Skip to Main Content

APA - Referencing Guide

AI Generated Content


Guidelines for citing ChatGPT or other generative AI have been given in the APA Style Blog

McAdoo, T. (2023, April 7). How to cite ChatGPT. APA Style Blog.

This is interim advice only and subject to change.

If the text that ChatGPT generates is not retrievable or sharable, then it falls into the catch-all “personal communication” category, where you cite with an in-text only citation: “(OpenAI, personal communication, January 16, 2023).” 

Consider making the ChatGPT conversation retrievable by including the text as an appendix or as online supplemental material.

If you do so, then readers may be referred to the appendix or the online supplemental material (where the ChatGPT response may be contextualized) when the ChatGPT conversation is cited.
It would be good practice to describe, in the narrative or a note, the prompt that generated the specific ChatGPT response.
Note: It is likely that the Information about using and referencing ChatGPT and other generative AI tools in assignments and publications will continue to be updated. We recommend checking this page regularly to keep up with any changes.

How do I reference something created by generative AI?

We recommend that you base the reference for generative AI content on the referencing guidance for

Rather than citing Generative AI as a source of information, you would, instead, be citing the use of a tool - Generative AI.

References should provide clear and accurate information for each source and should identify where they have been used in your work.

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT cannot accurately cite their own sources.
Any references they provide may be false or non-existent – you should always check the original source for any references that are generated.

If AI has been used to summarise works, then this should be noted in your methodology.

This information is based on La Trobe Referencing Generative AI Guide




OpenAI. (2022). DALL-E (Version 2) [Artificial intelligence system].

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].

OpenAI. (2022). ChatGPT (Version 3) [AI text generation tool].

OpenAI. (2023, January 17). [ChatGPT response to a prompt about three prominent themes in Emily Dickinson’s poetry]. 

If the chat is saved, is shareable, or otherwise retrievable - cite ChatGPT as software, otherwise cite as 'personal communications', otherwise cite as App/ Software


See the All Examples page for examples of in-text and reference list entries for specific resources such as articles, books, social media, and web pages.