Citing an Online Video with Chicago Author–Date Referencing
  • 2-minute read
  • 21st January 2019

Citing an Online Video with Chicago Author–Date Referencing

Previously, we looked at how to cite an online video using Chicago’s footnote referencing. But The Chicago Manual of Style also sets out an author–date referencing system. So to make sure we’ve covered all our bases, this time we’re looking at citing an online video author–date style.

In-Text Citations

First of all, citations. As with any source in Chicago author–date referencing, citing an online video means giving the creator’s surname and a date of publication in brackets:

Some museums are now returning stolen artifacts (Colwell 2018).

Here, we’re citing a TED Talk by Chip Colwell that was uploaded to YouTube in 2018. We’ve cited Colwell in this case because gives the presentation, but with some videos you may want to cite the writer or director instead. It all depends on who the main creator is.

The main difference from citing a print source comes when quoting a video. In the absence of page numbers to cite, you’ll have to include a time stamp for the part of the video cited:

Discussing these returns, he describes this as “plant[ing] seeds of hope in the ruins of the past” (Colwell 2018, 7:18).

Here, for instance, we can see that the quote comes from 7 minutes and 18 seconds into the video. Additional source information will then be given in the reference list at the end of the document.

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Reference List

When you add an online video to your reference list, you need to provide enough information for readers to find it themselves. This should include at least most of the following:

Surname, First Name. Year of publication. “Video title.” Host website. Format, video length. Uploader name (if different from creator). Date of access (if required). URL.

You might not be able to find all this information, but this is fine as long as the video is easy to identify (keep in mind that URLs sometimes change, so you need more than just a link). To see how this would look in practice, we’ll create a reference for the video cited above:

Colwell, Chip. 2018. “Why museums are returning cultural treasures | Chip Colwell.” YouTube. Video, 13:01. TED.

We cite Chip Colwell as the author above, but we also include TED as the uploader. This is because the video is hosted on the TED YouTube channel.

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