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How to acknowledge generative AI (such as ChatGPT) in assignments

A smartphone showing the ChatGPT interface is placed next to a pair of glassesGenerative AI is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can produce various types of content, such as text, imagery, and audio, in a matter of seconds. The term is causing a buzz because of the increasing popularity of generative AI programs, such as the conversational chatbot ChatGPT.

When used appropriately, such tools can be used to support your learning and develop the skills you’ll need in an evolving digital world. However, generative AI software can make mistakes, so it’s important to use it in combination with a variety of reliable sources, such as your module materials and library resources. Cite Them Right – the online referencing guidance platform – has taken a closer look at how emerging AI tools can affect academic work and provides advice on how to stay critical and scrutinise the output of these tools. If you're thinking of using generative AI tools like Chat GPT in your assignments, check out the Open University's generative AI for students guidelines for advice on using them appropriately.

As with all resources, it is important that you acknowledge if you have used generative AI tools in producing your work. The university expects all submitted work to be your own, and sources should be fully credited. If you use generative AI in your assignment, make sure to reference and acknowledge it. Cite Them Right also has specific guidance on how to reference generative AI using the Harvard referencing style. The Open University's guidelines also require you to add an appendix to your submission, outlining your use of generative AI. For details on how to do this, refer to the generative AI for Students guidelines.

The Library provides plenty of help and support on how to keep track of and reference the information you find to avoid plagiarism, such as:

If you can’t find what you need in the quick guide, you can check your module for guidance or ask your tutor. And if you need any further support, our Library Helpdesk is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Please refer to the pages listed for the latest guidance on how to reference generative AI as it is subject to change.