I have been thinking for a while, some time especially nowadays, you want to cite some interview, documentary or any such material available online as a video or audio. For example I am writing about a cure for AIDs, and there is an interview of some famous scientist on the issue on YouTube or other source, and I want to refer to some part of that interview actually say 15th minute and 23rd second.

Is there any proper way for referencing such?

  • Sidenote: if he/she is a scientist, try to find a publication of him. If he/she is not, avoid to use it as a source.
    – Karlo
    Jul 28, 2016 at 11:35
  • 1
    yeah best thing is publication, but sometimes you get exactly what you looking for in his video or his recorded lecture. Jul 28, 2016 at 12:20
  • 2
    If you are using (La)TeX, this question may be of interest to you. Jul 28, 2016 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


It might sound odd to use video material as a source, but this is a frequent issue in modern History, to name one area of research. 20th-century propaganda is an example of a topic that would include primary sources that are videos, posters, or radio material.

The Havard citation includes guidelines, see here for a guide from the Open University. From page 33 on video sources:

The Apprentice (2008) BBC 1, 14 June [Online]. Available at www.bbc. co.uk/iplayer (Accessed 16 June 2008).

On page 55 on (unpublished) interviews:

Interviewee, A. (year of interview) Unpublished interview conducted by Interviewer Name, date of interview.

If you have the time, you could transcribe the interview yourself to make it easier to trace back the source. A good term to google is "Harvard Referencing for Visual Material". (Or whatever the appropriate referencing style is for your publication). I would cite it as an interview that you accessed online. The more you know about who conducted it, the better.

Imperial College London have an even more extensive guide on this, see page 12 here:

Example: Kirk, T. Interviewed by: Picard, J. News Night Live. (24th June 2001) 10pm Channel 6.

My approach would be to see which referencing is most common in the area that you work in, to ensure consistency.

Edit: including time-stamps:

[...] the contribution of water damage can be seen at 2m33s in to the video (BBC, 2009).

See page 14 here.

  • yes that's true that in todays world you found yourself bound to cite video lecture, the thing is that [online] is also used for any material online. i meant if we can precisely cite with the time stamp from where the person speaks the sentence of interest. Jul 28, 2016 at 12:37
  • thank you for the comment. I included another source dealing with time stamps. From my personal experience, time-stamps are only referred to in text (if at all) - but it might differ from discipline to discipline.
    – marts
    Jul 28, 2016 at 12:42
  • Answer Accepted :) , but i am not sure if supervisor will accept that in the report Jul 28, 2016 at 12:45
  • In my field, it is not necessary to refer to the video at all if it is a published(!) interview. Find the interviewer and see if you can find out more that way. In addition, if this is a Youtube video for example, it probably shows dates/time and the TV channel it was aired.
    – marts
    Jul 28, 2016 at 12:57

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