Answered By: Iris Carroll
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2024     Views: 23

ChatGPT makes 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 creatively unstuck
  • Editing and constructive criticism of your writing
  • Explaining concepts at multiple difficulty levels
  • Summarizing long texts
  • other writing and text-related tasks.

It's not designed to be a search engine. Instead use the Library DatabasesLibrary Catalog, or Google Scholar.

Another option for searching the web is Perplexity AI. It combines a language model with a search engine and provides links to its sources, so you can fact-check. It doesn't include all the scholarly resources you would find in Library Search or Google Scholar, but it can be a complementary tool for finding web search results with natural language.

Attribution: "I can't find the citations that ChatGPT gave me. What should I do?" by University Libraries, The University of Arizona is licensed under CC BY 4.0

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