I am writing an essay as a university project and I would like to cite the following website: https://en.cppreference.com/w/cpp/language/if.

My problem is that this website has no author in the conventional sense, but it is rather like a wikipedia page where multiple authors contributed over the years. The history can be found here: https://en.cppreference.com/mwiki/index.php?title=cpp/language/if&action=history, and the information page of the website (https://en.cppreference.com/mwiki/index.php?title=cpp/language/if&action=info) states that the website has had 30 editors.

Now, I know that citing a wikipedia page is not the best idea in a scientific paper. But this website contains information that would otherwise be very hard to gather. For example, it states when a new language feature was added to the standard. This is an important information, but the only other way to get this information would be to compare the different standard versions. And I somehow have to give a reference on where I get this information from.

Therefore the questions:

  • Is there an accepted way to properly cite websites like this in a university essay or thesis?
  • If there is, how would it look like in the IEEE format?

It is important to keep the essay references clean, so I do not want to include shady solutions.

2 Answers 2


You will have to cite the website url and the date accessed because wikipedia can change overnight. You cannot assign authors, as you do not know them.

Bibtex has a way to deal with this, and this should be useful even if you are not using bibtex: https://bibtex.eu/faq/how-can-i-use-bibtex-to-cite-a-website/


I would do these two steps A. Wikipedia, url, date accessed for content that is original commentary. B. If the content you are referencing from Wikipedia has been originally coming from another reference. You might want to look into the original content and then refer the original paper.

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