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The APA Style team is currently working official guidelines on how to cite, quote, and use ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. Listed here is interim guidance and some examples as of February 2023.
References direct readers to the specific sources that a writer used. If the text that ChatGPT generates in any particular chat can be saved, is shareable, or is otherwise retrievable, the reference format in Section 10.10 (Software) can be used, with the company (“OpenAI”) as author, not “ChatGPT.” If the chat has no title, a description in square brackets (that ideally includes information on what prompts were used) would be created.
OpenAI. (2023, January 17). [ChatGPT response to a prompt about three prominent themes in Emily Dickinson’s
If the text that ChatGPT generates is not retrievable or sharable, then it falls into the “personal communication” category, where you cite with an in-text only citation.
“(OpenAI, personal communication, January 16, 2023).”
This technology is new and we are all learning about generative AI resources and how to ethically use them. Consider making the ChatGPT conversation retrievable by including the text as an appendix or as online supplemental material. If you do so, then readers may be referred to the appendix or the online supplemental material (where the ChatGPT response may be contextualized) when the ChatGPT conversation is cited. It would be good practice to describe, in the narrative or a note, the prompt that generated the specific ChatGPT response. This too will help inform the understanding of the technology and its outputs.
From Unveristy of Guelph-Humber Library. Last updated 2023, February 16th . ChatGPT & Other AI Generative Tools. https://guelphhumber.libguides.com/c.php?g=716556&p=5279441
Wilmington University Library. (2020, July). APA style help. https://libguides.wilmu.edu/apa
APA 7th edition. Always verify your formatting and punctuation.
[Revised by M. Jones: July, 2020]