avoids spelling mistakes of authors names. And it saves time.

Citing the first name makes it sound like you're buddies, I wouldn't do it- too informal.

If you want to cite something thats not published then cite it like this: (Fluffymonster, personal communication).

et al. is usually written in italics.