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Chicago Referencing Guide

Notes-Bibliography Style

Personal communications

  • Conversations, unpublished letters, emails and text messages are all unrecoverable by your reader. Therefore they are classed as personal communications.
  • Cite personal communications only in notes.
  • Include a name, type of communication, and a date.


61. Joanie Walker, telephone conversation with author, April 6, 2022.

You can also cite a personal communication directly in your text, rather than in your notes, by including key elements in a sentence.

In an email to the author on February 12, 2018, Te Papa's senior curator, Puawai Cairns, listed the following criteria...

Unpublished interviews

  • Unpublished interviews (including those you have conducted yourself) should usually be cited only in notes. Include them in your bibliography if they are critical to your argument or frequently cited.
  • Include the following information: name of the interviewee and interviewer, place and date of the interview (if known), location of any tapes or transcripts (if known).
  • Published interviews should be cited by citing the source where they were published (book, journal article, etc.).


62. Ursula Toksvig, interview by author, Auckland, March 22, 2017.

63. Vladimir Nabokov, interview by Nathalie Shahovskoy, May 14, 1958, transcript, Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov papers 1918-1974, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Generative artificial intelligence (AI)

If you use text generated by ChatGPT or other AI software, you should cite it as a form of personal communication, as this content can't be retrieved by the reader of your work. 

  • Include the name of the AI software, the date the text was generated, and the name of the publisher or producer of the software.
  • Optionally, you can include the prompt which the AI was responding to, and/or a general URL for the software (the specific URL for the generated text should not be included, as it will require a user login).
  • Cite the source in notes only, do not include it in your bibliography.


24. Text generated by ChatGPT, April 14, 2023, OpenAI,

15. ChatGPT, response to "Why is the sky blue?" May 21, 2023, OpenAI.