Citation Guide

NPS Citation and Writing Guidance for Gen AI Use in Academic Work—All Citation Styles


Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can be used in research and writing, but to do so responsibly, you must be transparent about your use of these tools through citations or disclosure statements. Keep in mind that they are not valid academic sources of evidence or information.


  • Generative AI tools create plausible-sounding statements that may not be true or that may be biased.
  • Generative AI tools can fabricate citations to sources that do not exist.


  • Confirm with your instructors or advisors the extent to which they allow use of generative AI in specific academic assignments and tasks.

  • Do not present AI-generated content (e.g. text, translation, images, computer code) as your own creation. Remain in control of your work and be transparent about what is yours and what comes from other sources, including AI. DoD, academia, and publishers now consider inclusion of disclosure statements a best practice or requirement (writing guidance forthcoming).

  • Verify AI output with credible sources, and review and cite those sources, not generative AI. · Read and follow the NPS Interim Guiding Principles for Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools.

If you plan to use generative AI, follow the guidance below. Check for updates often, as AI technologies and citation guidance are changing rapidly.


How Are You Using Generative AI? Follow This Guidance
To support my writing process at a basic level (e.g., finding grammar errors, finding synomyms, understanding definitions) You do not need to disclose use of generative AI when used as you might use other common tools and resources for writing. Examples include Microsoft Word’s grammar-checking function, a thesaurus, or a dictionary—that is, tools that do not introduce phrases or ideas into your work. While generative AI may provide examples and suggestions, you should paraphrase incorporated source material with your own style, sentence structure, and word choices. You are responsible for reviewing and making final choices about wording.
To support my writing process at a higher level (e.g.; providing an outline for a paper, translating into another language, suggesting revisions)

Your use of generative AI as a writing aid must align with the policy of your professor or advisor. If you are not sure whether your intended use is covered by their policy, don’t assume—ask, providing specific examples of how you would like to use generative AI. Document your agreement with your faculty member.

Be transparent about how AI tools have shaped your work. When your use of generative AI to support your writing could introduce phrases or ideas that you did not personally create into your draft, disclose AI use.

To generate text that I then copy and aste into my work.

Never present passages of AI-generated text as your own writing. If your use of AI tools introduces AI-generated phrases and wording into your text, ensure that this use type is pre-approved by stakeholders (e.g., professors, advisors, publishers, and/or sponsors).

If you discuss AI-generated lines or passages, such as an AI-generated definition or scenario, in your document, place the AI-generated text in quotation marks and cite the AI tool you used, following current guidance from APA or Chicago (for IEEE, follow Chicago).

As a source of information While generative AI can help you develop initial understanding of a topic, it should not be cited in your work as a source of reliable information. Always verify AI output by finding the information in credible sources; review and cite these credible sources in your work.
To generate images that I then include in my work Be transparent about use of AI-generated images in your work. Cite the AI tool you used as the image source, following your citation style's guidance for citing borrowed and adapted images.
To generate programming code that I then include in my work Acknowledge the use of AI-generated programming code in your academic work and in the source code itself unless your instructor says otherwise. Review MIT’s guidance and check with your instructor.
As part of my research methodology (e.g., to generate interview questions, develop case scenarios) If you use generative AI as part of your methodology, say so in your document, including as much detail as necessary for transparency (e.g., the prompts you used) and cite it following current guidance from APA or Chicago (for IEEE, follow Chicago).

For more information on how to ethically and responsibly use generative AI in academic work, consult your faculty members and the following resources:

Generative AI Guidance: All Styles