How to cite a YouTube video in APA Style (6th edition)

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

To cite a YouTube video in APA Style, you include the video title (italicized), the channel that uploaded it, the upload date, and a link to the video.

APA YouTube citation example
Format Uploader. (Year, Month day). Title of the video [Video file]. Retrieved from url.
Reference list Scribbr. (2019, November 26). APA manual 7th edition: 17 most notable changes [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/zeSIXD6y3WQ
In-text citation (Scribbr, 2019)

Note that the same format works for other video sites like Vimeo.

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:

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 as author. This is to avoid confusion and make 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:

Fantano, A. [theneedledrop]. (2019, December 21). Top 50 albums of 2019 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/q8wm4QFCqhE

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

University of Oxford. (2019, December 15). Could we run the UK on carbon-free energy? [Video file]. Retrieved from 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:

Cutts, S. (2017, November 24). Happiness [Video file]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/244405542

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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:

(Fantano, 2019)
(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)

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 file” in the square brackets.

University of Oxford. (n.d.). Home [YouTube channel]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/oxford

“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]. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/user/oxford/videos
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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.

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1 comment

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
November 5, 2020 at 5:03 PM

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