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How Do I Cite Generative AI?

A guide to citing AI-generated content in APA, MLA, Chicago, IEEE, and Vancouver styles.

Using Generative AI at McMaster

As the dynamic landscape of generative artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve, the application of these tools in academia grows. In the context of research and coursework, it is important to verify the appropriateness of AI use with your instructors prior to integrating these tools into your assignments.

Using generative AI when its use has not been explicitly permitted by your instructor may constitute a violation of McMaster’s academic integrity policy. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the provisional guidelines about the use of generative AI in teaching and learning at McMaster University. Unless otherwise stated in your course outline or syllabus, you should assume that the use of generative AI is prohibited If your instructor has approved the use of generative AI in your course, then this guide can help you with citing AI-generated content. 

Citing & Saving Generative AI

If you are a student enrolled in a course that permits the use of generative AI, this guide will help you cite your use of these tools when completing course assignments.

Our goal is to provide succinct, easy-to-follow instructions for referencing AI outputs in common citation styles including APA, MLA, and Chicago, based on the latest recommendations.

In some cases, you may also be requested to share your generative AI activity in a methodology section or appendix. If needed, you can save your generative AI inputs and outputs using some of the following methods.

NOTE: Some of these shareable links may not be persistent or stable over time. To ensure future access to your AI generated content, save or download a copy to your local device.

Citation practices related to generative AI are evolving. The Library will make every effort to keep this guide up-to-date, but students are encouraged to check with their instructor to confirm the guidance provided here aligns with their expectations.

This guide also includes generative AI tools and resources to further assist in your understanding and utilization of this technology.

Why Cite Generative AI Content?

AI-generated image using Bing Image Creator, AI robot helping student write a paper in the library promptBy full and correctly citing AI generated content, you are:

  • Upholding the principle of academic integrity by giving due credit to your sources
  • Providing transparency about the origin of the information, which can have a different bias profile than human-generated content
  • Contributing to the important task of tracking the influence of AI in our collective knowledge, highlighting its role in various domains

    Example: Citation for the adjacent AI-generated image in MLA style, Works Cited list.

    "AI robot helping a university student write a paper in the library, abstract art" prompt. Bing Image Creator, DALL-E 2, Microsoft, 10 August 2023,

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