Emerging Standards for Using LLMs Like ChatGPT in Research Publications

The journal Nature, and all other Springer Nature titles, have updated their Guide to Authors with rules for using LLMs like ChatGPT when writing research articles for the publication. To summarize, the rules say:

1. DO NOT list the LLM as an author, and

2. DO describe how you used the LLM in a Methods, Acknowledgments, or other appropriate section.

With a journal as prestigious as Nature having established formal guidelines, I expect other journals will adopt similar rules relatively quickly.

It’s interesting to see how different fields are grappling with the different issues raised by LLMs. As I wrote in my most recent post, the US Copyright Office has stated that works created by generative AI are not eligible for copyright protection because copyright is reserved for “‘the fruits of intellectual labor’ that ‘are founded in the creative powers of the [human] mind.'” In refusing to list an LLM as an author or co-author on a research article, Nature takes a different approach, explaining, “any attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, and AI tools cannot take such responsibility.”