When referencing to another work in a scientific paper, do we cite the paper or its author(s)?

This question is intended to clarify the conjugation of the verb that follows the reference — especially in these cases:

  • One author, two papers:

    Jane Doe (2015a, 2015b) list-s the very specific conditions under which…

    -> lists (singular: referencing to Jane Doe) or list (plural: referencing to both papers)

  • Several authors, one paper:

    John Doe, et al. (2015) claim-s this and that.

    -> claim (plural: referencing to the multiple authors of the paper) or claims (singular: referencing to the single paper).

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