Skip to Main Content

Citing sources: Citing ChatGPT and other AI

When and how to cite (and avoid accidental plagiarism!)

AI: Understand your instructors' policies

AI: Understand Your Instructors' Policies

Thank you for visiting this informational page about citing generative AI* outputs. Your thoughtfulness on this subject is appreciated.

Please make sure that you understand your instructors' policies about the use of AI in your course work. If you don't know what their policies are, please ask them. You are also encouraged to ask your instructors to establish a policy about the use of AI into their syllabuses if you cannot find one there.

  1. NOTE: Per the letter and spirit of the TCC Academic Integrity Policy, use of any generative AI as a tool in content production requires citation.
  2. NOTE: AI outputs are not "sources." Sources are a person, thing, or place from which specific, distinctly locatable, attributable information is obtained. This is not true for AI outputs. Citations for AI outputs cite your methodology, your use of the tool and your prompt. The distinction is important. Please contact a TCC Librarian or the TCC Writing and Tutoring Center for help if you would like more information or more clarification.

*includes, but is not limited to Open AI ChatGPT and DALL-E, Microsoft Copilot, Google Bard.

Q: How do I cite AI generated output in my course work?

A: There is no "common" citation style for AI outputs. Ask the AI you are using for guidelines on how to cite outputs! Note that a change in how you phrase your prompts, even within  the same AI tool, may result in different citing suggestions! See below:

A: If you use the outputs of more than one AI tool in a single assignment, or if you get different recommendations within a single AI tool, please adopt just one AI citation style within that assignment for the purposes of consistency within your assignment. This consistency of style helps your reader and will also make your instructor happy with you and for you.

See examples below:

Open AI ChatGPT

In response the the prompt: "how to cite chatgpt output", ChatGPT offered:

Prompt: how to cite chatgpt output

Output: As ChatGPT is an AI language model and not a traditional source, there is no widely established format for citing its output. However, you can use the following format as a reference:

ChatGPT. "Title of conversation or question." Conversation or question posted to [platform], Date.

For example:

ChatGPT. "How to cite ChatGPT output." Question posted to OpenAI platform, 24 April 2023.

It's important to note that because ChatGPT's responses are generated using machine learning algorithms, they may not always be accurate or reliable. Therefore, it's recommended that you use ChatGPT's responses as a starting point for further research, rather than as a primary source for academic or professional work.


citation for above:

ChatGPT. "How to cite ChatGPT output." Question posted to OpenAI platform, 24 April 2023.

Google Bard

In response the the prompt: "how do I cite a bard output", Bard provided multiple options. This is one of those options:

Prompt: how do I cite a bard output

Answer: To cite a Bard output, you can use the following format:

Bard, Google AI. "Output Title." Bard, Google AI, [Date]. Accessed [Date].

For example: If you were to cite the output "The Importance of Sleep," you would use the following format:

Bard, Google AI. "The Importance of Sleep." Bard, Google AI, 2023-04-24. Accessed 2023-04-24.

It is important to note that Bard outputs are not peer-reviewed, so you should use them with caution. However, they can be a helpful source of information for research and writing.


Citation for above:

Bard, Google AI. "Citing Bard Outputs." Bard, Google AI, 2023-04-24. Accessed 2023-04-24.

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5087

Instagram logo

Visit us on Instagram!