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APA 7th Edition - University of Lincoln

APA's guidance on using AI

See the APA's information and guidance on using AI (focusing on ChatGPT) at:

This blogpost outlines the APA's recommendations on the use and acknowledgement of AI in academic work. It also contains guidance on how to cite and reference AI in APA 7th. 

Using AI in your academic work

The use of AI when completing assessments is only permitted if you have been told by your tutor that it is acceptable.
They should also provide guidance on how it can be used within the assessment and how to acknowledge its usage.

The APA recommend that the use of AI is acknowledged in the Methods (or equivalent) section of your paper. For literature reviews, you could define how you have used AI in the Introduction. In your text, provide the prompt you used and then any portion of the relevant text that was generated in response. Include an in-text citation and a reference list entry. You may also want to include a full transcript of AI generated responses in an appendix so readers can view the text which was generated.

If using AI to research a topic, you must check all information generated is correct. AI is known to fabricate information, including references to journal articles. AI can be useful to gather background knowledge on a particular topic and create a search strategy (a list of keywords and phrases to use to find sources) but you must always be critical of the response and evaluate this carefully.

It is an academic offence at the University of Lincoln if you use AI tools to generate an answer to an assessment or submit any part of a response generated by AI as your own work. If you use AI tools as part of the learning process, you must maintain good academic practice and integrity by acknowledging your use of AI tools in the development of your work. 

Please check with your lecturer before using any AI tools in your academic work.

Referencing ChatGPT

This information is taken from the APA's guidance on referencing AI

Although information obtained via AI is non-recoverable (i.e. it cannot be retrieved by anyone else), it is not considered personal communication. This is because there is no person communicating in AI generated text. APA advise that using and acknowledging AI is more like sharing an algorithm. They therefore recommend that AI is referenced using the reference template for software (Section 10.10 of the APA's Publication Manual).


Parenthetical citation 

(OpenAI, 2023)

Narrative citation
OpenAI (2023)


Reference List

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].


Author. Date (the year of the version you used). Title (Version Number) [Large language model]. URL


  • The name of the model is “ChatGPT,” so this is used for the title.
  • Also include the version number after the title in parentheses but, unlike the title, not in italics. The format for the version number includes the date as this is how OpenAI identifies the versions. Different AI software might use different version numbering. Use the version number in the format the author or publisher provides.
  • In the case of a reference for ChatGPT, provide the descriptor “Large language model” in square brackets. OpenAI describes ChatGPT-4 as a “large multimodal model,” so that description may be provided instead if you are using ChatGPT-4.
  • The URL for ChatGPT is For other AI models, use the URL that links as directly as possible to the source (i.e., the page where you can access the model, not the publisher’s homepage).