Students, please first confirm with your professor that using ChatGPT or other content produced by generative artificial intelligence (AI) is acceptable before citing it. Your professor may also have a specific way they would like you to reference ChatGPT.
References tell your reader where your information came from and how you used it in your work. If you use content created by a tool like ChatGPT, including it in your works cited - as you would with any other source - is the responsible thing to do. If you use ChatGPT to help write or structure your paper, even if you do not otherwise quote or paraphrase its content, you will likely wish to acknowledge your use of it in some manner. This provides transparency to your reader.
Generative AI is a relatively new phenomenon. As such, many citation styles lack specific guidelines for referencing AI-generated content. It is likely that guidelines will be updated, so checking for the most recent recommendations is advisable.
We are still learning how to ethically use and cite generative AI resources. As such, err on the side of transparency if you use one. Here are some ideas for citing ChatGPT responsibly:
The APA Style team is working on creating official guidelines. In the meantime, they have provided interim guidelines.
If you have saved and/or shared the chat transcript, follow APA guidelines for citing computer software. It may be worthwhile to include the chat's transcript as an appendix to your project. Use the company as the author, not the tool's name. Include a brief description of the chat indicating the prompts in square brackets.
Author. (Date of chat). [Description of chat and prompt]. URL
OpenAI. (2023, Feb. 17). [ChatGPT response to a prompt about examples of harm reduction initiatives]. https://chat.openai.com/
If you have not saved the chat transcript or cannot share or retrieve it, follow APA guidelines for citing personal communication. In this case, only include an in-text citation and do not include an entry in the references list.
(Author, personal communication, date of chat)
(OpenAI, personal communication, February 17, 2023)
As of 23 Feb. 2023, there is no official guidance from MLA on citing responses from ChatGPT or output from another generative AI tool. However, you may wish to follow these interim guidelines. At a minimum, include the platform and its author/developer in your MLA citation.
Author. “Name of AI.” Website name, URL.
OpenAI. "ChatGPT." Welcome to ChatGPT, chat.openai.com/.