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AI LLM Tools for Academic Research

As many know by now, one of the biggest issues with using AI language models for academic research is that they make stuff up and present falsehoods as facts. This makes them unsuitable for tasks where accuracy is extremely important, but at the same time, presents opportunities for important discussions about misinformation and bias.

What can tools like ChatGPT, Bard, or Bing do? They can help you get ideas for how to begin your research and search for scholarship. It can suggest keywords, search strings, and format citations. You can prompt ChatGPT to be more specific in one or more areas, but note that the same will happen - a mix of good ideas, wrong ideas, and overly broad suggestions. 

There are better alternatives to the free ChatGPT for academic research, instead try Perplexity AI or Elicit AI. For example, ChatGPT has very limited knowledge of events that happened after 2021 and does not have the ability to cite its sources to the extent that Perplexity, Elicit, & Bing can. Do not trust or accept citations that are suggested by any AI program- track down and verify every source that is mentioned.

The number of new AI LLM tools has exploded in the past couple of years. I have tested and experimented with the more well-known tools listed above, but here is a sampling of a few more and very brief info about what they do. You can find them all with a quick search in your browser. Some are available free to users who create an account/login, others require a paid or institutional subscription.

  • CORE-GPT (scans millions of Open Access scientific publications)
  • DataSeer (scans scientific texts for data descriptions)
  • GDELT Project (monitors world news and broadcasts)
  • Hum (analyzes how publishing audiences interact with content)
  • (specific to chemistry, pharma, medtech searching & filtering)
  • LASER AI (tool for systematic reviews)
  • Prophy (ranks articles & researchers for research, review, recruitment)
  • Scholarcy (article summarizing tool)
  • (analyzes citations in scientific papers) 
  • SOMA (automates data prep, model training, and evaluation)
  • Writefull (writing and proofreading)

Citing AI (APA, Chicago, MLA)

If you choose to use ChatGPT or some other AI technology for writing, be sure you are transparent about your use of it with your teachers and publishers and working within their policies and parameters. Each citation style has different recommendations for citing generative AI tools like ChatGPT. Some examples are listed below, but check with the individual style guides for more detailed instructions on in text citation and variations. 

APA 7:

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].

MLA 9:

“Example of an MLA citation” prompt. ChatGPT, GPT-4, OpenAI, 30 Jun. 2023,

Chicago 17 (Numbered Footnote): 

1. Text generated by ChatGPT, OpenAI, March 7, 2023,

AI in Education & the Classroom