Using AI tools for research is a great option for many reasons. But one thing to keep in mind is that you still need to evaluate the information received from AI tools. This includes articles, books, book chapters, or other resources "found" by a tool like ChatGPT. Read more below about evaluating the resources found using these tools.
As of fall semester 2023, it's a known issue that tools like ChatGPT will "hallucinate" sources when asked to "cite their sources" by a user; in other words the chat bot will create fake information. The fake information can include sources that don't exist or misrepresentation of a real source by inaccurately reporting what it says. This is one of the biggest reasons to evaluate and fact-check the sources you find using an AI tool. Take a look at the linked articles below for examples of how ChatGPT and similar tools can hallucinate.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against AI hallucinations is to fact check any sources provided to you by AI. This could be as simple as searching for articles by title using Lavery Library's Big Red Box or Google Scholar. The video below is a quick how-to demonstrating how to search for articles using the title and the Big Red Box.
At its core, citation tracking is about looking for resources that are interconnected by references. These references can be found embedded into an article, as happens with many online news publications. NPR heavily uses embedded citation links in their online articles, you can view an example below. Some AI tools will do this as well, like Microsoft's Bing chatbot that will let users know where it's pulling information. However, this isn't always the case, and that's where you will want to use you evaluation skills. Need a refresher? The video below offers a brief explanation about how to evaluate sources. You can also review the Library's Fake News Guide.
A note from the Librarians:
You can always check with Fisher experts about the use of AI in your courses or research. These experts include Fisher librarians, academic advisors, Writing & Tutoring, DePeters Center staff, and your faculty.
If you need help citing your use of AI, consult the Library's Citation Guide (linked below). We have provided the latest guidance for many of the most widely used styles across campus. This includes: APA 7, MLA 9, CSE, Chicago, and NLM.