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How to get references from ChatGPT – academic sources and citations

ChatGPT and academic references: A Quick Guide
Last Updated on April 12, 2024
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Are you seeking academic references for your research paper, thesis, or dissertation? As an AI language model, you can use ChatGPT to provide you with relevant academic references to support your work. Using artificial intelligence to help you gather primary sources and references for written work can be a handy option that saves you the task of sifting through large amounts of scholarly text. This is why, in this article, we’ll guide you through the simple steps of getting references from ChatGPT, also looking at how the chatbot can help with formatting referencing for a bibliography and provide you with alternative AI tools that can help with referencing.

Quick Answer

The process of getting references from ChatGPT is as simple as asking it directly in a prompt. All you have to do is specify the topic clearly in a question and the chatbot will gather a list of useful sources.

ChatGPT can provide academic references

Academic references are sources of information that support the arguments and claims made in academic writing. They can include books, journal articles, research papers, conference proceedings, and other scholarly publications. Academic references are essential in academic writing as they demonstrate that the author has conducted extensive research on the topic and has consulted relevant sources to support their arguments. References also allow readers to verify the information presented in the paper and explore the topic further.

ChatGPT is a large language model that has access to a vast selection of text and information from various sources, including academic databases, journals, and books. As a result, it can provide you with relevant academic references and resources based on your research topic and requirements. Getting ChatGPT to find academic references is as simple as asking it directly with a specific prompt. The chatbot will then provide a reference list where it will paraphrase some sources related to your topic. Let’s find out more in the steps below.

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How to get references from ChatGPT

Before we start, it’s important to note that if you are researching something that requires recent information you may not find the GPT-3 model, found in the free version of ChatGPT, the most useful. This model cannot access the internet and has an information cutoff of 2021. ChatGPT Plus, Team, and Enterprise can now access the internet, meaning that they can retrieve up-to-date references and provide links to those sources. So if you’re in need of recent references, you may want to consider subscribing to ChatGPT Plus.

Step

1

Open ChatGPT in your Web browser or app

Open ChatGPT in your Web browser or app, then sign up/log into your account

Step

2

Write a prompt to ask ChatGPT

First you’ll have to write a prompt in the chat box at the bottom of the page. This prompt will provide ChatGPT with a topic to find references and sources on.

You can ask ChatGPT a direct question like “Can you provide me with academic references on Climate change?”

The chatbot will take a few seconds to process your query then provide you with a list of references.

 

You can also ask ChatGPT to provide links to references in your prompts. That way you can access the the information quickly and directly.

Step

3

Asking ChatGPT to summarize a topic

In addition to the step written above, you can access sources through ChatGPT by first asking it to provide information on a topic and asking for its references. For example, you can ask “Describe the process of erosion”, and then ask the chatbot to provide references for the previous answer.

ChatGPT can format references

After you’ve found some useful references using the steps listed above, you may be wondering, can ChatGPT help with formatting references? Well, it can! ChatGPT can help format references according to the required citation style, such as MLA, Chicago, or APA format.

For example, you can ask, “How do I cite a journal article in APA style?” or “What is the correct format for citing a book in MLA style?” The language model will then provide the correct citation format based on your specific citation style. You can also ask it to format one of the references that it found on your request:

A screenshot of a digital document listing five scholarly references related to environmental studies that ChatGPT can give.
A screenshot of a digital chat where a user asks, "Can ChatGPT give references in APA format?" and ChatGPT responds with a book citation.

AI tools to help with referencing

Using AI models to help find references can be a useful tool when looking through thousands of sources on platforms like JSTOR or Google Scholar. Generative AI provides users with easy-to-digest information by listing and summarizing sources. There are a number of AI tools out there that are dedicated to providing references for academic work. In the list below we’ve mentioned just a few:

Does ChatGPT provide plagiarism-free references?

ChatGPT provides references and citations based on the information available in its database and, if using ChatGPT Plus, the internet. This is why you must ensure that the references and citations found through ChatGPT are properly cited and plagiarism-free. It is recommended to check the references provided by ChatGPT using plagiarism detection tools before using them in your work.

Conclusion

Academic references are crucial in academic writing as they provide evidence to support the author’s arguments and claims. ChatGPT can help you find relevant academic references based on your research topic and requirements. Whether you need another reference for an assignment or want to know the proper way to cite a reference in a footnote, ChatGPT can help. Follow the simple steps above to get you started, and you’ll be citing new references in no time!

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.

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