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Generative AI

Citing AI in your research

The policies around the use of generative AI are determined by each department. This means you may have varying policies to adhere to from class to class. 

Each style guide has announced suggestions for citing AI. Note that these recommendations can change quickly. Click each link to see up to date guidelines and examples.

If your course allows you to use generative AI tools, here are the current citation suggestions by style:

This guide states that you should

  • cite a generative AI tool whenever you paraphrase, quote, or incorporate into your own work any content (whether text, image, data, or other) that was created by it 
  • acknowledge all functional uses of the tool (like editing your prose or translating words) in a note, your text, or another suitable location 
  • take care to vet the secondary sources it cites

If you’ve used ChatGPT or other AI tools in your research, describe how you used the tool in your Method section or in a comparable section of your paper. For literature reviews or other types of essays or response or reaction papers, you might describe how you used the tool in your introduction. In your text, provide the prompt you used and then any portion of the relevant text that was generated in response.

You must credit ChatGPT when you reproduce its words within your own work, but unless you include a publicly available URL, that information should be put in the text or in a note—not in a bibliography or reference list. Other AI-generated text can be cited similarly.

IEEE has stated Artificial Intelligence (AI) outputs, including products of chatbots, are not cited for publication purposes. 

Cite as Private Communication. As the private communication may not provide recoverable data, the private communication may be cited in-text only. 

Citations generated by generative AI tools are generally unreliable. Contact your librarian for help finding sources.

The UC Santa Barbara Library has linked to policies created by many publishers. It is important to understand the policies for any publication you plan to submit any research to.


General Reading

For Graduate Students

Career Readiness