How to cite a YouTube video in APA Style

This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines.

To cite a YouTube video in APA Style, you include the person or organization that uploaded it, their channel name (if different from their real name), the upload date, the video title (italicized), “Video” in square brackets, the name of the site,  and a link to the video.

Note that the same format works for other video sites like Vimeo; just replace “YouTube” with the name of whatever site the video is from. TV shows are cited differently.

You can also use our free APA citation generator to generate YouTube citations in APA Style.


Where to find citation information for a YouTube video

The information you’ll need for your citation is easy to locate on YouTube. It’s located just below the video, as shown in the image below.

APA YouTube

Authors and channel names

The “author” of a YouTube video is not necessarily the person or group who created the video. Instead, APA requires you to list the uploader of the video in the author position. This makes it easier for the reader to locate the video.

If the uploader is an individual whose real name is known and is different from their channel name, both should be included. The real name is written in the standard format, while the channel name follows in square brackets and is written exactly as it is on YouTube, retaining any unconventional capitalization or spacing.

Format Last name, Initials. [Channel name]. (Year, Month Day). Video title [Video]. YouTube. URL
Reference entry Stevens, M. [Vsauce]. (2017, August 14). The napkin ring problem [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J51ncHP_BrY
In-text citation (Stevens, 2017)

If the author’s real name is unknown or the uploader is not an individual, the channel name is included alone, with no brackets.

University of Oxford. (2019, December 15). Could we run the UK on carbon-free energy? [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/-EoVRpy4J_U

Where the channel name is the same as the author’s real name, it only needs to be written once:

Hertzfeldt, D. (2011, April 1). Everything will be OK – by Don Hertzfeldt [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/1IUX0Qy-IDM

In-text citations for YouTube videos

For an in-text citation of a YouTube video, use whichever name appears first in the full citation, whether that’s a real name or a channel name:

  • (Stevens, 2017)
  • (University of Oxford, 2019)

When you quote or refer to a specific part of a video, include a timestamp pointing to the relevant moment in the video:

(University of Oxford, 2019, 0:29)

If the person quoted is not the uploader, it’s best to specify their identity in the text, as in this TED Talk citation:

Justice reform advocate Nisha Anand opens her talk with the story of her family’s experiences during the Partition of India (TED, 2020, 1:59).

How to cite a YouTube channel

Sometimes you might need to cite a whole channel instead of a single video, as when you’re discussing a channel’s content in general.

In this case, don’t include the year the channel was created – just use “n.d.” (no date) as it’s the current content of the channel that’s relevant. Write “YouTube channel” instead of “Video” in the square brackets, and include a retrieval date, since channel content will change over time.

Format Last name, Initials [Channel name]. (n.d.). Home [YouTube channel]. YouTube. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL
Reference entry University of Oxford. (n.d.). Home [YouTube channel]. YouTube. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/user/oxford
In-text citation (University of Oxford, n.d.)

“Home” refers to the homepage of the channel; if you’re citing something else like the videos or playlists tab, replace accordingly:

University of Oxford. (n.d.). Videos [YouTube channel]. YouTube. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://​www.youtube.com/​user/oxford/​videos

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Is this article helpful?
Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

6 comments

Effie Kyrikakis
September 10, 2021 at 9:11 AM

Hi Jack,
Really helpful information, very clearly presented.

I was wondering if you know the APA 7 section that refers to how do we deal with unlisted YouTube videos, lectures for example- that are part of a University course material but not open to the general public?

Reply

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
September 13, 2021 at 4:18 PM

Hi Effie,

APA suggests dealing with sources like that differently depending on whether your audience will have access to them. Most likely, you're writing a paper for a university course, so the reader will have access to the unlisted video; therefore, you can cite it like a normal YouTube video, including the URL and all other available information. If you were writing an article for publication in a journal, though, you would have to cite it as a personal communication instead, since the reader would not have access to the video.

Reply

Megan
February 12, 2021 at 3:17 AM

How would you do in text citations if you have multiple references from the same Youtube Channel and Person, just with different video titles.

Reply

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
February 17, 2021 at 4:15 PM

Hi Megan,

See the information here on avoiding ambiguity in in-text citations. When referring to the same author, different citations may be distinguished by year (if the videos are from different years). When they're from the same year, add letters to distinguish them, e.g. (Scribbr, 2020a) … (Scribbr, 2020b). These letters should also be added in the corresponding reference entries.

Reply

Celina
October 19, 2020 at 8:32 AM

How do I cite Blogs using the APA 7th edition.

Reply

Shona McCombes
Shona McCombes (Scribbr Team)
November 17, 2020 at 8:32 PM

Hi Celina,

See our guide to citing websites in APA for info on how to cite a blog in the 7th edition :) Hope that helps!

Reply

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