How should I quote a website? E.g. I'm using the android reference.

Here is my BibTeX entry:

  author = {Google},
  month = {01},
  year = {2012},
  title = {Android Developers},
  language = {english},
  url = {http://developer.android.com/reference/},

I quote different parts of that page and I think it is a bad idea adding dozens of references to the same site only to another page.

Actually I'm using this:

The Activity Lifecycle is blah blah\footnote{\url{http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/Activity.html\#Fragments}}.\cite{Google2012}

But I think I should cite it e.g.:

The Activity Lifecycle is blah blah\cite[\url{http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/Activity.html\#Fragments}]{Google2012}.

But that produced a very long line which I don't want. My next try was this here:

The Activity Lifecycle is blah blah\cite[Lifecycle\footnote{\url{http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/Activity.html\#Fragments}}]{Google2012}.

The last one produces some strange errors:

Overfull \hbox (6.45833pt too wide) in paragraph at lines 463--464
[]\T1/lmr/m/n/12 The Ac-ti-vi-ty Li-fe-cy-cle is blah blah[[]Goo12[], []$\T1/lm
tt/m/n/12 http : / / developer . android . com / reference /$
! Use of \@xfootnote doesn't match its definition.
\@ifnextchar ...eserved@d =#1\def \reserved@a {#2}
\def \reserved@b {#3}\futu...
l.467 .../Activity.html\#Fragments}}]{Google2012}.

So what is the best practice for quoting and how can I fix my last solution?

After reading the answers I build my own solution. But I have got some trouble with that quotes in image lables.

Here is the compleate example:


\usepackage[backend=bibtex, natbib=true, citestyle=alphabetic, bibstyle=alphabetic]{biblatex}



\newcommand{\citeUrl}[3]{\cite[#1\staticURL{#2}]{#3}} %what, url, source

Here is some text related on bluetooth\citeUrl{Activity}{http://developer.android.com/reference/android/bluetooth/package-summary.html\#footer}{Google2012}


  \caption{Activity Lifecycle \citeUrl{Activity}{http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/Activity.html\#Fragments}{Google2012}}

In mention of "Note that # doesn't need to be escaped." I'll get this error:

Chapter 1.
! Illegal parameter number in definition of \reserved@a.
<to be read again> 
l.26 ...h/package-summary.html#footer}{Google2011}
  • Does How can I use BibTeX to cite a web page? help you? It looks like a duplicate for me. Jan 23, 2012 at 10:47
  • Not really I want only one bibtex entry for one site with serveral of urls. Or would you add serveral bibtex entries for one book if you referance serveral pages?
    – rekire
    Jan 23, 2012 at 10:50
  • You can use the [link text](http://someurl.com) syntax to add links. Simply press the 'Help' link below 'Add Comment' to see this and the other formatting options. Jan 23, 2012 at 11:17
  • Why not trying to use your second idea (the URL as "page" reference), but put the whole citation in a footnote (using \footnote{\cite[]{}} or a custom \footcite[]{}.
    – ienissei
    Jan 23, 2012 at 11:18
  • A custom cite would be an option but I wanted to see what the professionals would do. \newcommand{\citeUrl}[4]{\nocite{#1}\hyperlink{cite.0@#1}{[#2\footnote{\url{#4}}, #3]}} should work \citeUrl{Google2012}{Lifecycle}{Goo12}{http://...}
    – rekire
    Jan 23, 2012 at 11:26

2 Answers 2


Since \url switches to a "verbatim" mode it can't go in the argument of another command. You can go over this limitation, in this particular case, with the following code


The Activity Lifecycle is blah

Note that # doesn't need to be escaped.

  • If I don't mask the # I'll get an error. Your solution works good. But I have a little problem with adding such footnote cites in image descriptions. The cited image is quiet big so it is floated to the end of the chapter. That is at the moment no problem. But the footnote is refering the first page instat the footnote with the link.
    – rekire
    Jan 23, 2012 at 12:37
  • @rekire Footnotes to captions are bad practice, particularly for page floats. Put the URL in the caption, where it belongs.
    – egreg
    Jan 23, 2012 at 13:04
  • I think so too but I don't know how to do that better. How should I quote an Image with that page vs. site situation.
    – rekire
    Jan 23, 2012 at 13:40
  • @rekire For the error with the unescaped # a minimal example is needed. Also an example for the problematic caption would be great.
    – egreg
    Jan 23, 2012 at 13:43
  • I added an example on my question.
    – rekire
    Jan 23, 2012 at 14:54

On top of all the other advice, I'd state when the URL was visited. The reason for this is that many sites change on a regular basis, so the date visited matters.

  • My idea was to put meta infomations like date of visite, the author etc. in the BibTex entry and the concrete url to the cite.
    – rekire
    Jan 23, 2012 at 11:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .