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University of Portland Clark Library

AI Tools and Resources

Uses and Limitations

Ethical Questions:

  • How can you use AI tools and maintain academic integrity (including avoiding plagiarism)? 
  • How are AI tools impacting your education? Do they undermine your opportunity to learn or do they enhance your understanding?
  • Are AI tools providing biased responses? 

Generative AI can be useful for:

  • Developing ideas for a topic and identifying related concepts.
  • Suggesting which library databases might be useful for finding sources, and which keywords or search strategies to try when searching those other databases. (You can also get human help with all of these tasks and more from the Clark Library!)
  • Providing suggestions for improving writing. (You can also get human help with writing from the University's Writing Center!)
  • Creating translations and asking questions in another language.
  • Assisting with computer coding tasks. 

Limitations of current generative AI:

  • Reliability: They can't assess the accuracy or logical consistency of the text they generate. They can make up facts and credible-looking sources, complete with citations to non-existent books and articles. This phenomenon is often referred to as a "hallucination" or "confabulation."
  • Bias: They perpetuate systemic biases. They are trained on datasets scraped from the Internet, which includes all the racist, sexist, ableist, and otherwise discriminatory language and images found there. 
  • Legal Violations: They can infringe on copyright and intellectual property.

What can you do? 

  • Develop your fact-checking skills so you can spot and correct errors that generative AI tools might make. Clark Library staff can help you too! 
  • Verify citations and sources provided by generative AI tools. Not sure how? Ask your helpful Clark Library team!
  • Develop your depth of knowledge in your discipline or areas of interest so you can more easily identify erroneous or biased information.
  • Ask other human experts like your professors or teaching assistants.
  • In general, learn more about the tech tools you use - how they work, what data they use, their purpose, and their limitations.

UP Policies

As a student, find out your professor's expectations by reading the course syllabus and instructions for assignments. Your professor is also likely to discuss the use of AI tools with your class. Ask them for more details or examples if you still aren't sure where they stand on using AI for coursework. Also, familiarize yourself with the University's overall Code of Academic Integrity.

This Fall there is a required syllabus statement on academic integrity that covers the use of AI tools in its third paragraph (excerpted below): 

"The use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT without attribution also constitutes plagiarism. Students must cite any AI-generated text and ideas and disclose any activities (e.g. brainstorming, editing, translating, etc.) for which AI was employed. Students are expected to demonstrate sound judgment in discerning when and how to utilize AI ethically across their academic work, upholding standards of citation, originality, and integrity. The misuse of AI to shortcut academic requirements will be considered a breach of academic integrity. Students who have questions about when and how to use AI should talk with their instructor."

The University's 2023-2024 Student Handbook (p. 31) states: 

"Information Services fully allows students to make use of generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT and image generators. However, each course may have its own standards for how to acceptably incorporate AI-generated content into submitted work. These standards will be communicated in each course syllabus and can be discussed with the course faculty. AI is a powerful tool but is still rapidly changing and growing as a technology. Students are encouraged to find resources at UP and online to learn more about how to use it safely and effectively. Remember when interacting with any AI that any information you provide can become part of the permanent data set owned by the AI creator. Be very wary of sharing private or sensitive information."

Citing AI Generated Writing

If you use a generative AI tool for writing, be transparent with your professors. Acknowledge your uses of the tool (such as editing your writing or translating words) within your paper, in a note, or in another suitable location like an appendix. 

Ethical Question:

  • Can generative AIs be credited the same way as human authors? Citations are generally used to credit the work of other people and give readers a path to the sources used. A reader can then find and look at those sources to make their own judgment on things like authority and accuracy. AI tools generate text in human language but they can't identify the specific sources used. However, they will approximate or fabricate citations if prompted to provide sources. 

What can you do?

  • Cite a generative AI tool whenever you paraphrase, quote, or incorporate other content (e.g., text, images, data) from it into your own work.
  • Chat prompts are irreproducible - they can't be reused by someone else to get the exact same response. However, providing a record of the prompts you used may still be helpful for someone assessing your work.
  • When it comes to finding reliable sources, use search tools and resources featured in our library guides. They are still the most effective way to find and connect to published sources.

Guidance for citing ChatGPT and other generative AIs is emerging while continuing to be debated. Below are examples for the commonly used citation styles at UP.

APA Style (more from APA)

Reference List Example

Author. (Year). Name of model (Version) (Description). URL
OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].

In-Text Paraphrase Example:

(Author, Year)
(OpenAI, 2023)

In-Text Quote Example:

Provide the prompt you used and any portion of the relevant text that was generated in the text of your paper: 

When prompted with “Is the left brain right brain divide real or a metaphor?” the ChatGPT-generated text indicated that although the two brain hemispheres are somewhat specialized, “the notation that people can be characterized as ‘left-brained’ or ‘right-brained’ is considered to be an oversimplification and a popular myth” (OpenAI, 2023).

MLA Style (more from MLA)

Works Cited List Example:

"Prompt." ChatGPT, Version, OpenAI, Date, URL.
“Describe the symbolism of the green light in the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald” prompt. ChatGPT, 13 Feb. version, OpenAI, 8 Mar. 2023,

In-Text Citation Example:

(Shortened version of prompt)
("Describe the symbolism")

Chicago Style (more from Chicago)

ChatGPT should be cited as a footnote within your text. Do not include ChatGPT in your bibliography (ChatGPT conversations are treated like personal conversations since the conversation isn't able to be accessed by others).

Footnote example (if information about the prompt has been included within the text of your paper):

1. Text generated by ChatGPT, March 7, 2023, OpenAI, 

Footnote example (including information about the prompt):

1. ChatGPT, response to "Explain how to make pizza dough from common household ingredients," March 7, 2023, OpenAI, | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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