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Disclosure and Attribution of AI and Writing Tools

Your course syllabus may specify that you need to disclose any AI or writing tools used to improve your work.  The purpose of this Guide is to explain how to do that.

There is a difference between disclosing the tools used and attributing, or crediting, any content that AI generates.  

  • A disclosure is a requirement unique to CGI, made by request of the faculty.  A disclosure is used to alert faculty to any AI or writing tools that have been used in the creation of work for grading.
  • An attribution is a general best practice when content is created in partnership with AI tools, as established concepts such as fair use and copyright apply to the creation and use of generative AI content.  It serves to give credit to the AI tool for role in authorship and provides detailed information about the output from these tools.

Please refer to your course syllabus for any specific approvals or limitations regarding the use of AI in your coursework.

Why a Disclosure?

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools is becoming increasingly prevalent. To maintain transparency, uphold academic integrity, and facilitate meaningful discourse, CGI asks students to disclose the use of any AI or writing tools in assignments submitted for grading. Here are several reasons why this practice is essential:

  1. Prevention of Misunderstandings: Disclosure helps prevent misunderstandings between students and instructors regarding the sources of content and its originality.

  2. Facilitation of Conversations: It serves as a starting point for meaningful conversations between students and faculty about the role and impact of AI tools on the writing process.

  3. Ethical Considerations: Recognizing the use of AI tools promotes ethical considerations regarding the responsible use of technology in academic settings.

  4. Learning Opportunities: Openly discussing tool usage provides valuable learning opportunities for both students and instructors to explore the capabilities and limitations of AI technology.

Directions for Including a Disclosure in Academic Work

In an APA-formatted paper, a disclosure is considered a type of author note.  These are titled as “Author Note” and are typically placed on the bottom half of the title page.

 Printable Directions for Disclosures for AI and Writing Tools

Two examples of disclosures:  one where tools are disclosed and one where no tools are used.

Figure 1.  Examples of Disclosures as Part of an Author Note

Language for Disclosures

When disclosing the use of tools, indicate the tool used, whether it was a paid version and what kind, and how the tool was used.  If no tools or artificial intelligences were used, state that as well.

Example 1:

In the process of writing this paper, I used the following artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and writing tools:

  1. Grammarly (Premium version)  was used to generate an outline for this paper and to correct errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics. 

  2. Zotero (free) was used as a reference management tool to organize sources and generate citations.  

  3. Power BI (free)  was used to analyze raw data, create initial findings, and generate charts for the Conclusions section of this paper.

  4. Canva (paid version) was used to generate slides for the oral presentation from the text of this paper.

Example 2:

No artificial intelligence technologies or writing tools were used in the construction of this paper.

Disclosures in PowerPoints, Graphics, Etc.

In the case of assignments where the deliverable is not an APA formatted paper, students should still disclose the use of any AI tools.  In these cases, use your best judgment as to how to present this information, so as not to interfere with the presentation of the work.  Some possibilities include:

  • A slide at the end of a PowerPoint presentation, with disclosures as needed.

  • A separate Word document, uploaded to the assignment folder, with disclosures as needed.

Example of PowerPoint Slide used for disclosures Example of Word document used for disclosures


What Tools Should be Disclosed?

In general, a student should disclose the use of any tool or technology that significantly contributed to the writing process or directly influenced the content of the paper.  This list below is not comprehensive but is provided to give examples of what might be considered a tool to disclose.

  1.  Language Models.  This includes AI models like Chat GPT, Jasper, Claude, Co-Pilot, Bard, Sudowrite or similar models used for generating text, improving coherence, and providing suggestions during the writing process.

  2. Grammar Checkers:  AI-powered grammar checkers such as Grammarly, Quillbot, or Hemingway Editor identify and correct grammatical errors, improve sentence structure, and enhance readability.

  3. Citation Generators:  Zotero, EasyBib, Mendeley, and similar tools which assist in managing references, generating citations in various styles (APA, AMA, MLA, etc) and creating bibliographies.

  4. Research Assistants:  AI-powered research assistants or search engines like Semantic Scholar, IBM Watson, Tableau, Microsoft Academic, etc, which help students to find relevant scholarly articles, books, and other academic sources related to their topics.

  5. Content summarizers:  AI tools that automatically summarize lengthy texts or articles, such as SummarizeBot, Resoomer, Scite, Scholarcy, that extract key information and condense complex ideas into concise summaries.

  6. Translation tools:  Google Translate, DeepL, or any tool that assists students to translate text from one language to another.

  7. Style and tone analyzers:  IBM Watson Tone Analyzer or Text Analyzer or similar tools provide feedback on the emotional tone, formality, and readability of the text.

  8. Data analysis tools:  PowerBI, Tableau, and other tools that can analyze data, uncover patterns, provide insights, and create visuals to explain them.

  9. Visuals, slide decks, and videos:  Canva, Adobe Spark, Lumen5 and other tools with AI-powered features that can generate slides, visuals, charts, infographics, scripts, or videos and that can suggest edits, transitions, and effects to enhance the final product. 

Although the following can be considered technological tools and do often use artificial intelligence to power various features, you do not need to disclose their use:

  1.  Any of the standard “Office” type of products, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint; Google Docs, Slides, Sheets; Apple Pages, Numbers, Keynote.  (Note:  if you use Co-Pilot or any other integrated AI tool, that use should be disclosed.)

  2. Turnitin or Turnitin Draft Coach

  3. The CORE Library or Google Scholar

Why an Author Note? Why not an Appendix?

The decision was made to use an Author Note, as opposed to an Appendix, to reflect faculty's wish to have this information before they read the body of a student's work.  Author Notes may be used for disclosures, per the APA Manual, 7th edition.

Preparing an Author Note was also determined to be a good APA skill to master as doctoral students prepare to submit work for publication.

An Appendix is appropriate when students have used AI to generate work and need to provide explanation and/or a transcript of the output from the AI tool.

Specific guidance on Author Notes can be found in the APA Manual, 7th edition, page 35.