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Acknowledging use of AI

Advice to help you transparently acknowledge Artificial Intelligence in your academic work.

What is acknowledgment

Newcastle University's approach to the use of AI technologies requires you to openly and transparently acknowledge how and why you have used it.

Acknowledgment simply means describing how you have used Generative AI in the process of creating a work for submission. While you may not have used the content directly as a source of information in a quotation or citation, to maintain good academic practice and the fairness of assessment, you must acknowledge this contribution.

The emphasis is on demonstrating critical use of the tools, questioning their value, accuracy, and appropriateness for the task. Articulating how and where AI has informed or supported your work will allow you to demonstrate the development of your own learning while avoiding academic misconduct.  

There are many different ways that you may have used AI tools in the preperation of an assessment. These could be tools built into existing applications or stand alone. While you may not have used content directly as a source of information in a quotation or citation, you may have used it as a digital assistant in the creation of your assessed work. To maintain good academic practice and the fairness of assessment you must acknowledge this contribution. 

Be sure to refer to any guidance provided by your module tutors and read your assignment briefs carefully. You may find that your School or lecturer have specific requirements for how you are expected to engage with and acknowledge AI for any piece of assessed work.

How do you acknowledge the contribution of AI?

It is good academic practice to provide a brief summary acknowledging how, why, and when you have used AI technologies. Describing not only what you did but why will help you be more critical in your selection and use of these tools, consider the role of AI in the learning process, and understand its impact on your work.

This may take the form of a short statement at the end of your reference list that includes:

  • a list of the AI tools used and why you chose them
  • a brief explanation of what you used the tool for (for example, to gather information, to aid your understanding of a concept, topic or course materials, to generate new ideas or plan your writing, to check facts, or to analyse data)
  • example prompts you might want to highlight, including annotations or a comment on why they were useful.

Providing a more detailed acknowledgment

If your module leader has indicated that you are required to submit a detailed acknowledgement outlining all tools used, prompts and output, follow this guidance. 

Name the AI technologies and summarise how you have used them

For example:

  • I acknowledge the use of <insert name(s) and url> to generate information for background research and at the drafting stage of the writing process with the creation of an outline structure for this essay.  
  • I acknowledge the use of <insert name(s) and url> to identify improvements in the writing style.
  • I acknowledge the use of <insert name(s) and url> as an information source to generate materials that were included within my final assessment in my own words. 
  • I acknowledge the use of <insert name(s) and url> to create the images included in this presentation.
  • No content generated by AI technologies has been presented as my own work

Describe how the information or materials were generated

Provide a description of the prompt or question you used, the output generated, and how you modified the material for inclusion in your assessment. Your module leader may ask you to include this information as an appendix at the end of your work.

For example:

  • Prompts used with <AI name>: list your prompts
  • Output generated: Provide a copy of the output created
  • The output was modified as follows: briefly explain the changes you made

Provide a reference

Using guidance for the referencing style used by your subject, provide a reference for the tool you have used including the url and date accessed. Cite Them Right Online has guidance on how to provide a reference in the Harvard format, treating generative AI chat based tools as a form of personal communication.

For example: 

  • Cite Them Right Harvard - OpenAI Chat GPT (2023) ChatGPT response to John Smith, 28 March. Available at:
  • MLA - ChatGPT, 14 Mar. version, OpenAI, 28 Mar. 2023,


In the same way that you would reference an idea, text or quote from a scholarly source in your assignment, if you use AI generated content as a source of information (e.g. as a direct quotation, summary or paraphrased section) you will need to reference it too and provide in-text citations.