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Vancouver Style Guide: Generative AI

This guide explains how to use the Vancouver Style. It includes a short interactive tutorial.

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 20th 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.


As of the creation of this guide the editors of the Vancouver citation style have not yet published guidance for citing generative AI. In the absence of guidance from the editors, UCD Library recommends treating the use of generative AI in the same manner as for citing an email communication or interviews. The International Community of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) further specify that AI tools are not to be treated as authors: "Chatbots (such as ChatGPT) should not be listed as authors because they cannot be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and originality of the work, and these responsibilities are required for authorship."2

Examples for Citing Generative AI with Vancouver Style


As of October 20th 2023, some AI tools such as chatGPT and Bard generate shareable URLs that allow other readers to see the content of chat sessions with them. There are also browser plugins such as ShareGPT or A.I. Archives which also generate shareable URLs for chat sessions.

Example with shareable URL generated by the AI Tool:

#. Name of AI Tool [type of medium]. Creator of tool; version date. [Accessed YYYY Month DD]. URL
1. ChatGPT. [Online conversation]. OpenAI; 2023. [cited 2023 October 19].

Example without shareable URL:

#. Name of AI Tool [type of medium]. Creator of tool; version date. [Accessed YYYY Month DD]. See Appendix for text and prompt used.
1. ChatGPT. [Online conversation]. OpenAI; 2023. [cited 2023 October 19]. See Appendix for text generated and prompt used.


In-Text Citation:

In-text-citations are represented with a superscript numeric notation that corresponds to the item in your list of references.


Bevacizumab (Avastin) is an example of a targeted therapy that may be used to disrupt the tumor's blood supply. Other targeted therapies are being researched, but their efficacy remains limited.1

Works Cited

1. Weed, J. Can ChatGPT Plan Your Vacation? Here's What to Know About A.I. and Travel. The New York Times (Digital Edition). 16 Mar. 2023, [cited 19 October 2023]. Available from: https://www.nytimes.ocm/2023/03/16/travel/chaptgpt-artifical-intelligence-travel-vacation.html

2. International Community of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publications of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. [Internet] Philadelphia: International Community of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE); May 2023. [cited 19 October 2023]. 19 p. Available from:

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