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Chicago - Referencing Guide

Citing Personal Communications

Citing Personal Communications

Personal communications include conversations, interviews, lecture material, telephone conversations, letters and e-mail messages.

Citations for this type of material are unpublished and are not included in the reference list because they do not contain recoverable data. Cite personal communications in the text only.

They are not given formal parenthetical references in the text of an essay or assignment, instead references to this form of material are usually run into the text.

Give the title, given name or initials as well as the surname of the communicator and provide as exact a date as possible:

In a telephone conversation with the author on October 12, 2005, Dr J. W. Mueller stated that ...
Professor Visser gave his reasons for closing the laboratory in an e-mail message to the author on January 16, 2004. The reasons given were...

Citing Generative artificial intelligence (ChatGPT)

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

  • Personal communication - if you are using generative AI to assist with your assignment.
  • App/Software - when you have been specifically asked to use generative AI in your assignment.

Generative AI tools like 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 the chat is saved, is shareable, or otherwise retrievable - cite ChatGPT as software, otherwise please cite as 'personal communications', otherwise cite as App/ Software

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

This information is based on La Trobe Referencing Generative AI Guide