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I know how to cite a web page in BibTeX, but the method proposed is not style-independent.

That is, it suffers from not having metadata for the access date and URL (it's a hack to put the access date and URL into note or howpublished fields of a misc entry type). If I use different styles for a bibliography, or I want to define my own style that needs to be compatible with a publication, my BibTeX entries using this method aren't independent of that style.

For example, look at how the access date appears in the way to cite websites using APA:

Smith, J. (2009, January 21). Obama inaugurated as President. CNN.com. Retrieved February 1, 2009, from http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html

Now, look at how the access date appears in the way to cite websites using MLA:

Smith, John. "Obama inaugurated as President." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

How can I do this without having to modify (hard-code) my .bib entries?

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closed as not constructive by Marco Daniel, Joseph Wright Mar 2 '13 at 22:08

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The problem here is that the 'traditional' styles simply don't know about URLs. Thus the only way is to set up for the appropriate style, or use @misc as a fallback. Is biblatex an option for you? If so, you can standardise the information as it deals with URLs 'out of the box'. – Joseph Wright Aug 27 '12 at 17:06
@JosephWright Thanks. biblatex might be an option, although I'm not sure what it entails when 1) using TeXworks and 2) writing papers for conferences/journals that impose their own tex formats. – Fuhrmanator Aug 27 '12 at 17:19
TeXworks is (just) an editor: makes no difference. Journal submission is a different matter, as they set the bibliography style and more importantly biblatex is not supported by any journal I know of. – Joseph Wright Aug 27 '12 at 17:21
@JosephWright Thanks again. I only use (tolerate!) LaTeX because of the publications that require it... The path of least resistance is to keep hacking my @misc entries. – Fuhrmanator Aug 27 '12 at 17:29