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Citation Styles Guide: Citing Generative AI


Please note that the AI field is new and evolving every day. The guidance below will be updated as recommendations evolve.

Last updated September 11, 2023.

General acknowledgement that AI tools have been used in the creation of a work

In some tasks, you may be able to use AI tools for background research or to generate an outline for your essay or report (as stated earlier, please follow your professor's guidance before using any AI tools).

In this case, rather than citing and referencing specific text generated by AI tools, you should provide a general acknowledgement within your assignment to explain that an AI tool was used in writing your assignment. 

Include as much detail as possible, including how you used the AI tool, the prompt used, the date you used the tool, and the name, creator and version of the AI tool.

In some cases, professors may also want you to include the transcription of the discussion with the AI.

Example: On the 26th June 2023, I used the May 24 version of OpenAI's ChatGPT 3.5 to perform background research using the following prompt "Explain the difference between deep learning and machine learning". 

APA style

Currently, APA recommends that text generated from AI be formatted as "Personal Communication." As such, it receives an in-text citation but not an entry on the References list.

Rule: (Communicator, personal communication, Month Date, Year)


(OpenAI, personal communication, January 16, 2023).

When asked to explain psychology's main schools of thought, OpenAI's ChatGPT's response included ... (personal communication, February 22, 2023).

MLA style

The Modern Language Association provides detailed guidance on citing generative AI according to their template.

Chicago style

Chicago Style with footnotes

Personal communications are cited in a footnote, but are not listed in the bibliography.

Rule: Number.Originator of the communication, medium, Day Month, Year.

Example: 1 OpenAI's ChatGPT AI language model, response to question from author, 7 February, 2023.   

Shortened note rule: NumberCorrespondent's last name, medium

Example1 ChatGPT, response to prompt from author

Chicago Author-Date

Personal communications are cited within the text, but are not listed in the reference list.

Rule: (Correspondent's Full Name, medium if relevant, Month Day, Year)

Example: (OpenAI's ChatGPT, response to prompt from author, February 22, 2023)