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Citing sources according to APA guidelines

APA Style @ TiU

1.12 ChatGPT and other AI tools

Chatbots like ChatGPT are still fairly new, and instructors may have different opinions about their students' use of them. The American Psychological Association (APA) advises students to describe how they used ChatGPT – or another AI tool – in their research in a methods section or other relevant section of their paper. That appears to be sound advice, but how you document your use of ChatGPT in your paper is entirely up to your lecturer.  

ChatGPT-generated text as the output of an algorithm

ChatGPT generates different responses to the same prompts (i.e., input instructing ChatGPT to generate the desired responses). Therefore, the outcomes of a ChatGPT 'chat' cannot be retrieved by the reader.

The American Psychological Association typically treats nonrecoverable sources as personal communication. However, ChatGPT's responses to prompts do not involve human communication. As such, quoting text from a ChatGPT session is more like sharing the output of an algorithm. For this reason, the author of the algorithm – the company behind ChatGPT, OpenAI – should be properly credited through an in-text citation and an entry in the reference list.

How to incorporate and cite text generated by ChatGPT in your paper

If you use information generated by AI tools such as ChatGPT, Copilot or Google Bard, you should mention this in your text and include a citation: 

When prompted with "What is the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating depression among young adults?" the text generated by ChatGPT indicated that for treating depression in young people, cognitive behavioral therapy is highly effective: "numerous studies have demonstrated its efficacy in reducing depressive symptoms and improving overall mental health outcomes in this demographic" (OpenAI, 2024).
  • Provide the prompt you used and include any relevant portion ot the text that was generated in response, enclosed in double quotation marks. Refer to section 2 for formatting direct quotations longer than 40 words.
  • OpenAI, the company that developed ChatGPT, is treated as the author. 
  • The publication year is the year of the version you used, not the year the content was generated. Click the question mark in the lower right corner of the ChatGPT website, then select 'Release notes' to view the version.