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Using Generative AI in Research

This Research Guide provides information on the use of Generative AI in academic papers and research, and provides guidance on the ethical use of Generative AI in an academic setting.

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Check With Your Professor

Before using Generative AI for a research paper or class project, check with your professor if they allow the use of Generative AI for their course and any restrictions that may apply.

Be Mindful Of Wrong Information

Many Generative AI Tools have limitations:

  • They are trained on data with cut off dates meaning the data they use may be outdated
  • Many are not connected to the internet and cannot update or verify content they create.

Be Mindful Of Fictious Information

Large language models (LLMs) are prone to "hallucinations" generating fictitious information, presented as factual or accurate. This can include citations, publications, biographical information, and other information commonly used in research and academic papers.

Be Aware Of Biases

Generative AI models often include biases from the data they are trained on. A few examples of biases that have been identified include a tendency to use American/western perspectives in the responses & amplifying societal stereotypes.

Cite Your Sources

If you use any kind of Generative AI for your paper or class project, make sure to properly cite and acknowledge the content created by AI.

Stay Informed

USC Libraries and other departments across campus provide information for students, researchers, and instructors to stay informed about the use of Generative AI in academia.