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Citation & Avoiding Plagiarism

A quick guide to reach library resources and tools for academic integrity


Generative AI (GenAI) refers to a type of artificial intelligence that empower machines to create text, image, music, video, or text on their own. The widespread availability of GenAI software has sparked heated discussions within the education sector, with academic integrity being a major concern for both educators and students.


The University's stance on the use of GenAI

According to the Guidelines for Students on the Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (Effective from 2022/23 Summer Term), it mentioned that: 

“PolyU takes an open and forward-looking stance on the use of GenAI tools as a positive and creative force in education… While embracing the use of new technology in education, PolyU upholds the principle that students must adhere to high standards of academic integrity in all forms of assessments. The Student Code of Conduct and the policy on academic integrity apply to the use of GenAI in student work.” 


Following the University Guidelines, this section is intended to provide essential information on how to navigate the complex terrain of integrating AI into your studies. 
Explore common issues associated with the use of GenAI tools:


Use of GenAI in Academic Works

Can I use Generative AI (GenAI) tools in my assignments?

As stated in the University Guideline:

"The use of GenAI tools may or may not be allowed in a subject, depending on the nature of the subject and the objective of the assessment tasks. You should refer to your subject and assessment documents to check if you may use GenAI tools in your assessments.” 


When use of AI for assessment is permitted, you must give appropriate acknowledgement to all the content from GenAI tools that you included. Failure to reference externally sourced, non-original work can be considered plagiarism. 

As a student, you are accountable for your own works; therefore, it is important to be critical and evaluate the suitability of the information you use. Here are tips for using GenAI tools wisely: 

Academic integrity and the use of GenAI tools are addressed in guidelines at multiple universities. Some examples are highlighted here for your reference. 

Cite GenAI Content

How to cite Generative AI (GenAI) content? 

For most referencing styles there are no specific guidelines for citing ChatGPT or other GenAI tools. Unless specific instructions are provided, you are recommended to refer to the guideline provided by official sites of different citation styles and the Referencing Guides developed by ELC for citation.

Follow the referencing style used in your course for how to cite GenAI content. The full transcript of a response can be included in an appendix or other supplementary materials.

Here is an example of citing the GenAI content based on APA 7th Referencing guide. You may also refer to How to cite ChatGPT in APA Style for more information.

In-text citation: Author of generative AI model, Year of version used
E.g. (OpenAI, 2023) / OpenAI (2023)

Author of AI model used. (Year of AI model used). Name of AI model used (Version of AI model used) [Type or description of AI model used]. Web address of AI model used
E.g. OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model]. 


Currently, no citation style includes a specific reference type for GenAI content. Some citation styles may use reference templates for software, while others cite the content as personal communication or correspondence.

For information on citing GenAI content in various citation styles, please refer to the following pages.

Use of GenAI in Publishing

Can I use Generative AI (GenAI) tools in academic publishing?

In response to the rise of generative AI and AI-assisted technologies, many scholarly publishers have included information about if and how AI can be used and appropriately acknowledged. 
Below are some typical stances found in publishers' policies regarding the application of generative AI tools in academic publishing:

  1. Acknowledgement: Authors should disclose the use of AI and AI-assisted technologies in the manuscript, including which model and for what purpose.
  2. Accuracy: Authors are wholly responsible for the originality, validity and integrity of the content of their submitted works
  3. Authorship: AI and AI-assisted technologies should not be listed as an author or co-author.
  4. Originality: Always check and cite the original sources to make sure you are not plagiarizing. 


For more information on using GenAI in Publishing and to review relevant policies from major academic publishers, please consult this guide