This page includes helpful information about using AI as part of your college research projects.  Remember to make sure your professor permits the use of AI before you use it to complete any coursework.  Using AI when not permitted is a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.

Tips for Using AI:

  • AI will sometimes “hallucinate” and give incorrect information.  Be sure to fact check AI by comparing its answers to other sources.
  • AI will often “make up” sources for the answers it provides.  Always confirm that the sources provided by AI actually exist.
  • Even if AI is permitted for a research project, you’ll still need to cite it.  Both MLA and APA have created rules for citing AI.  Check out the library APA and MLA guides for details.
  • Getting the best information from AI requires that you write effective prompts.  This guide from Harvard includes excellent information on writing AI prompts.

Using AI for Research Handout  – This handout covers the strengths and weakness of using AI as part of the research process.  Like any other tool, AI has to be used the right way.

AI Tools for Research – Here are some of the different AI tools that you can use for research.  Each one is free or has a free version but some may require you to make a free account.

ChatGPT – One of the most popular AI tools, ChatGPT is useful but be aware that it is providing information that is at least one year old.  So it will not have information on the latest current events and scientific discoveries.  ChatGPT will also refuse or struggle to provide the sources of its information, making citation of sources difficult or impossible.

Google Gemini – This is Google’s AI tool.  Unlike ChatGPT, Gemini is using the latest information from the internet.  However, because it is using the latest information it also means that information hasn’t been vetted and may be more error prone.  Gemini will link to sources that provide relevant information on the topic you are researching but it won’t provide the actual sources it uses.

Microsoft Co-Pilot – This AI chat tool is embedded within Microsoft’s Edge browser.  Co-Pilot is based on the same technology as ChatGPT.  Co-Pilot will provide the sources used in its responses if you ask it to do so.

Perplexity – This chat AI tool generates its responses from a list of sources that are curated for quality and it includes links to the sources it uses.  An AI tool that automatically provides links to its sources is very helpful when you need to cite sources for a research project.

Elicit – This AI tool searches a large database of scholarly peer reviewed articles and then provides you a list of sources related to your question.  It also summarizes the articles and provides abstracts.  Note that some articles may be behind a paywall.

Consensus – Consensus searches a large database of scholarly articles and provides links and summaries of articles that provide information based on your prompt. While the summaries are helpful, you should always read the articles themselves to get the most accurate information. This is another excellent source for researchers.  While Consensus is free some features require a paid premium account.

Research Rabbit – This tool asks you to identify research articles on a topic that interested you and then it searches to locate similar articles for you.  Think of it like music streaming platforms that create playlists based on your music tastes, but instead with scholarly articles.