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Chicago Style Guide 17th Edition: Generative AI

This referencing style guide is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. It has many different reference types. It gives detailed examples of how these references should be formatted in the "Notes and Bibliography" style.

Introduction to Citing Generative AI

This citation and referencing advice should be used only when your module coordinator or School allows the use of AI tools in the creation of academic assignments. If you have used an AI tool in the creation of an assignment, you must acknowledge this use and cite and reference the tool appropriately to ensure you are adhering to UCD's student plagiarism policy.
Please also be aware that Generative AI is a tool and not an academic or original source.

This advice was created for text-based generative AI systems and does not include other AI-generated content. Advice about citing and referencing AI tools is constantly evolving, and this guide created on October 10th 2023, will be updated as soon as further information becomes available.

For the purposes of this guidance, generative AI is defined as a tool that “can analyze or summarize content from a huge set of information, including web pages, books and other writing available on the internet, and use that data to create original new content”.1

Generative AI often provides citations and sources that do not exist, or are inaccurate. All such references must be checked by the user to ensure the legitimacy of the references/citations provided by AI tools.


The Chicago Manual of Style Online FAQ section has this advice on citing content generated by artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT: "[...] you must credit ChatGPT when you reproduce its words within your own work, but unless you include a publicly available URL, that information should be put in the text or in a note—not in a bibliography or reference list. Other AI-generated text can be cited similarly."2

Examples for Citing Generative AI with Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style's guidance specifies that AI-generated content should not be included in bilbiographies or reference lists unless a publicly available link to the chat can be provided, for instance by using browser plugins. For this reason, the advice below focuses on in-text/ footnote citations.

In-Text Citation:

Use a superscript number (like this: ¹) in the text at the place where you are indicating that you are citing from a source.

Footnote - Prompt within the text: 1.Text generated by Program, Month Day, Year used, Company,

Footnote - No prompt within the text: 2. Program, response to “prompt,” Month Day, Year used, Company.

Example - Prompt within the text:

The following information was collected by ChatGPT using the prompt Do all caterpillars turn into butterflies?: "While the majority of caterpillars turn into butterflies, there is an exception - moths. The metamorphosis process can result in either a butterfly or a moth, depending on the caterpillar species."¹

1. Text generated by ChatGPT, May 18, 2023, OpenAI,

Example - No prompt within text:

"Not all Canadian Geese participate in a seasonal migration pattern. Those located within urban locations or in a region with favourable conditions year round, will become permanent residents of the region. Those who do migrate will follow flyway routes - well-established migration routes that connect their breeding grounds in the North and their wintering locations in the South."²

2. ChatGPT, response to “Explain the migration pattern of Canadian Geese,” May 18, 2023, OpenAI.

Works Cited

1. Weed, Julie. "Can ChaptGPT Plan Your Vacation?" The New York Times, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.nytimes.ocm/2023/03/16/travel/chaptgpt-artifical-intelligence-travel-vacation.html

2. Chicago Manual of Style Online. Citation, Documentation of Sources. October 16, 2023,