At the dawn of AI chatbot technologies, educators discussed whether AI should be allowed in the academy. Nowadays, the issue seems to be out of the question – Chat GPT and similar tools have become a part of the studying and working process, and the task is to regulate its usage and turn it into an advantage.

One of the apparent issues artificial intelligence has brought to the academy is AI plagiarism. Chatbots do not create text but compose it using already published content, so AI-generated writing cannot be considered authentic or original. Hence, the Chat GPT detector comes in handy to uncover unethical AI usage intended to cheat.

On the contrary, using AI to deepen the research and facilitate the working process can be constructive and appropriate if the author openly admits the usage of text-generating technologies. But how does one cite the source if AI gives the answers without crediting original authors? Let’s consider the latest APA recommendations.

What is Citation

First of all, let’s discuss why and how we attribute sources.

  • Using someone’s work without proper attribution to the author is considered plagiarism.
  • To avoid plagiarism, one should include citations – provide information about the source so the reader can be sure the data is correct, study the original, and know the author of the mentioned ideas.
  • One should cite all the sources that impacted the paper, even if the direct quotes were not included.
  • The attribution has specific requirements regarding the formatting in academic writing.
  • Different disciplines and educational institutions require different citation formats.

What is APA Format

APA (American Psychological Association) Format is mainly used for subjects in social sciences like psychology, anthropology, education, and sociology. Sometimes, it can also be applied to studies in business.

How to Cite in APA Format

APA Style includes two types of citations:

  • in-text (parenthetical) citations following the notion one wants to attribute;
  • full citations in the Reference List after the main body of the paper.

The APA citation should include information about the author, date of publication, the title, and the details about the source – for example, the publisher’s name and location.

How to Cite AI in APA

First and foremost, the paper should clearly state that AI technologies have been used in the writing process. Let’s have a look at the recommendations on how to do that provided by the Seventh edition of APA Styleguide – the most recent one.

  • One should describe the usage of AI in the Methods section, Introduction, or a comparable section of the work. Moreover, the author should indicate that the facts or conclusions were generated by AI after providing the information in the text.
  • Conversations with chatbots are not retrievable, and even when given the same prompt, AI usually generates a somehow different response. Hence, it is recommended that the conversation transcript be included as an appendix. One is not obliged to quote the whole chat but the parts meaningful for the paper’s content.
  • Long quotes from Chat GPT responses can also be placed in the Online Supplement Materials section after the main body of the paper.

Nonretriavable data like conversations is usually cited in APA under the Personal Communications Citing guidelines. However, Chat GPT and similar tools do not apply to this category, as conversation with a chatbot is considered algorithm output rather than personal communication.

Hence, the algorithm’s author – in our case, the company developing the AI – is mentioned in the reference instead of the publication’s author. One also needs to specify the name of the AI model used (for example, Chat GPT) and the date when the version used was launched.

The author: OpenAI, as it is the author of the model.

The date: the year of the version of the model you’ve used.

The title: the model’s name, for example, Chat GPT. One should also provide information about the version of the model in the parentheses according to the method the model’s author uses – in Chat GPT’s case, it will be the release date.

The source: one doesn’t need to repeat the source’s name when it’s the same as the author, which is, in our example, OpenAI. Here, one should include the link to the page where the reader can access the data resource. Using the most specified URL possible is recommended, so one should attach the link to Chat GPT but not the OpenAI homepage.

The short version of the citation is placed in the text, and the long goes after the main part of the paper.

How to cite AI in APA in the text

APA Guidelines recommend using in-text citations immediately after the notion one attributes, before the punctuation mark. In-text attribution should include the author (company name) and the year the used version was released.

(Company, Year)

The longest word in the English language, according to most dictionaries, is “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.” It has 45 letters and refers to a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine silica particles (OpenAI, 2022).

When including the conversation transcript after the paper, one should indicate it in the in-text citation.

(OpenAI, 2022; See Appendix A for the full transcript).

In the narrative citation, when we refer to the company in the text, one should include only the year in the parenthesis.

According to Chat GPT from OpenAI, the longest word in the English language “has 45 letters and refers to a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine silica particles” (2022).

How to cite Chat GPT in APA in the Reference List

For the reference list in APA, one needs to include detailed information about the source. In the case of AI, it will be the company name, version, year, description, and the resource URL.

The description part is an APA requirement for nonstandard sources. A short explanation in one’s own words is applicable here, but with Chat GPT, one can use the “large language model” or “large multimodal model” formula.

Company. (Year). AI Name (version) [Descriptor]. URL

OpenAI. (2022). ChatGPT (Nov 30 version) [Large language model].

How to fact-check and specify sources

The AI model generates the responses using all the online content, so the information may not always be accurate. Moreover, the result can be detected as plagiarism and entail accusations of cheating. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to use AI wisely.

  1. Check plagiarism before you submit the paper. The plagiarism detector will highlight the parts that need correction so your writing is polished and original.
  2. The APA Style page recommends asking Chat GPT for the links to the sources after receiving a response to your prompt. This way, you can check the resources for credibility and provide your reader with a more accurate attribution than referring to the AI only. is your all-in-one solution for perfecting your papers. Try effective plagiarism and AI detection for free now!