When should I cite an AI chatbot? How do I format the citation?

In general, you should always acknowledge the sources you used for your research and writing. For more specific guidance:

Check the citation manual for the style you are using

Check with your school, course instructor, or PI

  • Harvard- wide guidance: Generative AI @ Harvard 
  • Course-specific guidance may be noted in your syllabus
  • Individual labs and research units may have their own in-house practices

A note about when to cite what:

Generative AIs say they compile their information from several corresponding sources. In these cases, it’s ok to cite the AI itself. 

However,  there are also times when they will use specific sources (like a website or a book) from their training data (sometimes with light editing), but they won’t always acknowledge it. If the AI is citing a single source, it’s best to cite the original. 

See our How can I tell if a GAI got its information from a specific website or other source? FAQ for more.

It is important to verify these sources. In addition to sometimes being set to speculate, AIs are only as correct as their training data, and any part of that data can be contradictory, incorrect, or out of date.

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