YouTube videos can be cited using the conventional MLA or APA styles. Citations of YouTube or any online video need to be up-to-date with as much information you can include to help the readers find your referenced video. A YouTube citation would generally have the channel name of the creator publication date, title, and URL of the video. Here’s our complete guide on “How to cite a YouTube video?”

How to cite a YouTube video?

Things that you need for a complete citation

APA and MLA are the most commonly used citation techniques when talking of YouTube videos. Especially the APA style is widely recommended and is the default style of most of such citations.

Before we get into the citation styles and how you can make the correct citations, one needs to ensure that his citation has all the necessary details required. Here’s discussing all that in detail: 

Channel Name

The first thing that you’d need to include in your citation is the channel or the author’s name. One can, at times, get confused with who exactly is the creator. In this case, the ‘author’ always uploads the stuff, irrespective of whoever owns the copyright to the video. 

Particularly in the APA style of citation, the uploader is always included in the author’s position in the citation. Your citation needs to serve its purpose of making the reference easy. 

Here lies the catch. If you’re citing somebody’s channel name, ensure that it is their real name. If the channel has some other name than the creator/uploader’s name, include both the channel and author names. The real name is written in standard formatting style in APA style, while the channel name follows in square brackets. Always use the same style, spacing, and capitalization used in the channel name. 

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Publication date 

The next important thing to include in the citation apart from the name is the publication date. It uses the standard (Y, Month Day) format. The channel and author name are immediately followed by the publication date in APA style of citation. 

Title of the video

The following essential key to include in the citation would be the title of the video. It is included after the publication date in APA styles of citation. Always ensure to add video enclosed in square brackets alongside the title of the video like this:  

Video URL 

URL is the final information that you need to incorporate in your citations. To find out what the URL to a particular YouTube video is, click on the Share button that’s under the video on the right side. You can see a shortened URL. Now copy and paste it in your citation.  

How to cite a YouTube video?

But what if the author’s real name is unknown?

It isn’t always that you can find the author’s real names to cite in your videos. Of course, you don’t need to invalidate your citation in such cases. You can choose to skip the “real name” part in such cases. 

So, how to cite a YouTube video?

Combining all these, here’s what would our citation appear to be: 

Suppose if we’re to cite one of Tom Scott’s videos in our research, here’s how we would do that: 

Scott, Tom. [Tom Scott]. (2021, July 12). The UK’s aerial ropeway utilizes no power, moves 300 tonnes a day, by 2036, it will be gone [Video]. YouTube

If you’re making an in-text citation, you simply have to follow this order: 

(Scott, 2017) 

APA style, by far, is the most common and popularly sought-after style for citation. Mastering this is pretty easy and only involves attention to some key details. Here’s concluding our guide on “How to cite a YouTube video?” 

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