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I am in the process of submitting a research paper to an IEEE journal. While going through the submission guidelines, I came across the following instruction:

  • The use of artificial intelligence (AI)–generated text in an article shall be disclosed in the acknowledgements section of any paper submitted to an IEEE Conference or Periodical. The sections of the paper that use AI-generated text shall have a citation to the AI system used to generate the text. source

For the creation of my research paper, I typically write an initial draft that includes all the necessary citations. Then, I employ the assistance of an AI tool (specifically GPT) to rephrase or elaborate on my initial text. This AI does not autonomously generate any text; instead, it helps to enhance and polish the original draft, improving its readability and grammatical accuracy.

My confusion lies in the interpretation of the aforementioned guideline. Given that all of the text in my paper has been "enhanced" or "refined" by AI, even though it doesn't originate any content, does it need to be cited as per the guideline? How should I proceed with acknowledging the use of AI in my paper under these circumstances?

I would appreciate any insights or suggestions on how to comply correctly with the IEEE's policy regarding AI-generated text.

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  • To sum up: The use of AI in my paper was purely to improve grammar and readability of my original work, which is free of plagiarism. Additionally, the similarity index of my paper is low, further confirming there's no plagiarism issue. I'm merely looking for guidance on how to properly cite this AI usage, as per the IEEE guidelines.
    – hanugm
    Jul 9, 2023 at 18:31
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    This seems like a question best suited to ask the editors, as they are the ones who should make a decision in cases where their guideline is unclear.
    – Sursula
    Jul 10, 2023 at 7:19
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    The "to sum up" bit should be in the question, not a comment. Jul 10, 2023 at 12:47
  • I would like to clarify that my reference to plagiarism was made to emphasize that the AI tool I used, specifically GPT, is not drawing or replicating text from external sources. Rather, it serves to enhance and rephrase the original content I provide to it, improving readability and grammatical accuracy. My intent was to draw a distinction between the use of AI for content generation (which could potentially be misconstrued as plagiarism) and its use as a tool to refine and improve already original content, which is the manner in which I utilized it in my work.
    – hanugm
    Jul 10, 2023 at 12:49
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    You just said: "GPT, is not drawing or replicating text from external sources", this is not true, GPT was trained on large amounts of text, and it is known for drawing and replicating parts of its training set, which is plagiarism in an academic context.
    – Dr. Snoopy
    Jul 10, 2023 at 13:39

2 Answers 2

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I do not think that the meaning of this request to cite the AI-text generator only refers to instances when the AI "created" the text.

In your comment you mention plagiarism, in a way from which I gather that you kind of equate using AI tools for text generation as bordering on plagiarism. Any respectable scientific publication should be free of plagiarized passages anyway. So if you equate using AI to generate text as bordering on plagiarism than the only meaning of that request to cite AI use should be the one you mentioned: using it to improve texts grammatically that you have written yourself. A short note like "To improve readability and quality of language, all parts of this paper have been grammatically revised using XXX system." would be the best way to do it.

It sounds like you feel at least a bit uncomfortable to admit that you used AI - because otherwise you would not ask if this definition means that you have to indicate the AI use. If you are not willing to freely admit that you used AI on your paper (unless absolutely necessary), and consider AI use in any more extensive form than you used yourself as (bordering on) plagiarism, maybe you should evaluate if the gain that comes from using AI is really woth it.

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The guidelines are pretty clear. If there is any AI generated text in the manuscript then it needs to be disclosed. It doesn't matter for what reason. Incidentally, plagiarism isn't just copied text.

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