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What Is Harvard Referencing Format?

When you write academically, you will research sources for facts and data, which you will likely include in your writing. Using this information will require that you cite your sources. Your instructor may require Harvard referencing format, which is a style for formatting your citations.

The Purpose of Referencing

You may need to learn a variety of referencing styles as you write academically. The purpose of referencing is to record the sources of the information you cite or include in your document. Referencing shows your readers that you engaged in thorough research to learn about your subject, also showing that you chose reputable sources for your research. If you use ideas or information that belong to other authors, you must cite this material to give credit to the original authors.

Referencing elevates your work, because it makes your research evident and adds to your credibility. Referencing also enables your readers to check your work to validate and verify.

Overview of Harvard Referencing Format

Different referencing methods will have different styles. The Harvard referencing format involves a straightforward author-date style, which is easy to implement.

Harvard style requires in-text citations throughout the body of the document as well as a comprehensive reference list after the body. The entries in the reference list are listed alphabetically, and every in-text citation must be included in the reference list (and vice-versa).

Benefits of Harvard Style

Harvard referencing style is basic, just including the name of the author or creator and the date of the publication. If an instructor doesn’t specify a style, citing in Harvard style is often a safe bet, because it includes the basic information necessary to cite sources.

Harvard style doesn’t stipulate rules for abbreviations, capitalization, punctuation and italics like other academic styles such as APA. Thus, as long as you have the main components of the in-text citation or the entry in your reference list, you should satisfy the general requirements.

Specific Guidelines

You can list up to six authors’ last names for one entry. If you have more than six authors, include the first three followed by “et al.” If you repeat a citation, list it in full again. As you adopt a style for the citations, keep it uniform throughout your document. For example, if you underline or use italics, use them in the same way for every entry.

In the reference list, list every source for every citation, even when repeated.

Use a Harvard Referencing Example

As you’re learning how to reference according to Harvard style, it may help to review Harvard referencing examples so you can create your references in the same format. Many learning institutions have resources for students to assist with referencing, so check on your school’s website. An Internet search will also produce many options for referencing examples.


how to cite sources in a video essay

How to do a Video Essay: Referencing & Copyright

How to Reference Your Video Essay

Referencing your video essay requires you to cite each film, sound track, image, information source etc that features in your essay.  It is important to acknowledge all of your sources and allows colleagues to follow the path you’ve taken.

The referencing system adopted as standard by ECU is called the APA system (American Psychological Association). The referencing subject guide published by ECU now includes multimedia examples, book, journal article, website referencing and handy links, videos and tips.

how to cite sources in a video essay

  • APA Style Central
  • ECU Referencing Library Guide

how to cite sources in a video essay

  • Creative Commons
  • Academic Integrity
  • Public Domain
  • Open Access

Australian Copyright law allows for a student in a University to use film and video for study/research purposes (eg an assignment or class presentation). It is important to understand and acknowledge the copyright legislation.  Refer to the following web references for copyright information in Australia.

  • ECU Copyright for students and researchers
  • Australian Performing Rights Association
  • Arts Law Centre of Australia (ArtsLaw)
  • Australian Copyright Council

What is Creative Commons (CC)?

Creative Commons (CC) is a copyright-based system of licences or "permissions for the use of copyright materials.

Depending on the permissions the licenser allows, you can copy, publish in digital form, publicly perform (all or in part) according to baseline rights:

  • Attribute (acknowledge) the authorship
  • Not alter terms of licence unless you obtain permission from the creator to override any restrictions
  • Link to licence from copies of work
  • Not use technology (digital rights management), to restrict other licensees' uses of work.

How Can I use Creative Commons?

If you want to use an image, video clip, document or work under the Creative Common license there are different license terms.The most basic licence allows you to copy, distribute, display, perform, edit, remix and build upon the work for commercial or non commercial purposes, provided you attribute the creator, additional creators and link to the source. A CC licence may have one or more additional elements which carry further licensing terms. Refer to choose a license at

  • Creative Commons Australia

Academic Integrity Academic integrity addresses the values that reflect honest and rigour in Academics and to support students in the process of developing their own academic voice. Academic integrity is an aspect of academic literacy and includes the teaching of referencing, paraphrasing, and how and when to quote a source.

