How to cite a YouTube video in APA – Methods & Examples

21.02.23 Commonly used citations Time to read: 4min

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How-to-cite-a-YouTube-video-in-APA-Definition

In the digital age, sources of information have expanded beyond traditional books and journals to encompass a wider range of mediums, including online platforms like YouTube. In academic writing, you can use videos on YouTube for research and reference. Whenever you use such videos as sources, you will have to cite them appropriately. This guide will cover the APA YouTube video citation format in detail, including APA examples to help you understand how to apply this citation style effectively.

How to cite a YouTube video in APA – In a nutshell

  • You can use videos as references in academic papers, and you will have to use the APA YouTube video citation format for these references.
  • All the citation information needed will be indicated at the bottom of the video.
  • It is also possible to use the APA YouTube video citation format to make a reference to an entyre YouTube channel.

Definition: How to cite a YouTube video in APA

In an APA YouTube video citation, you have to include the name of the institution that uploaded the video, the name of the channel, the date when the video was uploaded, the title of the video in italics, the word ‘Video’, the name of the video hosting website, and a link to the video.

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APA YouTube Video Citation information

All the information for an APA YouTube video citation will be located at the bottom of the video.

APA YouTube Video Citation: Authors and channel names

The author of the video is simply the uploader and not the person who created the video. If the uploader’s name is known and is different from the channel name, you will have to include both names in the citation. In this case, the uploader’s name will be written in the standard format, while the channel name will appear exactly as it is on YouTube. You also have to use square brackets for the channel name.

APA format: Last name, initials. [name of the channel]. (Upload year, month date). Title [Video]. YouTube. URL
APA reference entry: (2015, July 9). Intro to Economics: Crash Course Econ #1 [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/3ez10ADR_gM
APA in-text citation: (Clifford, 2015)

If the name of the author isn’t known, the APA YouTube video citation should only include the channel name, and you will not need to use brackets.

If the author uses their real name as the channel name, you will only need to write this name once.

Example 

CrashCourse. (2015, July 9). Intro to Economics: Crash Course Econ #1 [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/3ez10ADR_gM

Example 

Mike, L. (2019, May 5). Ten Principles of Economics [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/3ez10ADR_gM

APA YouTube video In-text Citations

If the uploader’s name and channel name are different, you will have to include the name that appears first in the full citation. Here are two examples to illustrate this form of APA YouTube video citation:

Example 

  • (CrashCourse, 2015)
  • (Mike, 2019)

You may also want to make a reference to a specific section of the video. In this case, you will have to include a timestamp in the video citation.

Example

(CrashCourse, 2015, 2.20)

If the person who uploaded the video is different from the quoted individual, you should mention this fact in a statement.

Example

Economist Richard Coffin explains the different causes of economic recessions (TED, 2019, 4.39).

APA YouTube video Citation: A whole Channel

If you are discussing the general contents of a website, you may need to cite an entyre YouTube channel. With this form of APA YouTube video citation, you will have to replace the year with “n.d.” You also have to type “YouTube Channel” instead of “Video”. The retrieval date must also be included.

APA format: Last name, initials [Name of YouTube channel]. (n.d.). Home [YouTube channel]. YouTube. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL
APA reference entry: Mike, L [CrashCourse]. (n.d). Home [YouTube channel]. YouTube. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/c/crashcourse
APA in-text citation (CrashCourse, n.d.)

In these examples, we have been citing the homepage of the YouTube channel. If you want to cite the videos or playlist tabs, you can change the word ‘Home’ to match the tab you are interested in.

Example

Mike, L [CrashCourse]. (n.d.). Playlist [YouTube channel]. YouTube. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/c/crashcourse

FAQs

You can shorten the URL of a YouTube video by clicking the share button below the video. The website will then display a shortened YouTube URL of the video.

APA YouTube video citation rules state that students should type the author’s name exactly as it appears on the video, even if it is misspelled.

Yes, you can use videos as references, but it is necessary to cheque the guidelines offered by your instructor.

Yes, you can use the APA YouTube video citation format to make references to podcasts. You just need to replace the word ‘Video’ with ‘Podcast’.

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