I am using natbib with the chicago style as bibliography style. I am trying to cite a web site, but in the bibliography the URL (given in the BibTeX entry) is not printed.

Is there a simple solution to this matter? What am I doing wrong?

ok, as a little example (the entries are generated via Mendeley)

  author = {Carlson, Nicholas},
  booktitle = {Businessinsider.com},
  title = {{How Many Users Does Twitter REALLY  Have?}},
  url = {www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-how-many-users-does-twitter-really-have-2011-31/3},
  year = {2011}

and the output in chicago-style looks like this:

Carlson, N. (2011). How Many Users Does Twitter REALLY Have?

  • 3
    Welcome to TeX Stack Exchange! In order for the participants of this group to be in a better position to provide advice, it would be helpful if you provided a minimum working example (MWE). In the present case, it would be especially helfpul if you provided a specific example of a bib entry that has a URL you're trying to get typeset but (as of now) is not.
    – Mico
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 15:40
  • Hi! It's hard to provide a example, since it just doen't include the url field of the respective BibTex entry. Maybe that is a general issue with the bibstyle chicago?
    – Thomas
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 15:57
  • @Thomas: No there is no general issue. Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 16:56
  • Can you place one of the entries in your BibTeX file that you know has a URL? Perhaps there's an issue with the way it is formatted.
    – qubyte
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 17:17
  • ok, i edited my question.
    – Thomas
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 17:22

5 Answers 5


The style chicago provides the following entries:

address    author    booktitle      chapter
edition    editor    howpublished   institution
journal    key       month          note
number     organization             pages
publisher  school    series         title
type       volume    year

You see there is no entry url. To use one you can use the entry note:



To find which entries will be supported by a bibliography style you can open the relevant bibliography file. The extension of such a file is bst. To find the file on your computer use the command kpsewhich:

marco@marco-linux:~$ kpsewhich chicago.bst

To open the file via the terminal you can use in Ubuntu:

gedit `kpsewhich chicago.bst`

on a Mac:

open `kpsewhich chicago.bst`

In the file you find all provided entries in the following structure at the beginning of the file:

  { address

An example:

  author = {Carlson, Nicholas},
  booktitle = {Businessinsider.com},
  title = {{How Many Users Does Twitter REALLY  Have?}},
  note = {\url{www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-how-many-users-does-twitter-really-have-2011-31/3}},
  year = {2011}

The example uses the package hyperref to provide the command \url. Instead you can use the package url.


I checked the file chicago.bst on my TeX system (MacTeX 2011): its file date is "28 August 1992" and its abstract notes that it is a "BibTeX bibliography style that follows the 'B' reference style of the 13th Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style". Given that this style file was created in 1992, it's probably not surprising that it does not recognize (let alone process) the "URL" field of a bib entry. Hence, even if your bib entries have url fields, they are not going to be printed out if you use this style file.

A real solution would be to find a (much more!) recent style file that implements the recommendations of the current, i.e., 16th edition of "Chicago". Off the top of my head, I'm not aware of such a file, but hopefully other participants in this group can chime in and provide advice. A temporary workaround (i.e., until you manage to find such a .bst file) is to change the field type from "url" to "note" of your bib entries. If you choose to pursue this route, you will also need to encase the URLs in the command \url{...} and load the url package with the hyphens option, i.e., \usepackage[hyphens]{url}. Taking your example, you'd rewrite it as:

  author = {Carlson, Nicholas},
  booktitle = {Businessinsider.com},
  title = {{How Many Users Does Twitter REALLY Have?}},
  note = {Available online at \url{www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-how-many-users-does-twitter-really-have-2011-31/3}},
  year = {2011}

Alternatively, you could consider switching from bibtex/natbib to biblatex and loading the package biblatex-chicago. See the question bibtex vs. biber and biblatex vs. natbib for some guidance on how to achieve the (not too onerous) transition from bibtex/natbib to biblatex.


If you are willing to switch to biblatex (see bibtex vs. biber and biblatex vs. natbib for the many advantages of biblatex), you could use its very complete implementation of the chicago style, biblatex-chicago. It provides an online entry type, which is specifically tailored for online publications / websites (url, date accessed, etc.).

For the @online entry type see also: https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/3608/120395


I've managed to produce a new chicago.bst file with url included thanks to this script that adds url support for any bst file.

If you prefer you can download my chicago.bst file here

  • Thanks for providing this. Have you considered updating it to support the urldate BibTeX field so that it properly appends (accessed date ) per this Chicago Style Guide. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 4:43
  • @Fuhrmanator I'm not using this at this moment, but according to the script's page there's a field for last accessed date: url and lastchecked, to associate a URL with a reference, along with the date at which the URL was last checked to exist
    – jfloff
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 18:06

I had the problem that I did not undestand how to get the 'urldate' and 'url' shown at all.

The solution for me was to use



The library file (mybib.bib) was created using Mendeley https://www.mendeley.com/newsfeed

I hope this helps newbies like me.

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