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In the question Is it OK to use GPT-3+ to rewrite your own paper to have better English? @gerrit mentions that:

Check the rules of the journal. Chances are they allow automated spelling, grammar, and style checkers, but not text generators such as ChatGPT.

I've tried to Google for examples of journals with an explicit policy on the use of GPT-like language models but couldn't find any. Given that GPT-3 launched over 2 years ago, have any journals created a policy on the use of such models as an aid for writing papers? I'm not looking for an exhaustive list obviously, just one or two examples of such policies.

Please avoid linking to opinion pieces on what editors "should" do, I'm only interested in binding policies announced by specific journals.

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  • I would be surprised to find a journal that had such a policy. I think it would simply not occur to an editor that an auther would use such a service. The only use case I can imagine would be an attempt to trick the journal into publishing nonsense - there are stories to that effect. Dec 30, 2022 at 19:53
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    @EthanBolker, afaik, no journal has explicitly done that, but there are already guidelines (e.g. ICMJE) which suggest acknowledgement of technical writing assistance. I will list ChatGPT as a writing assistance. There is nothing new about chatgpt that a journal has to take a new action to regulate.
    – Neuchâtel
    Dec 30, 2022 at 19:59
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    @Pikachu피카츄 normally "technical writing assistance" refers to humans though? Or does it cover tools like Word's spellchecking that have existed for a couple of decades? Dec 30, 2022 at 20:01

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By now, several major publishers have implemented policies on GPT-like models. Exactly what they cover varies, but there is at least a consensus that such models cannot be listed as co-authors. Policies allowing the use of such models do require the use to be properly disclosed and documented.

In a Jan 24, 2023 editorial Springer-Nature announced their policy:

Authors. Corresponding author(s) should be identified with an asterisk. Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, do not currently satisfy our authorship criteria. Notably an attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, which cannot be effectively applied to LLMs. Use of an LLM should be properly documented in the Methods section (and if a Methods section is not available, in a suitable alternative part) of the manuscript.

In a Jan 26, 2023 editorial the Science journals announced an update to their policy:

Artificial intelligence (AI) policy: Text generated from AI, machine learning, or similar algorithmic tools cannot be used in papers published in Science journals, nor can the accompanying figures, images, or graphics be the products of such tools, without explicit permission from the editors. In addition, an AI program cannot be an author of a Science journal paper. A violation of this policy constitutes scientific misconduct.

On or before Jan 26, 2023 Elsevier instituted a related policy. Their publishing ethics page now contains:

Where authors use AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process, these technologies should only be used to improve readability and language of the work and not to replace key researcher tasks such as producing scientific insights, analyzing and interpreting data or drawing scientific conclusions. Applying the technology should be done with human oversight and control and authors should carefully review and edit the result, because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete or biased. The authors are ultimately responsible and accountable for the contents of the work.

Authors should disclose in their manuscript the use of AI and AI-assisted technologies and a statement will appear in the published work. Declaring the use of these technologies supports transparency and trust between authors, readers, reviewers, editors and contributors and facilitates compliance with the terms of use of the relevant tool or technology.

Authors should not list AI and AI-assisted technologies as an author or co-author, nor cite AI as an author.

On Feb 17, 2023 Taylor and Francis announced an update to their policies that:

AI tools must not be listed as an author. Authors must, however, acknowledge all sources and contributors included in their work. Where AI tools are used, such use must be acknowledged and documented appropriately.

On Feb 21, 2023 PNAS announced an update to their policy:

Authorship must be limited to those who have contributed substantially to the work. The corresponding author must have obtained permission from all authors for the submission of each version of the paper and for any change in authorship. Use of artificial intelligence (AI) software, such as ChatGPT, must be noted in the Materials and Methods (or Acknowledgments, if no Materials and Methods section is available) section of the manuscript and may not be listed as an author.

Similarly, Oxford University Press has the policy:

Note: Neither symbolic figures such as Camille Noûs nor natural language processing tools driven by artificial intelligence (AI) such as ChatGPT qualify as authors, and OUP will screen for them in author lists. The use of AI (for example, to help generate content, write code, or analyze data) must be disclosed both in cover letters to editors and in the Methods or Acknowledgements section of manuscripts.

This isn't even limited to journal publishers. In a Jan 31, 2023 blog post, arXiv announced a policy stating that they

  1. continue to require authors to report in their work any significant use of sophisticated tools, such as instruments and software; we now include in particular text-to-text generative AI among those that should be reported consistent with subject standards for methodology.

  2. remind all colleagues that by signing their name as an author of a paper, they each individually take full responsibility for all its contents, irrespective of how the contents were generated. If generative AI language tools generate inappropriate language, plagiarized content, biased content, errors, mistakes, incorrect references, or misleading content, and that output is included in scientific works, it is the responsibility of the author(s).

  3. generative AI language tools should not be listed as an author; instead authors should refer to (1).

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  • Thanks! The policies don’t look too bad though there is a hint of Luddism. Feb 28, 2023 at 23:46
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Does this count?

Originality and plagiarism: The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted.

From Elsevier: Ethical publishing. It should cover ChatGPT: if an AI wrote it, it is not your work. I took Elsevier as an example, but basically all publishers have a similar provision.

