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Citation Station Online

Why cite AI content?

Citing generative AI is important because both for traceability and for ethical reasons: it helps the reader know where your information is coming from and it is the best way to be transparent about your use of AI tools.


  • Representing content generated by artificial intelligence as your own is a violation of Lycoming College's policy on academic dishonesty.
  • Confirm that your instructor allows AI tools like ChatGPT to help complete your assignments and it what ways its use is allowed.

The basics of citing AI

The specifics of citing AI will vary depending on the style you are using (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.), but the basic information you need to collect to be able to cite is similar. In certain contexts, it may also be sufficient to acknowledge the use of AI tools with a sentence like: "the following answer was generated by ChatGPT in response to the question "What are the impacts of microfinance in Guatemala?""


Ex: "What are the impacts of microfinance in Guatemala?" prompt.

AI tool / AI tool publisher

Ex: Tool: ChatGPT / Publisher: OpenAI

Version of the tool

Ex: (May 12 version)

Date the response was generated

Ex: October 10, 2023

Tool URL


Examples of AI citations in various styles

More styles will be added as they develop citation guidelines for AI content.

APA Style

APA Style How to Cite ChatGPT

AI tool publisher. (Year). AI tool (Version) [AI Format]. URL

Ex: OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (May 12 version) [ Large language model].

In-text citation: (OpenAI, 2023)

MLA Style

MLA Style Center: Artificial Intelligence

"Prompt text" prompt. AI tool, Version, AI tool publisher, Date of generation, URL

Ex: "What are the impacts of microfinance in Guatemala?" prompt. ChatGPT, 12 May version, OpenAI, 10 Oct. 2023,

Chicago Style

Chicago Style: Recommended citation method for ChatGPT

AI tool, response to "prompt text," AI tool publisher, Date of generation.

Ex: ChatGPT, response to "What are the impacts of microfinance in Guatemala?," OpenAI, October 10, 2023.

Considerations of information searches using AI

AI tools often generate incorrect bibliographic information, or citation

When asked to produce a list of articles on a certain topic, tools like ChatGPT often generate citations that seem accurate or have actual experts in the field as authors, but when you search for these articles, you will realize that most are not real articles. ChatGPT and other AI tools put the citations together by "guessing" which words are most likely to appear together.

Additionally, even when AI tools cite a real article or book, the existence of this source does not mean that the information in the tool's answer comes from the same source, or that it has been summarized correctly.

AI tools often generate false, biased, or outdated information

ChatGPT and other AI tools like Bard and Claude are trained on large datasets from the internet that may contain inaccuracies, biases, or outdated information. The large language models generative AI tools are built on reproduce these errors and biases in their response. AI models have no understanding of context when asked questions, their reply is based on their training on patterns. AI tools are also limited to the datasets they are trained on, which are not up to date, and have no real-time access to information. 

AI tools do not fact-check their response, it remains your responsibility to critically evaluate the information generated by ChatGPT and cross-reference it with other, reliable sources.