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APA 7th Edition Referencing: Generative Artificial Intelligence/ ChatGPT

Generative AI Technology

Referencing AI Generated Text

If a student has permission from their lecturer to engage with artificial intelligence models for a particular assessment task, then they ‘‘… should use AI models in ethical and responsible ways that are consistent with their institution’s learning, assessment and academic integrity policies and procedures, and the terms of use of the AI providers’’ (Australian Academic Integrity Network Generative AI Working Group, 2023).

Avondale University continues to encourage students to utilise a variety of resources, including textbooks, academic journals, and expert opinions, in order to develop their own ideas and perspectives. As with any information source, the use of ChatGPT for academic assignments should be in accordance with Avondale’s Academic Integrity Policy. Plagiarism, including the use of AI-generated content without a proper citation is taken seriously and can result in disciplinary action. We recognise that ChatGPT and other technologies can be useful tools for academic discussions and idea generation, but that these need to be used in connection with other sources and in accordance with Avondale University’s Academic Integrity Policy (CASTL, 2023).

Reference List

Australian Academic Integrity Network Generative AI Working Group. (2023). AAIN generative artificial intelligence guidelines. Tertiary Education Quality and Standard Agency.

CASTL. (2023). Academic integrity and A.I. Avondale University.

  • Always refer to your assignment outline and be guided by your lecturer's instructions before using generative AI tools. It is a breach of Academic Integrity to falsify that Generative AI is your work. This is considered plagiarism.
  • It is a breach of Academic Integrity to use Generative AI for assessment tasks if you have not been instructed to use it or gained permission from your lecturer to use it.
  • Always ensure that the final product is your own work and not copied directly from AI generated content.
  • In most cases, it is unlikely you will cite generative AI as a primary source. Generative AI is a tool used to prompt research (much like using Wikipedia), which will lead to further research from credible sources.
  • Cite a generative AI tool every time you use one in your work, whether paraphrasing, quoting or using any generated content in your own work. It is a breach of Academic Integrity not to acknowledge this source just like it is with any other source you have used in your assessment.
  • If you have used an AI tool to edit, translate, or any other functional use, acknowledge this by using notes within your text or another location somewhere in your work as instructed by your lecturer.
  • If you ask a generative AI tool to create a work, like a poem or summary, you must acknowledge that you did not write it.
  • Not all references/ sources used by AI tools are legitimate or current- take the time to check and evaluate the purpose, audience, credibility, accuracy and currency. Don't just assume they are correct or a real information source.
  • ALWAYS include the prompt and generated text as an Appendix at the end of your assessment.


APA Referencing Template

Author of model: The name of the company who made the software- eg the author of Bing AI Chat is Microsoft

Date: The year of the version you used

Title: The name of the AI generator

Version: Software is always being updated. Name the version of the AI tool in the format the company provides, bracketed after the title- eg. (ChatGTP 3.5) or (Mar 14 version)

Type or Description: Additional description when needed. This is to briefly describe the kind of model- eg. (Large language model) for ChatGPT or (Large multimodal model) for ChatGPT- 4

Source: If the publisher and the author are the same, do not include this element

URL: Give the link that references the generated content as closely as possible. Some AI Tools provide a unique URL for the conversation; use this. If the software doesn't provide a unique URL, use the general URL for the AI Tool

Appendix: Include a print out of the generated content as an appendix to your assessment. Remember to check the order that an appendix must appear in your academic paper.

Reference List

McAdoo, T. (2023, April 7). How to cite ChatGPT. APA Style

University of Newcastle Library Guides. (2023). Generative AI such as ChatGPT

The University of Queensland Library. (2023). ChatGPT and other generative AI tools



Reference List In-text Citation

Author. (Date). Title (version). Source. URL

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

You must include the full prompt/s and generated text as an appendix to your assessment task. 

The Appendix must begin on a new page and goes after the reference list. It must have the heading Appendix as well as a title for the appendix below the heading "Appendix". Both headings are Centred, Bold and Title Case Headings, as shown below. Then simply copy and paste the generated output below the headings, using double spacing and indent the paragraphs the same as your paper.


What is a More Accurate Representation?



Note: You should refer to the appendix at least once in the body of your paper


See student paper extract below. 

When given the prompt "What is a more accurate representation?” ChatGPT-generated text indicated that “different brain regions work together to support various cognitive processes” and “the functional specialisation of different regions can change in response to experience and environmental factors” (OpenAI, 2023; see Appendix for the full transcript). 


(Author, date)

(OpenAI, 2023; see Appendix A for full transcript)

Narrative citation

OpenAI (2023; see Appendix A for full transcript)


Reference List In-text Citation
Reference information is included under the figure as a Note, with no reference in the Reference List

Figure number.

Title of the Image




Figure 4

Pointillist Painting of a Mountain Scene

Note. Generated by Hotpot AI Art Generator, 2023. (


A secondary or indirect source refers to another author's content quoted by the author you are reading. For example, Bing AI Chat quotes a section of text from Jane Austen's writing.

As a standard research process, authors should evaluate all the references generated and used by an AI Generator for authenticity, accuracy and relevance. If the references are appropriate, "it may be better to read those original sources to learn from that research and paraphrase or quote from those articles, as applicable, than to use the model’s interpretation of them" (McAdoo, 2023). As a rule, secondary sources should only be used if the primary source is unattainable, eg. out of print or in another language.

Reference List In text citation

Provide the reference for the secondary source used

Author. (Date). Title. (Version) [Description]. Source. URL

(Primary source information, as cited in Secondary source information)
Microsoft. (2023). Bing AI Chat. (Apr 2023 version) [Large Language Model]. (Austen, 1833, as cited in Microsoft, 2023; see Appendix A for full transcript)
OR Narrative Citation
Author. (Date). Title. (Version) [Description]. Source. URL
Microsoft. (2023). Bing AI Chat. (Apr 2023 version) [Large Language Model].                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Jane Austin, (1833, as cited in Microsoft, 2023)


You must include the full prompt/s and generated text as an appendix to your assessment task

Reference List

McAdoo, T. (2023). How to cite ChatGPT. APA Style.

Helpful Resources

Avondale University Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity Policy - Avondale Policies - Confluence (

Artificial Intelligence: Advice for Students

Artificial intelligence: Advice for students | Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (

What are the limitations of ChatGPT?

ChatGPT has several limitations, as listed below:

  • It is not creative in a human sense
  • It is not self-aware
  • It summarises information without providing references to sources or citations
  • It cannot judge when information is correct or not
  • It does not possess critical thinking skills
  • It has been trained using online content which only existed prior to 2022
  • It has biases inherent from its programmers and users
  • It cannot hold copyright or be assigned intellectual property
  • It is not able to make ethical decisions or value judgments
  • It is prone to ‘hallucinations’, meaning that it sometimes fabricates facts and makes errors in reasoning (Cochran & Ryan, 2023)

Cochran, T., & Ryan, T. (2023). ChaptGPT and academic integrity: Options for adopting assessment in semester 1 2023. Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education.