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  • I don’t think so? The US copyright office ruled that AI works are not subject to copyright protection. Dec 31, 2022 at 3:34
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    @JonathanReez Copyright protection is rather orthogonal to plagiarism. You can't claim that ideas are your own just because they are published in works that lack protection because they've entered the public domain (whether from age or licensing) or were authored by the US government.
    – Anyon
    Dec 31, 2022 at 7:18
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    Exactly this. The other questions and answers here about GPT3 in academic writing suggest that it is okay-ish to use it to some extent, but there are issues which may be out of the authors' control. Still, it is first and foremost the authors' responsibility to ensure that texts they publish under their name adhere to academic standards, and the guidelines of many (most?) journals cover that sufficiently. Dec 31, 2022 at 12:52
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    @JonathanReez, what is "stealing" from an algorithm? Whatever you mean exactly, it sounds like going against academic standards, both before and after 2020. And really, that is totally independent of the quality of the text produced, there are much more severe considerations as you can read in the answers to the different questions on this topic on this site. Dec 31, 2022 at 16:28
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    "Elsevier: Ethical publishing". How ironic. Jan 31, 2023 at 6:38
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Yes, the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) recently added an explicit policy applicable for the 2023 edition of the conference. While strictly speaking not a journal, I think it is still relevant to this question since top-tier conferences in computer science, like ICML, are comparable (and often better) than journals in terms of quality, prestige, and selectivity.

The policy is as follows (emphasis mine):

Ethics:

Authors and members of the program committee, including reviewers, are expected to follow standard ethical guidelines. Plagiarism in any form is strictly forbidden as is unethical use of privileged information by reviewers, ACs, and SACs, such as sharing this information or using it for any other purpose than the reviewing process. Papers that include text generated from a large-scale language model (LLM) such as ChatGPT are prohibited unless these produced text is presented as a part of the paper’s experimental analysis. All suspected unethical behaviors will be investigated by an ethics board and individuals found violating the rules may face sanctions. This year, we will collect names of individuals that have been found to have violated these standards; if individuals representing conferences, journals, or other organizations request this list for decision making purposes, we may make this information available to them. Details of this guideline will be published on the website.

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  • A bit ironic that a conference on machine learning would do this :-) Jan 4, 2023 at 13:28
  • It is probably worth adding that Nature now has explicit guidelines about using LLMs for producing research papers, too; see the Authors section of the submission guidelines at nature.com/nature/for-authors/initial-submission for details. In essence, they say that LLMs can't be authors and that their use has to be made transparent in the Methods or Acknowledgements sections of the submission.
    – Polytropos
    Jan 24, 2023 at 21:23
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Are there examples of journals with an explicit policy on GPT-3 and equivalent language models?

Yes. Examples:

  • NeurIPS 2024:

    Use of Large Language Models (LLMs): We welcome authors to use any tool that is suitable for preparing high-quality papers and research. However, we ask authors to keep in mind two important criteria. First, we expect papers to fully describe their methodology, and any tool that is important to that methodology, including the use of LLMs, should be described also. For example, authors should mention tools (including LLMs) that were used for data processing or filtering, visualization, facilitating or running experiments, and proving theorems. It may also be advisable to describe the use of LLMs in implementing the method (if this corresponds to an important, original, or non-standard component of the approach). Second, authors are responsible for the entire content of the paper, including all text and figures, so while authors are welcome to use any tool they wish for writing the paper, they must ensure that all text is correct and original.

  • ACL 2023: https://2023.aclweb.org/blog/ACL-2023-policy/. ACL also mentions their stance on code-generation programs.

  • CEUR-WS proceedings:

    In the past few months, we have witnessed the emergence of novel large language models (LLM) reaching breakthrough performance on NLP tasks. These include ChatGPT and Galactica, which are AI assistants that can produce long and good quality content that can be seeded for authors’ work. Because of their recent emergence, the norms around the use of such technology is not fully established, yet. Hence, it is important to acknowledge its use and elaborate on how it has been employed.

    Specifically, we define three levels of AI assistance usage: insignificant, low and substantial. We will group the different use cases according to these three categories and we will define CEUR-WS stance.

    Insignificant. Activities like: i) paraphrasing and refining the manuscript content (using Grammarly or other spell checkers), and ii) smart composition (via predictive keyboards) are widely accepted and do not need any acknowledgement.

    Low. The use of AI tools for searching and generating literature review is acceptable upon authors’ checks. Authors must review the content and adjust/add references to line up with the narrative of their manuscript. In case of generating unoriginal content (i.e., definition, or description of well-known concepts) may be acceptable provided that the authors have checked it to be accurate and included proper references to the original content.

    Substantial. Using AI assistants for generating new ideas as well as new text is unacceptable. Most of the generated content may derive from existing work. Potential issues with such practice are related to originality, plagiarism, ownership, and authorship, whose consequences and impact are not yet clear.

    Regardless of the cases above, CEUR-WS publishes original work from named authors, and thus contributions from AI assistants can only be stated in the acknowledgements and/or by suitable references at the original research papers. We require that all authors and workshop editors adhere to these guidelines. Their violation will lead to the removal of the published paper or the whole volume, similar to our procedures dealing with plagiarism.

    As this technology is in current development, we plan to continuously review this policy in the upcoming months.

    This policy section is partly inspired by the “ACL 2023 Policy on AI Writing Assistance” available here.

    Related documents:

    1. US Copyright Office's Guidance on AI-Generated Material (2023-03-16)
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IEEE Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Generated Text (retrieved May 7, 2024):

The use of content generated by artificial intelligence (AI) in an article (including but not limited to text, figures, images, and code) shall be disclosed in the acknowledgments section of any article submitted to an IEEE publication. The AI system used shall be identified, and specific sections of the article that use AI-generated content shall be identified and accompanied by a brief explanation regarding the level at which the AI system was used to generate the content.

The use of AI systems for editing and grammar enhancement is common practice and, as such, is generally outside the intent of the above policy. In this case, disclosure as noted above is recommended.

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