At Edith Cowan University, we encourage the integration of AIM: Academic Integrity Module into a first year core unit, so that students have a basic understanding of academic integrity and APA referencing (or AGLC citations for law students).

There are penalties for students who knowingly plagiarise, collude, or use the work of others with or without their knowledge. Individual Schools are responsible for matters of academic misconduct, so please talk with your Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning regarding any concerns and refer to the ECU Academic Misconduct Rules for further information.

For more information please visit ECU Academic Integrity

  • Academic Integrity & Plagiarism: A resource for students
  • Academic Tip Sheet: Plagiarism

What is the Public Domain?

Materials in the public domain are not restricted by copyright and can be: copied, reused, shared, or distributed in many ways - for your assignments, presentations, published works and in the classroom.  

Public domain materials can be used without permission from the creator or paying a fee and there are no restrictions on their use. Examples of public domain materials include:

  • government documents
  • commercially published and privately created (unpublished) works after a statutory period has passed. (generally anything published before 1923)
  • any copyrights associated with the work have expired, forfeited or waived
  • where copyright is not applicable

Public domain images and collections may or may not explicitly state their status.  If in doubt contact the source of the image.

Public Domain Images and Video

Images in the 'public domain' are free to use as display, modify, print without the need to seek permission for the originator of the image. However, rules still apply in the context of how these images are used.

Click on the resources links to access image collections and information on what is allowed and what it not.

Open Access (OA)

Open access resources are findable, accessible, inter-operable and re-usable sources that are licensed with permissions for individual and organisations to access, adapt and use the resource for their own use.Examples include Open Access Publishing, Open Access Books, Open Access education resources.

For more information, please access the Open Access Library Guide and resource links below:

  • Open Access - Creative Commons Australia
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Edith Cowan University acknowledges and respects the Noongar people, who are the traditional custodians of the land upon which its campuses stand and its programs operate. In particular ECU pays its respects to the Elders, past and present, of the Noongar people, and embrace their culture, wisdom and knowledge.

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  • How to Cite a YouTube Video | MLA, APA & Chicago

How to Cite a YouTube Video | MLA, APA & Chicago

Published on March 17, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 23, 2022.

To cite a video from YouTube or another video sharing site, you need an in-text citation with a corresponding reference listing the uploader, the publication date, the video title, and the URL.

The format varies depending on the citation style you use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago style .

Use the interactive example generator below to explore the APA and MLA formats or use Scribbr’s Citation Generator .

Table of contents

Citing a video in mla style, citing a video in apa style, citing a video in chicago style, where to find the information for a youtube citation, frequently asked questions about citations.

An MLA Works Cited entry for an online video begins with the name of the video’s author (the person who created it). The uploader is listed later, after the name of the site. The video title appears in quotation marks, the site name in italics.

In the in-text citation, list the author’s last name and the timestamp of the relevant part of the video.

Videos with the same author and uploader

When the person who created the video (the author) is the same person who uploaded it, MLA recommends starting the Works Cited entry with the title so as not to repeat the name in both the author and the uploader position.

This means that the in-text citation for a video like this begins with the title, shortened if it is a long title.

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The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:

  • Missing commas and periods
  • Incorrect usage of “et al.”
  • Ampersands (&) in narrative citations
  • Missing reference entries

how to cite sources in a video essay

In an APA Style reference entry for a video , the person or organization that uploaded the video is always listed in the author position, even if they didn’t create the video. The video title appears in italics, followed by “Video” in square brackets.

A timestamp may be used in the in-text citation to show the location of a particular quote .

Note that if the uploader’s real name is known and is different from the name of their channel, both should be included—the real name first, then the channel name in brackets.

To cite an online video in Chicago style , include a bibliography entry listing full details of the video, and a footnote where you cite it in the text.

