I cite online ressources like this in my .bib file:

  author = {Sun},
  title = {Java Sun: Definition Cross Plattform},
  note = {\url{http://java.sun.com/products/jlf/ed1/dg/higq.htm}},
  lastvisited = {2012-03-20},

the lastvisited doesnt work. It just gets ignored. I also tryed lastchecked and urldate, which I find on google.

Any help greatly appreciated.


2 Answers 2


Ideally, you'd be using a bibliography style file -- the argument of the \bibliographystyle command -- that is set to recognize and process a field named "lastvisited". Which style file are you currently using?

If you can't obtain a suitable style file (extension .bst) that processes the contents of a field named "lastvisited", you could pursue either of the following strategies:

  • First, you might combine the contents of the note and lastvisited fields into a single note field, i.e., combine

    note = {\url{http://java.sun.com/products/jlf/ed1/dg/higq.htm}},
    lastvisited = {2012-03-20},


    note = {\url{http://java.sun.com/products/jlf/ed1/dg/higq.htm}, visited 2012-03-20},
  • Second, if you're using a reasonably modern bib style file (i.e., which recognizes a field named url), you could (i) change the label "note" to "url" and (ii) change the label "lastvisited" to "note" and add "visited on" to the contents of the new note field.

    url = {\url{http://java.sun.com/products/jlf/ed1/dg/higq.htm}},
    note = {visited on 2012-03-20},

    Addendum: Some examples of reasonably modern bib style files (i.e., which recognize a field named url) are those that come with the natbib package: plainnat.bst, unsrtnat.bst, and abbrvnat.bst. They behave very much like the plain, unsrt, and abbrv style files while recognizing five additional fields -- doi, eid, isbn, issn, and url -- beyond the 22+ fields recognized by the original bib style files plain, unsrt, and abbrv.

  • I`m using "galpha2a". You´re post was very helpful. Thank you!
    – dan
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 6:58
  • I can't find a file galpha2a anywhere. Is it a custom bibliography style?
    – Mico
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 23:55
  • 1
    to be honest, I dont know. I´m using the template of my professor. Sorry.
    – dan
    Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 8:33
  • 1
    For random people finding this whose url field is ignored: howpublished did it for me (style: amsplain)! Also top solution using the note field for it
    – Hobbamok
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 20:15

I ran into this thing too, so I changed the IEEEtran.bst file to include a urldate.

Currently it produces something like:

tex.stackexchange.com (Accessed March 4, 2016)


    url = {tex.stackexchange.com},
    urldate = {March 4, 2016}

Just search for "Accessed" in the file if you want to change that to some other phrase like "Last visited."

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SE. What is a "CTLname variable"?
    – Mico
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 21:15
  • 1
    Oh sorry, just got out of a few ours of editing their code. CTLname_X_Y are variables used for configuring the IEEEtran.bst bib style. Specifically there's CTLname_url_prefix for changing what it outputs before a url, and I added another variable to allow configuration in a similar way (CTLname_urldate_prefix), but it's really not relevant so I removed it from the above post.
    – Ian Ooi
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 2:04
  • Thanks for posting this. It's probably too late now, but is it feasible for you to post the original file and your changes as seperate commits? I'm trying to figure out how to add this functionality to a different style (one of the Elsevier ones).
    – Flyto
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 11:50
  • 1
    Thank you and +1. 2 hours of browsing and several attempts and only only solution really works. For those who thinking about trying biblatex: it looks ugly and can screw things up if you have 2 input languages
    – den2042
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 21:02

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