On 9 August, the journal Physica Scripta published a paper that aimed to uncover new solutions to a complex mathematical equation1. It seemed genuine, but scientific sleuth Guillaume Cabanac spotted an odd phrase on the manuscript’s third page: ‘Regenerate response’.

The phrase was the label of a button on ChatGPT, the free-to-use AI chatbot that generates fluent text when users prompt it with a question. Cabanac, a computer scientist at the University of Toulouse in France, promptly posted a screenshot of the page in question on PubPeer — a website where scientists discuss published research.

The authors have since confirmed with the journal that they used ChatGPT to help draft their manuscript, says Kim Eggleton, head of peer review and research integrity at IOP Publishing, Physica Scripta’s publisher in Bristol, UK. The anomaly was not spotted during two months of peer review (the paper was submitted in May, and a revised version sent in July) or during typesetting. The publisher has now decided to retract the paper, because the authors did not declare their use of the tool when they submitted. “This is a breach of our ethical policies,” says Eggleton. Corresponding author Abdullahi Yusuf, who is jointly affiliated with Biruni University in Istanbul and the Lebanese American University in Beirut, did not respond to Nature’s request for comment.

To read more, click here.