How should one cite materials taken from a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC)? This may be a specific case of the more general, "How should one cite a university course?"

For a concrete example, consider how I should cite the "Resampling Wheel" algorithm for implementing a particle filter, taken from Sebastian Thrun's Artificial Intelligence for Robotics course on Udacity?

2 Answers 2


In many fields, it is common practice to look up the original publication in which a concept/algorithm was introduced, and to cite that. Many courses will give some literature pointers to help you with the search for it.

The reason is that citations are also meant to distribute credit for novel findings, so in this way, the researchers who came up with the algorithm get the credit.

  • 1
    +1 this is especially true for new stuff. For older stuff, citing the course could be fine, although citing an established survey or a book would be probably better.
    – yo'
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 15:58
  • In this particular case, it may be a particularly good idea to track down an original source, because Thrun has delivered some sketchy content in his Udacity courses in the past: madmath.com/2012/09/udacity-statistics-101.html Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 12:56

Stephen, Jason. “Academic Integrity.” [week 3: Achieving with integrity: using the works of others]. MOOC offered by the University of Auckland. Retrieved on Jul 23, 2017 from https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/academic-integrity/10/todo/8323

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