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I want to cite a book written by John P. Smith, Jr. Should I write

see Smith [2009] for details.


see Smith, Jr. [2009] for details.

I think my question boils down to: is his surname "Smith, Jr." or "Smith"?

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No, it's not acceptable. If the author uses "Jr.", then the citation should use "Jr." Check your favorite style manual. His surname "Smith", but his given name is, e.g., "Will Jr." – user21497 May 10 '13 at 13:22
Bill, as a non-American, I'm puzzled by your answer. If the citation format is using surnames only, and if, as you say, "Jr." is part of his forename (given name), then I don't understand why you say it's unacceptable to omit "Jr." when using surnames only. – TrevorD May 10 '13 at 14:50
@BillFranke I wrote the above comment before I'd learned that I need to use to use the @ prefix. I'd still appreciate your thoughts. – TrevorD May 17 '13 at 18:29
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I found the answer myself: this blog post (link) clarifies the situation. It says:

"Jr.," “III,” or other suffixes are not included with in-text citations, but they are included in the reference list entries.

So my former option is the correct one. I should have

see Smith [2009] for details.

in my main text, and then "John P. Smith, Jr." in my list of references at the end.

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For what it's worth from the perspecive of UK English we hardly use 'Jr.' at all. If we do, we would write it John Smith junior, though the non-capitalised contraction of jr. may be seen. It's far more usual to use forenames to distinguish between father and son, or between two unrelated people of dissimilar ages, though impratical if said forenames are unknown. In that case we're back to 'junior'. I have never seen 'Junior' used over here as part of a given name.

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In American English, "Jr." is used when the son has the same (full) name. It wouldn't be used to distinguish unrelated people. ("junior" is still used as an adjective, or a synonym for "son". But the specific usage here is a bit different.) – starwed May 18 '13 at 8:37

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