Let's take a look at one classical bibliography-entry for a online-source:

(I removed the irrelevant options for better visibility...)

    ALTauthor = {author},
    title = {title},
    date = {date},           % the date of time the document was created (type in this way: 2015)
    OPTdate = {date},        % what is that?
    OPTmonth = {month},      % what is that?
    OPTyear = {year},        % what is that?
    OPTurldate = {urldate},  % the date of time the URL was visited (type in this way: 2015-07-16)

Which option do I have to use for which purpose? I am using Biblatex and Biber.

Thank you very much for your help!

  • 2
    BibTeX is flexible on fields: the various OPT... ones are non-standard so will be ignored by most styles. Have these come from a specific source, perhaps with a matching .bst file? – Joseph Wright Jul 16 '15 at 8:52
  • Thanks for your answer! I don't think that they come from a specific source - it should be the standard in BibLaTeX I think? – Dave Jul 16 '15 at 9:02
  • No, the standard fields for biblatex are just date, year, month, etc. – Joseph Wright Jul 16 '15 at 9:08
  • Okay, I didn't know that. But which fields should I use now when using Biber and BibLaTeX? – Dave Jul 16 '15 at 9:19
  • 1
    Related: How can I use BibTeX to cite a web page?, Wikipedia: Cite This Page for LaTeX. Biblatex section 2.1.1 indicates that all its types support a url field, and there's an online type for online-only resources that uses author or editor, year or date, title, and url. – Mike Renfro Jul 16 '15 at 12:41

If you are using Biblatex and Biber - not BibTeX - then

  • date is the main date the resource was created in YYYY-MM-DD format;
  • year, month and day are alternative formats for date, provided for backwards compatibility;
  • urldate is the date you visited the web page in YYYY-MM-DD format.

That's it.

For other sources, there is also

  • origdate which may be used by some styles for an original date of publication. For example, a translated work might use this for the date the original was published, since date would be the date of publication of the translation.
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