Bibtexkey/sorting issues when using biblatex extended name format

Hello there. I found the following entry in my database:

  author     = {family=Hasselt, given=Hado P., prefix=van useprefix=false and Guez, Arthur and Hessel, Matteo and Mnih, Volodymyr and Silver, David},
  title      = {Learning Values across Many Orders of Magnitude},
  booktitle  = {Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems},
  date       = {2016},
  pages      = {4287--4295},
  url        = {},
  urldate    = {2017-06-07}

As you can see, it uses Biblatex “extended name format” or something like that. The problem is, when JabRef generates the bibtexkey for this entry (using the default [auth][year] format), it does not include the name of the autor in the key, as can also be seen in the entry. It only uses the year of the publication. Also, when using this extended format in the first author name, sorting by the author/editor column does not work as expected. It apparently uses the lowercase “f” in the word “family” to sort, not the actual name of the author.

Should we use the extended format in JabRef or should we try to write the author name in the old-fashioned way? I guess I could write family=Hasselt, given=Hado P., prefix=van useprefix=false as van Hasselt, Hado P., for example.

As of now, JabRef does not support the extended name format. Thus, for the moment it is probably better if you keep using the old name format. Can you please open a new issue at so that we don’t forget about it. Thanks!

I’ve created one issue for the key generation and another one for the sorting issue. I noticed that there are situations in which the extended name format is useful, since there are individual entries in which the user wants the prefix to be used as part of the last name (in the citations and references) and other entries where this is not wanted. This is done by individually setting the the useprefix parameter for each name. Biblatex currently only allows this to be done globally, not for each name in each entry.

Also, there are situations in which the prefix may or may not be used when abbreviating the name. This can also be configured for each name using the extended format.

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