The bibliography entry shows the video title in quotation marks, as well as specifying that the source is a video and stating its total length.

The footnote may list a timestamp if it’s necessary to highlight the location of a specific part of the video.

Chicago also offers an author-date citation style . An example of how to cite YouTube videos in this style can be found here .

All the key information needed to cite a YouTube video is displayed below the video itself on the site:

  • The video title
  • The uploader’s username
  • The upload date
  • The timestamp of the relevant part of the video
  • The URL (it’s best to use the one given when you click on “Share”)

If the uploader’s name is not the same as their username, or if you need information about the video’s original creator, this information may be available in the description or in the video itself.

The image below shows where to find the relevant information below the video on YouTube; other video sites tend to follow a similar layout.

APA YouTube

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The main elements included in a YouTube video citation across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the name of the author/uploader, the title of the video, the publication date, and the URL.

The format in which this information appears is different for each style.

All styles also recommend using timestamps as a locator in the in-text citation or Chicago footnote .

In APA , MLA , and Chicago style citations for sources that don’t list a specific author (e.g. many websites ), you can usually list the organization responsible for the source as the author.

If the organization is the same as the website or publisher, you shouldn’t repeat it twice in your reference:

  • In APA and Chicago, omit the website or publisher name later in the reference.
  • In MLA, omit the author element at the start of the reference, and cite the source title instead.

If there’s no appropriate organization to list as author, you will usually have to begin the citation and reference entry with the title of the source instead.

When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website ), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation . You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)

In APA Style , you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.

For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos ), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

  • APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
  • Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2022, August 23). How to Cite a YouTube Video | MLA, APA & Chicago. Scribbr. Retrieved September 8, 2023, from

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Video essays and digital storytelling

  • Video essays
  • Digital storytelling
  • 1. Planning and storyboarding
  • 2. Gathering images/video/audio
  • 3. Video editing

Creating credits for video essays

Production credits.

Copyright considerations

If your production includes audio/video/or images created by others, you need to ensure you are adhering to Canadian copyright law.  Refer to the Copyright Basics and Fair Dealing  guide from RRU's Copyright Office. 

Best Practices for Creating Credits in Video Essays Scrolling credits are not ideal for most video essay projects, especially when using an academic citation style. A better option is to use series of 4-second static slides at the end of the video to attribute the sources used.

Sources from Your Bibliography You should group your sources by category, with a separate slide for each category: “Research Sources,” “Image/Video Sources,” and “Audio Sources.”

For individual citations, please follow APA style as outlined by the Writing Centre .  Questions about citations should be addressed to:

This segment copied and edited with permission from : Tufts University. (2014).  Creating credits - Multimedia production guide.  Medford, MA. Retrieved from

Although production credits will fit nicely on its own slide following the bibliographic sources, there is a bit more freedom with how you stylize the production credits. At a minimum, you should still include these components: Individual Credits. If you are working as a group, you should include each individual and their respective role in the production. If it was a single-person project, the convention is to list a person’s name only once, even with multiple titles (e.g.,  “Written and Produced by [your name]”). Purpose. A short statement such as, “This video was produced for [course name] at [institution’s name] in [year]” will suffice.

This segment copied with permission from Tufts University's Multimedia Production Guide: Creating Credits for Video Essays .

Tufts University. (2023). Creating credits for video essays .

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Q. How do I cite a YouTube or online video?

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Answered By: Berkeley College Library Last Updated: Jan 28, 2022     Views: 725532

To cite online videos (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), you would follow the conventions of either MLA or APA style.  Be sure to check your assignment for citation style requirements.

You should include as much descriptive information as you can to help your readers find the video you reference. Generally, you will need the full name and/or screen name of whoever uploaded the video, publication date, title of the video, hosting website (YouTube) and URL for video. 

