Skip to Main Content

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT

Citing AI

If an instructor permits the use of AI tools, any resulting academic work (including paraphrasing) must include citations.

APA Style


Example (correct as of November 2023):

When prompted with “Is the left brain right brain divide real or a metaphor?” the ChatGPT-generated text indicated that although the two brain hemispheres are somewhat specialized, “the notation that people can be characterized as ‘left-brained’ or ‘right-brained’ is considered to be an oversimplification and a popular myth” (OpenAI, 2023).


OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].

MLA Style


Example (correct as of November 2023):

When asked to describe the symbolism of the green light in The Great GatsbyChatGPT provided a summary about optimism, the unattainability of the American dream, greed, and covetousness. However, when further prompted to cite the source on which that summary was based, it noted that it lacked “the ability to conduct research or cite sources independently” but that it could “provide a list of scholarly sources related to the symbolism of the green light in The Great Gatsby” (“In 200 words”).

Works Cited

“In 200 words, describe the symbolism of the green light in The Great Gatsby” follow-up prompt to list sources. ChatGPT13 Feb. version, OpenAI, 9 Mar. 2023,

Citing Generated Images

APA: To cite a generated image, set forth the author, date, title, and source elements for the software you used to generate the image. (More detailed information can be found in the "Comments" section of the APA - Citing ChatGPT Style Blog.) 

MLA: If you are incorporating an AI-generated image in your work, create a caption for it by following the guidelines in section 1.7 of the MLA Handbook. Use a description of the prompt, followed by the AI tool, version, and date created. Example: 

Fig. 1. “Pointillist painting of a sheep in a sunny field of blue flowers” prompt, DALL-E, version 2, OpenAI, 8 Mar. 2023,

For further information on citing generated images, see this thorough library guide provided by the University of Victoria.

Additional Policies

Some publications have set forth their own policies regarding the use of generative AI tools:

Nature's Ground Rules for Use of ChatGPT

"First, no LLM tool will be accepted as a credited author on a research paper. That is because any attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, and AI tools cannot take such responsibility.

Second, researchers using LLM tools should document this use in the methods or acknowledgements sections. If a paper does not include these sections, the introduction or another appropriate section can be used to document the use of the LLM."

Science Journals: Editorial Policies

"Text generated from AI, machine learning, or similar algorithmic tools cannot be used in papers published in Science journals, nor can the accompanying figures, images, or graphics be the products of such tools, without explicit permission from the editors. In addition, an AI program cannot be an author of a Science journal paper. A violation of this policy constitutes scientific misconduct."