• 3-minute read
  • 18th September 2017

Oxford Referencing – Citing an Online Video

YouTube might be best known as a source of procrastination, but there is plenty of educational content on there, too. If you are going to use this in an essay, though, you need to know how to cite an online video. Here, we look at doing this with Oxford referencing.

When to Cite an Online Video

You can’t rely on YouTube alone when writing an essay. Most of your sources will probably be books, websites and journal articles. But if you find a video that says something interesting about your essay topic that you haven’t found elsewhere, you can use it in your work.

The key thing here is making sure any video you cite is a reliable source, such as video lectures uploaded by well-known universities. If you’re planning on citing a random vlog by BIEBERFAN69, though, you might want to find a more traditional source instead.

We couldn’t afford a picture of the real Justin Bieber, unfortunately.
(Image: Emily Burnett/Flickr)

Oxford Footnote Citations for an Online Video

The standard footnote format for an online video in Oxford referencing is:

n. Title of Video, [online video], publishing organisation, date of publication, URL, date of access.

The ‘publishing organisation’ here is usually the uploader of the video. For example, we could cite a Yale University lecture about Don Quixote as follows:

1. Don Quixote, Part I: Front Matter and Chapters I-X, [online video], YaleCourses, 1 March 2011, <www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZkoBeI6gVM>, accessed 17 August 2017.

If you cite the same source again, a shortened footnote format can be used.

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Bibliography Entry

In your bibliography, the format for an online video is pretty much the same as in the first footnote. The only differences are that:

  • You don’t need a footnote number at the beginning.
  • Each line after the first should be indented by a half-inch (1.27cm).

For example, we would list the video above as follows:

Don Quixote, Part I: Front Matter and Chapters I-X, [online video], YaleCourses, 1 March 2011, <www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZkoBeI6gVM>, accessed 17 August 2017.

Since online video citations don’t include an author name, use the titles of videos to determine their alphabetical positions in the bibliography.

A Note About Oxford Referencing

There are many variations of Oxford referencing, so the correct format to use may depend on where you are studying. As such, you should always check your university’s style guide.

If you cannot find any instructions about citing online videos, you could ask your supervisor for advice. But as long as you use a consistent style throughout your work, you should be fine.

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