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ECON 3700 - Writing as an Economist (Spring 2024): Generative AI Tools: Responsible Use

HKUST Info & Guidelines

Generative AI & Education - Maintained by HKUST's Center for Education and Innovation. It provides information on HKUST's current guidelines on the use of generative AI and further information, including:

General Guidelines

Research Help AI Tools

Scite  - HKUST subscribes to Scite, which  can help you find & evaluate articles. It has a sub-section,Scite Assistant, (in beta) that allows you to ask questions, which are answered with generated text and embedded reference, with the references md  links on the right.

Elicit -  Helps do research reviews. Type in a research topic and on the left it will give you references and on the right, summaries of the abstract. Links to papers via DOI and via Semantic Scholar.  Built by a non-profit company, Ought, based in California and Delaware in the USA. No direct links to full-text.

Consensus -  Helps to do research reviews. Type in a research topic and it provides a list of one-sentence summaries of research articles. Links to papers via semantic scholar.  Possible to click through semantic scholar to get to full-text of subscribed things if you are ON campus (e.g. I was able to access an Elsevier article on campus). Company appears to be a partner of Semantic Scholar.

ChatPDF - Summarizes pdfs for you -  how, who owns it? Not clear.

Semantic Reader - An AI-powered augmented scientific reading application available in Semantic Scholar. Features include automatic highlighted overlays to key information on a paper and citation cards that show details of a cited paper in-line where you're reading. Note that the Reader is not available for all papers but it works on most arXiv papers.


AI Literacy - The Robot Test

Being AI Literate does not mean you need to understand the advanced mechanics of AI. It means that you are actively learning about the technologies involved and that you critically approach any texts you read that concern AI, especially news articles. 

We have created a tool you can use when reading about AI applications to help consider the legitimacy of the technology.






  • How reliable is the information available about the AI technology?
  • If it’s not produced by the party responsible for the AI, what are the author’s credentials? Bias?
  • If it is produced by the party responsible for the AI, how much information are they making available? 
    • Is information only partially available due to trade secrets?
    • How biased is the information that they produce?
  • What is the goal or objective of the use of AI?
  • What is the goal of sharing information about it?
    • To inform?
    • To convince?
    • To find financial support?
  • What could create bias in the AI technology?
  • Are there ethical issues associated with this?
  • Are bias or ethical issues acknowledged?
    • By the source of information?
    • By the party responsible for the AI?
    • By its users?
  • Who is the owner or developer of the AI technology?
  • Who is responsible for it?
    • Is it a private company?
    • The government?
    • A think tank or research group?
  • Who has access to it?
  • Who can use it?
  • Which subtype of AI is it?
  • Is the technology theoretical or applied?
  • What kind of information system does it rely on?
  • Does it rely on human intervention? 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

To cite in APA: Hervieux, S. & Wheatley, A. (2020). The ROBOT test [Evaluation tool]. The LibrAIry.

When is it OK to use a generative tool (AI)?

Check & Cross-check the Results

A common problem with many generative AI text tools is that they generate nonsense, especially made-up citations (references).

So, if you are using texts that you created using ChatGPT or other AI tools, use your eyes and your brain to check the work. Evaluate the information provided, just like anything you plan to use academically. 

1. Cross-check what it says & do "lateral reading"

  • Check against your own knowledge
  • Check against Wikipedia or Britannica
  • See if other reliable sources state the same thing
  • This is not new with generative AI, it's always been good scholarly practice

To learn more about lateral reading,  watch:

2. Confirm that any references it provides are real

3. If the references (citations) are real, check that they support the claim

  • This is *NOT* a new issue with AI tools, it's always been important to do so.
  • This is proper scholarly practice when working with sources both in print and online.

4. If you use ChatGPT or other AI tools in your work, you need to acknowledge it.


Some of this content was based on the work of Amy Scheelke of Salt Lake Community College, her LibGuide:

Citing AI content in APA style

APA style

How to cite ChatGPT - APA Style Blog (April 7,  2023)

The guide covers examples on:

  • Quoting or reproducing the text created by ChatGPT in your paper (in general, treat as "Personal communication")
  • Creating a reference to ChatGPT or other AI models and software (in general, treat as "Software")
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