ESNBU POSITION STATEMENT Re: AI-assisted and AI-generated writing in manuscripts


OpenAI's ChatGPT made the news in late January 2023 by passing licensing exams in Medicine, Law and Business.

And while academic integrity has been helped by AI tools for a number of years, the latest developments of such Large Language Models with their rapidly increasing sophistication have already become a concern to publishers and editors.

ESNBU is publishing a position statement in relation to AI-assisted writing and AI-generated writing in manuscripts by tools such as ChatGPT. We adopt the COPE position verbatim, whose guidelines we follow.

AI tools cannot meet the requirements for authorship as they cannot take responsibility for the submitted work. As non-legal entities, they cannot assert the presence or absence of conflicts of interest nor manage copyright and license agreements.

Authors who use AI tools in the writing of a manuscript, production of images or graphical elements of the paper, or in the collection and analysis of data, must be transparent in disclosing in the Materials and Methods (or similar section) of the paper how the AI tool was used and which tool was used. Authors are fully responsible for the content of their manuscript, even those parts produced by an AI tool, and are thus liable for any breach of publication ethics.

We strongly discourage submission of manuscripts which are generated by LLM. Manuscripts that include text generated from AI/LLM shall only be considered if the produced text is presented as a part of the paper's experiment and/or experimental analysis. Therefore, use of AI/LLM must be disclosed.

In case of non-disclosure of use of such tools, we will reject such manuscripts. Additionally, if a published paper is detected post-publication to have been generated or enhanced by LLM, we shall retract the said publication.

Although tools to detect AI-assisted writing and AI-generated texts exist (e.g. Turnitin, ZeroGPT) they are not reliable enough yet.

Use of AI-generated text proliferates into education, certification, hiring and recruitment, social writing platforms, disinformation, and beyond and this has raise ethical concerns among educational institutions and academic publishers.

As debates around AI-assisted and AI-generated writing are evolving, we shall do our best to keep up with best practices in the publishing industry and shall revisit our policy.