Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t find the citations that ChatGPT gave me. What should I do?

71 views   |   Last updated on May 02, 2024   


ChatGPT and other generative AI tools make up citations that don't exist.

ChatGPT might give you articles by an author that usually writes about your topic, or even identify a journal that published on your topic, but the title, pages numbers, and dates are completely fictional. This is because ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, so has no way of identifying actual sources.

You can try to see if any are valid by searching in Library Search on our home page or in Google Scholar, but chances are the sources do not exist.

It's better to use ChatGPT for tasks like these:

  • Brainstorming and getting unstuck
  • Editing and constructive criticism of your writing
  • Summarizing long texts

It's not designed to be a search engine. Use Library Search, Google Scholar, or databases for your area of study instead.

Adapted from “University of Arizona Libraries, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” 

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