Use of Generative AI in thesis preparation

Rules, Guidelines and Advice for ANU Physics Students


Currently the ANU does not outlaw the use of AI tools in the production of higher degree theses. However, if and when AI has been used it MUST be referenced such that it is clear to the reader which generative AI tools were used, as well as how and why they were used. Not to do so would likely constitute academic misconduct as the candidate could be seen as misrepresenting the work as their own original work (ie being ghost written) or as plagiarism (submitting words or ideas from other sources as one's own without acknowledgment).


Before using any AI tools in the production of your thesis you are encouraged to discuss it with your primary supervisor and/or your supervisory panel. In considering whether you adopt AI you would need to take into account how you intend to use it, the expected level of acceptance of AI usage in the academic area and the risk that the thesis examiners may not be accepting of its use.


Candidates are advised that currently the safe option is not to use AI in the writing of their theses. To do so would likely undermine your credibility as a researcher. As Generative AI is not an academic source, it is expected that many examiners and potential employers would see it's use as inappropriate. Whilst AI can be effectively used to 'error check' original writing this would also need to be appropriately disclosed and we suggest that candidates would be better served developing their writing skills throughout their candidature and seeking proofreading assistance from a human when producing their thesis

For noting

All theses now have to be checked with Turnitin for plagiarism before submission and the generated report shared with your supervisor. Turnitin are currently developing software to assess whether AI has been used to generate text. It is unclear how successful this will be given the speed at which AI is developing, but regardless it is likely that anyone familiar with your writing will be easily able to recognise if you have used AI.

Resposible officer

Undergraduate Postgraduate coursework enquiries -