Last Updated: 14 Apr, 2023     Views: 54

Please note: The use of Generative AI in academic contexts is an evolving field, and this advice may be subject to change. Please consult this information again in the future.

Advice as of April 14, 2023:

The use of material created by Artificial Intelligence (AI) software is relatively new, and many style guides are still developing advice for referring to work "created" by AI programs.

You must note all use of AI software in your assignment, either by direct acknowledgement in the text, or by citing the work generated by the software. Consult with your lecturer for the preferred means to refer to content generated by AI. Refer to JCU's Using Artificial Intelligence page to make sure you are aware of the expectations at JCU concerning the use of Generative AI.

What to Cite AI output as

The general advice at the moment is dependent on whether or not the material is "retrievable". That is, can someone find the material (or follow a link to it) if given the bibliographic details for it? If they can only see the material if you give them a copy, then it is not retrievable.


If the material is not retrievable:

Depending on your style, you may be advised to do one of the following two options:

1. Cite the software, not the output

Best practise is to outline your use of the software in text, and then cite the software (rather than the output). For example, rather than citing Jasper Chat as the author for the content it generated, specify that you used Jasper Chat to generate the content, then cite Jasper AI as the author for the Jasper Chat software.

2. Treat it as personal communication

Some styles recommend treating content generated by AI software as personal communication, and following the same format that would be used for an email.


If the material is retrievable

If the material is available online, cite it according to your style's instructions for online content. We recommend following a similar format to blog posts or Twitter. Check with your lecturer to see if they have a preference.

If it is retrievable but not available online, or completely replicable (anyone using the same prompt in the same software would get the same output), cite it as software.


Specific instructions from Style Experts

The following advice from various style experts is current as of April 2023:


Refer to the use of the software in text and give an in-text citation for the software. See our instructions on the APA Guide:


Use of the software should be outlined in-text. The software should be named in-text, and can be cited (which is our recommendation - see the instructions on our AMA Guide:


Treat material generated by AI as "Written Correspondence" following rule 7.12. See the Artifical Intelligence Software advice for more details.


No advice from the Australian Government Style Guide as yet. We recommend treating the content as you would an email or personal communication.


MLA recommends treating content generated by AI software as work without an author, and using the prompt given to the software as the title of the work. Refer to their advice page for more details: Citing Generative AI


AI generated text must be disclosed in an acknowledgements section, and any text generated by AI must include a citation of the AI system. Follow the citation for software.


Treat in a manner similar to personal communication - give a note or an in-text citation as you would for personal communication, but do not include an entry in the reference list. Refer to our FAQ ( or the CMOS Style Q&A entry.