Simple question, but very hard to find an answer.

How can I cite version 12.9 of CPLEX? Shall I cite the very first CPLEX and indicate that I am using the version 12.9 of this, or shall I cite the new release's handbook? If you suggest the latter one, how can I do it?

I cite V12.1 as:

CPLEX, IBM ILOG. "V12. 1: User’s Manual for CPLEX." International Business Machines Corporation 46.53 (2009): 157.

And say that I use version 12.9 of this. It is a bit odd since 12.9 is released in 2019, but I cite 10 years ago.

Ps: Is it only me who thinks IBM documentation, especially in CPLEX, is a bit sloppy? In general, it is very hard to jump through topics in the CPLEX website...

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    $\begingroup$ What exactly do you mean by "citing CPLEX"? If you are just using the program CPLEX for your computations, why do you want to cite the manual? It would probably be enough to state the exact version and maybe the source from which you downloaded it. If you discuss special features of CPLEX, it might be worthwhile, though, to mention the relevant part of the manual (with page numbers). $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 7:24

4 Answers 4


The below-mentioned format has been used for citation of CPLEX in over 100 papers. I just cite two of those which have been published in 2019 but used different versions of the CPLEX. These papers are from well-known journals so I believe that even citation format should be considered in the publication process.

IBM (2017) IBM ILOG CPLEX 12.7 User’s Manual (IBM ILOG CPLEX Division, Incline Village, NV).1

IBM, 2013 IBM ILOG CPLEX 12.6 User Manual IBM Corp. (2013)2

So I think just putting the sub-version of CPLEX 12.* User's Manual in the citation will be alright.

[1] Petit, Thierry, and Andrew C. Trapp. "Enriching solutions to combinatorial problems via solution engineering." INFORMS Journal on Computing (2019).

[2] Ceselli, Alberto, et al. "Optimized assignment patterns in Mobile Edge Cloud networks." Computers & Operations Research 106 (2019): 246-259.


Depending on the journal, CPLEX may be so well known that it is acceptable to omit the reference. It is always important to include a version number ("we use CPLEX 12.9"), as performance can differ significantly between versions.


Here's an answer (from 2018) by one of IBM's CPLEX specialists: "Citing CPLEX".

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe you can include the answer by the CPLEX specialist in your answer just in case the link stops working? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ @prubin I had come across this page. But, for me, it does not make any sense. They just say give the website. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ @independentvariable Why does it not make sense to you? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, link has stopped working. $\endgroup$
    – paleo13
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 23:11

I agree with Kevin. Unless you want to refer the reader to some specific solver features, there is no need to cite the CPLEX documentation as it is famous enough. While I think this is acceptable for commercial software, you might double-check the website and documentation of open-source solvers as they usually ask/require you to do so.


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