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Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots

Related guides

Citation Styles

General Style Guides

AP - Associated Press

APA - American Psychological Association


MLA - Modern Language Association


Citing an Artificial Intelligence

*Be aware that the current generation of generative artificial intelligences do not cite the sources of the information in their output. Citing the use of an AI, like a chatbot, is not the same as citing the source for a piece of information.* 


Currently, there are very few official guidelines on how to cite the use of artificial intelligence like chatbots in an academic work. Below are some resources and examples of the current guidance on citation format.


Check with your instructor for their policy on using and citing such technologies in your work.


This guide will be updated as official guidelines are published (3/6/2023).



Author/Company. "Name of the AI". Platform, URL.


OpenAI. "ChatGPT." OpenAI,



APA is actively developing official guidelines for how to cite a chatbot. Interim guidance is offered for two scenarios.


1. If the generated text is retrievable or otherwise accessible to another person, the "Software" citation format can be used. If no title is available for the chat, include a brief description of the chat prompt in square brackets in your works cited entry.


In-text format:

(Version number if available; Author/Company, Date created or updated)

In-text example:

(OpenAI, March 6, 2023)

Works cited format:

Author/Company. (Date created/updated). Title of AI program [description of chat prompt or chat title]. URL.

Works cited example:

OpenAI. (2023, March 6). ChatpGPT [response to a prompt about three prominent themes in Emily Dickinson's poetry].


The current recommendation is to make the chat text retrievable through an appendix or online as a supplement whenever feasible. Readers can then be referred to the actual text of the conversation for context and transparency.


2. If the generated text is not retrievable or accessible to others, it can be considered as under of the "Personal Communication" category, and only requires an in-text citation.


In-text format:

(Name of the AI, personal communication, Date).

In-text example:

(OpenAI, personal communication, March 6, 2023).

Chicago Style

Chicago Style doesn't yet offer specific guidelines on how to cite generative AI programs. However, the following, provisional, formatting can be used.  

For retrievable output of an AI program, follow the "Multimedia app content" citation format. Omit the version number if it is not available. Omit the platform if it is unavailable or irrelevant. 


Note format: 

Title of AI Program, v. Version number if available (Company/Publisher, creation or update date), Platform. 

Note example: 

Dall-E, v. 2 (OpenAI, March 7, 2023). 

Bibliography format: 

Author/Company. Title of AI program. V. Version number. Publisher/Company, Creation or update date. 

Bibliography example: 

OpenAI. Dall-E. V. 2. OpenAI, March 7, 2023. 


If the output of a generative AI can no longer be accessed, it can be cited as a personal communication in a note and does not need an entry in your bibliography. 


Note format: 

Name of author/company and name of AI program, brief description of prompt, date accessed. 

Note example: 

OpenAI's ChatGPT, response to prompt about three themes in Emily Dickinson's poetry, March 7, 2023.  


If cited again, shorten the citation to a brief description including the name of the AI program and date accessed. 


Note example: 

ChatGPT response, March 7, 2023. 


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