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Harvard Referencing Video – How To Harvard Reference A YouTube Video

Published by at December 21st, 2023 , Revised On February 5, 2024

In the digital age, information is more accessible than ever before. With a few clicks of a button, you can find videos, articles, and various other resources that can help you in research and support your academic work. However, this increased access to information also means it is more important than ever to credit the sources you use in your scholarly endeavours properly. This is where Harvard referencing comes into play, and in this blog post, we will specifically focus on Harvard referencing for videos, with a spotlight on referencing a YouTube video.

Understanding Harvard Referencing

Before we discuss further about referencing a YouTube video, let us begin with a brief overview of Harvard referencing and its importance.

What Is Harvard Referencing?

Harvard referencing, also known as the Harvard citation style, is a widely used method for acknowledging the sources you have used in your academic work. It provides a standardised format for citing various types of sources, including books, journal articles and websites, and, of course, videos. The primary goal of Harvard referencing is to give credit to the original authors or creators of the content you reference, while also enabling readers to locate the sources easily.

The Importance Of Harvard Referencing

There are several essential purposes of Harvard referencing in academia. 

  • Academic Integrity: Proper referencing demonstrates your commitment to academic integrity. It shows that you have done your research responsibly and have acknowledged the intellectual contributions of others.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a serious offence in academic writing. Harvard referencing helps you avoid unintentional or deliberate plagiarism by clearly attributing the sources you use.
  • Providing Evidence: Proper citations allow your readers to verify your claims and explore the sources you have referenced. It adds credibility to your work.
  • