Citing ChatGPT in your coursework depends on the context in which you use information or responses generated by the model. Here are some guidelines to help you decide when to cite ChatGPT:
Conversations and Exchanges: If you're using a conversation with ChatGPT as part of your coursework, particularly in fields like linguistics, artificial intelligence, or human-computer interaction, it's a good idea to cite the interaction as a form of data or example.
Using it as a Tool: If you're drawing upon ideas, concepts, or insights generated by ChatGPT that contribute to your coursework, it's advisable to acknowledge the source. Even if the model is used as a tool for brainstorming, it's important to recognize its influence on your work.
Negative Results or Examples: If you're discussing limitations, errors, or controversial responses generated by ChatGPT, you should still cite the model as the source of those examples to provide context.
In most cases, you will be citing ChatGPT when you are writing ABOUT ChatGPT. It is not advisable to use ChatGPT as a source of information, as it is has unpredictable quality, limited knowledge, and lacks contextual understanding. As mentioned many times in this guide, it does NOT know fact from fiction and is unable to fact check its own generated text.
While ChatGPT can certainly be a valuable tool for research and brainstorming, it's generally best to use it as a supplementary source and to rely on reputable, peer-reviewed sources for the primary content of your academic papers. If you do find useful information in ChatGPT's responses, consider using it as a starting point to identify relevant keywords and concepts that you can then research in more reliable and credible sources.
Conversations in ChatGPT are non-retrievable. However, where you might use the "personal communication" format for non-retrievable conversations or data, in this case, there is no person communicating. Instead you'll cite the algorithm.
Here is an example provided by the APA Style Blog:
When prompted with “Is the left brain right brain divide real or a metaphor?” the ChatGPT-generated text indicated that although the two brain hemispheres are somewhat specialized, “the notation that people can be characterized as ‘left-brained’ or ‘right-brained’ is considered to be an oversimplification and a popular myth” (OpenAI, 2023).
OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com/chat
To read more about citing ChatGPT in APA Style, please see:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.