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Citing AI tools: Home


Updated on February 2024

Existing citation style guidance varies significantly for citing AI-generated content, since AI tools are still evolving. When there is no official guidance appropriate for your use, include enough information to adhere to principles for why we cite. In addition to style guides for citation, you may need to consult publishers' policies for using AI tools or including AI-generated content in writing.

When to cite

Cite when an AI tool was used to:

  • Gather information
  • Write text
  • Edit Text
  • Synthesize ideas or find connections
  • Clean/manipulate data

Can AI be an author?

Authors are responsible for all content in their work. As AI cannot be held responsible it is generally not considered an author. If AI is used in the creation of an academic paper in any way, it should be cited in the text and references and/or in the acknowledgements.

Citation style guidance - current guidelines

Elements to save when using ChatGPT or other AI tools

  • Tool name and version (e.g., ChatGPT 3.5)
  • Time and date of usage
  • Prompt or query
  • Response
  • Follow up queries and responses
  • Name of person who queried

Citation management tools

Citation management tools such as Zotero and Mendeley do not yet have "AI tools" as an item type. If you do not know which style you are using yet, use the "software" designation to save AI-generated content. You may also use the "website" item type. Add the name of the person who used the tool in the "extra" field. This is not used in any style currently, but is an important piece of metadata.

Once you decide which citation style you are using, you may need to edit the Zotero/Mendeley entry.


Know the AI use and citation policy for the school, class, and/or publication for which you are writing.

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ACS Publications. 2019. “Deriving a Citation for a New Content Type.” In The ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication. ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication. American Chemical Society.

American Psychological Association. 2023. “How to Cite ChatGPT.” APA Style Blog (blog). April 7, 2023.

Berdejo-Espinola, Violeta, and Tatsuya Amano. 2023. “AI Tools Can Improve Equity in Science.” Science 379 (6636): 991–991.

Cao, Kun. 2023. “How to Cite ChatGPT? Use A.I. Archives.” Medium (blog). August 31, 2023.

Eaton, Lance. 2023. “Syllabi Policies for AI Generative Tools.”

Hosseini, Mohammad, Lisa M. Rasmussen, and David B. Resnik. 2023. “Using AI to Write Scholarly Publications.” Accountability in Research 0 (0): 1–9.

Hosseini, Mohammad, David B Resnik, and Kristi Holmes. 2023. “The Ethics of Disclosing the Use of Artificial Intelligence Tools in Writing Scholarly Manuscripts.” Research Ethics, June, 17470161231180449.

“How Do I Cite Generative AI in MLA Style?” 2023. MLA Style Center (blog). March 17, 2023.

MIT Sloan. 2023. “The Legal Issues Presented by Generative AI.” September 25, 2023.

University of Chicago. 2017. “The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition.” The Chicago Manual of Style Online. 2017.