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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. Retrieved February 1, 2009, from

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

Smith, John. "Obama inaugurated as President." 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

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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

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