The general format for citing online videos in APA style is as follows:

Last Name, A.A. [Screen name]. (year, month day).  Title of video  [Video file]. YouTube. http://xxxx

For online videos, you will cite the person or group who uploaded the video. This is not necessarily the same as the person depicted in the video (example: a Beyoncé video uploaded by BeyFan123 would be cited under BeyFan123, and not the artist's name). If you have both the full name and screen name for the person who uploaded the video, you would include both, starting with the person's full name. If you only have the person's screen name, you would format your citation as follows:

Screen name. (year, month day).  Title of video  [Video file]. YouTube. http://xxxx.

You'll see the citation now starts with the screen name only, and does not include brackets.

Example of a citation with the creator's full name:

Doe, J.J. [janedoe]. (2016, December 19).  Day in the Life  [Video file]. YouTube. http://xxx.

and without the creator's full name (only a screen name): 

Janedoe. (2016, December 19).  Day in the Life  [Video file]. YouTube. http://xxx

Your in-text citation should include the last name or screen name and the year. Example:

(Doe, 2016) or (Janedoe, 2016). 

The general format for citing online videos in MLA style is as follows:

"Title of video."  YouTube,  uploaded by Screen Name, day month year,

If the author of the video is not the same as the person who uploaded the video, your citation would be formatted as follows:

Author last name, First Name. "Title of video."  YouTube,  uploaded by Screen Name, day month year,

Example of citation with different author and uploader:

Beyoncé . "Sorry."  YouTube , uploaded by BeyFan123, 17 December 2016,

Example of citation with no known author or same author and uploader:

"Day in the Life."  YouTube , uploaded by janedoe, 19 December 2016,

Your in-text citation will depend on whether you have the author's last name. Basically, you will want to cite in-text whatever appears first in the citation on your Works Cited page. If you are referencing a specific part of the video, MLA format also requires that you specify the time in the video when that part begins.

In-text citation with author:

(Last name,  00:01:15 - 00:02:00). 

In-text citation with no author or same author and uploader:

("Title of video," 00:01:15 - 00:02:00). 

Here's an example of a Berkeley College YouTube video cited in APA and MLA formats:

how to cite sources in a video essay

APA style

Works Cited list:

berkeleycollege. (2019, January 16).  File Your FAFSA Today!  [Video file]. YouTube.

(berkeleycollege, 2019)

"File Your FAFSA Today!"  YouTube,  uploaded by berkeleycollege, 16 January, 2019,

("File your FAFSA," 00:00:30-00:00:45). 

If you have further questions, consult the Writing and Citing Libguide  or ask a librarian .  

Links & Files

  • APA Style: YouTube Video References
  • MLA Style Center: Citing an Online Video (including YouTube)
  • MLA / APA Formats and Writing LibGuide (CAS)

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According to the Official APA® Style and Grammar Guidelines , the basic APA format for a YouTube video is:

  • Use the name of the account that uploaded the video as the author.
  • Include the specific date on which the video was uploaded. 
  • Italicize the video title.
  • Include [Video] after the title. [Video] is not italicized.

Provide the site name (YouTube) and URL of the video.

  • NASA. (2019, August 28).  Soft robotic gripper for jellyfish  [Video]. YouTube. guRoWTYfxMs
  • Parenthetical citation : (NASA, 2019) 
  • Narrative citation : NASA (2019)

Cite a YouTube channel:

  • YouTube channel pages begin on the 'Home' tab by default. To cite one of the other tabs (Videos, Playlists, Community, or Channels), use the name of that tab rather than Home in the title element of the reference (as in the NASA example below). 
  • Italicize the title of the channel.  
  • Include the description “[YouTube channel]” in square brackets after the title. 
  • Provide a retrieval date, because the content is designed to change over time and is not archived.

Oneida Digital Media. (n.d.). Home  [YouTube channel]. Retrieved July 12, 2022, from

NASA. (n.d.).  Playlists  [YouTube channel]. YouTube. Retrieved July 12, 2022 from

Parenthetical citations : (Oneida Digital Media, n.d.)  (NASA, n.d.)

Narrative citation :  Oneida Digital Media (n.d.) and NASA (n.d.)

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