The use of AI and AI-assisted writing technologies in scientific writing

Frequently asked questions

Authorship implies responsibilities and tasks that can only be attributed to and performed by humans. Each (co-) author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved and authorship requires the ability to approve the final version of the work and agree to its submission. Authors are also responsible for ensuring that the work is original, that the stated authors qualify for authorship, and the work does not infringe third party rights.

Elsevier will monitor developments around generative AI and AI-assisted technologies and will adjust or refine this policy should it be appropriate. More information about our authorship policy can be viewed here:

No, this policy does not cover tools such as spelling or grammar checkers. In addition, the policy does not cover reference managers that enable authors to collect, organize, annotate and use references to scholarly articles – such as Mendeley, EndNote, Zotero and others. These tools can be used by authors without disclosure. This policy is specific to AI and AI-assisted tools, such as Large Language Models, which can generate output that may be used to create a scientific work.

No, this policy refers to generative AI and AI-assisted technologies, such as Large Language Models, when they are used during the scientific writing process. This policy does not prevent the use of AI and AI-assisted tools in formal research design or research methods. We recognize that this is common in many fields. Where AI or AI-assisted tools are used in this context, they should be described as part of the methodology of the work, with details provided in the Methods section.

We ask authors who have used AI or AI-assisted tools to insert a statement at the end of their manuscript, immediately above the references, entitled ‘Declaration of Generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process’. In that statement, we ask authors to specify the tool that was used and the reason for using the tool. We suggest that authors follow this format when preparing their statement:

During the preparation of this work the author(s) used [NAME TOOL / SERVICE] in order to [REASON]. After using this tool/service, the author(s) reviewed and edited the content as needed and take(s) full responsibility for the content of the publication.

It is not acceptable to enhance, obscure, move, remove, or introduce a specific feature within an image. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Manipulating images for improved clarity is accepted, but manipulation for other purposes could be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly. In consideration of this, we do not permit the use of AI or AI-assisted tools to create or alter images in submitted manuscripts. The only exception is if the use of AI or AI-assisted tools in the creation or alteration of images is part of the research design or research methods. If this is done, we require a clear description of the content that was created or altered, an explanation of how the AI or AI-assisted tools were used in the creation or alteration process, and the name of the model or tool, version and extension numbers, and manufacturer.