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How to Cite a YouTube Video in APA Format

Citing a YouTube video in APA format requires certain information, like the real name of the individual who posted the video on YouTube, their YouTube username, the full date when the video was uploaded, the title of the video, and the video’s URL.

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How to cite a YouTube video in APA format

To cite a YouTube video in APA format, follow this formula:

Real last name, First initial. [Username]. (Year, Month Day). Video title [Video].

YouTube. URL.

Not all uploaders use their real name as their username or share it in their YouTube bio. So you might have to do additional research to see if the uploader’s real name is published through another primary or secondary source. Below we share guidance on how to treat a citation when you can’t determine the author’s real name.

In another part of the citation, add “[Video]” after the title to describe the content format, followed by a period. Then, cite the website—in this case “YouTube”—followed by a period, before the video’s URL.  

It’s important to note that the “author” is the person or group who uploaded the YouTube video, not necessarily the content creator. 

Below is an example of what an APA citation for a YouTube video might look like:

Richards, L. [Natural World Facts]. (2021, April 13). The fascinating world of

Cnidarians [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/50Y5sVF5ktQ 

APA parenthetical and in-text citations for YouTube videos

The citation structure for YouTube videos in APA style is straightforward for both parenthetical and in-text citations. The elements included are the author’s name and the upload year of the video.

Example:

  • Parenthetical citation: (Richards, 2021)
  • In-text citation: “Richards (2021) provides commentary on . . .

How to cite a YouTube video in APA format without an author’s real name

How you cite a YouTube video in APA style might vary depending on the information you have on hand about the author. If the individual uploader’s real name isn’t available, or the uploader is a group or entity, use their YouTube username or the channel’s name as the author. 

When you cite a YouTube video in APA format and can’t locate an uploader’s real name, your citation might look like this:

TED. (2021, June 2). Yuko Munakata: The science behind how parents affect child 

development [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/evw0h1kg-j4 

Another nuance is if the names of the author and the channel are the same. Although it might seem redundant, include the individual’s real name using the author format, and then add the name of the channel in brackets. 

Below is an example of how you’d format your bibliography or reference page:

Luttrell, A. [Andy Luttrell]. (2021, August 2). The psychology of human values with

Dr. Greg Maio (podcast episode) [Video]. YouTube.

https://youtu.be/VgRrB_Yhc5M 

APA parenthetical and in-text citations without an author’s real name

If the uploader’s real name isn’t available, parenthetical and in-text APA citations for YouTube videos use the name of the YouTube channel instead and the video’s upload year.

Example:

  • Parenthetical citation: (National Geographic, 2013)
  • In-text citation: “A National Geographic (2013) video depicts the foliage . . .

How to cite a YouTube channel in APA format

If you need to cite a YouTube channel, not a specific video, for a research paper or other report, additional elements are needed in the citation. Below is what a YouTube channel citation looks like in a bibliography:

Happy Learning English. (n.d.). Home. [YouTube channel]. YouTube. Retrieved June

15, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/channel/

UC8eJxPzmvTb12v7LlZUJcLQ

Following the author’s name, include “(n.d.)” to denote that no date is associated with the entry. Then, include the channel page in italics, followed by a period. The next element is “YouTube channel” and “YouTube”—all separated by periods. 

The content on a YouTube channel’s pages might change over time, so instead of an upload date, include the date you obtained the information from the URL.

APA parenthetical and in-text citations for a YouTube channel

The parenthetical and in-text citations for a YouTube channel include two elements: the channel’s name and “(n.d.).”

Example:

  • Parenthetical citation: (Happy Learning English, n.d.)
  • In-text citation: “Happy Learning English (n.d.) provides informative . . .
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