Skip to content
Home Referencing Referencing AI

Referencing AI

How to reference text generated by AI

Please note that quoting or paraphrasing from AI-generated text is not acceptable in your university written work unless you are discussing AI. (E.g. you are writing about the role of AI and need to reference some examples of AI generated text).

For those of you familiar with referencing, you should reference AI generated text in the same way that you would reference a website.

For guidance on AI and your academic work, please see the University intranet (opens in a new window).

For help with any referencing questions, please contact


In-text (i.e. within your essay) use the Harvard style of (Author, Year), with the AI tool named as the author.

E.g. (Open AI ChatGPT3, 2023)

In your essay it would look like this:


Some AI text generators create a URL so that you can share the output from your prompt (or you may be able to find a browser plug-in that will create a URL for you). Where possible, please include the URL in your bibliography. If no URL is available, please skip to the next example.

Bibliography template with URL:

Name of AI (Year) AI query as title. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year). 

Bibliography example with URL:

Bibliography template where no URL is available:

Name of AI (Year) AI query as title. (Accessed: Day Month Year). 

Bibliography example where no URL is available:

NB You only need to reference an AI prompt that you then use in your report (i.e. that you quote or paraphrase from), you don’t need to reference text that you don’t use.

What should I do if I have lots of references from the same year?

When referencing different prompts given to the same AI tool, you are likely to have written all of these prompts in the same year. This means that you would have multiple examples of (OpenAI ChatGPT3, 2023), and the person reading your work wont be able to tell which quote matches which line in your bibliography.  

To avoid having lots of identical in-text references that refer to lots of different references in your bibliography, you need to allocate a new lower-case letter to your in-text references every time you discuss a new prompt, e.g. 2023a, 2023b, and pair your in-text citation with your bibliography. This is easier to explain by showing you an example:

In-text example:

Bibliography example:

How do I reference an image generated by AI?

The example below follows the same Norwich University Harvard rules for referencing any image, i.e. insert a caption below the image, including these details in this order:

Author/creator, title and date of the work.


Who is the author / creator of the image?

If you created the original image then you are the author of that image, even if you use AI to tweak your image (in the same way that you are the author of a photo that you take and then edit in Photoshop.

If you use AI to generate the image, then the AI software is the author.

NB You don’t need to reference images in your bibliography.

For more details on referencing images, see Referencing images.

Where can I get further support?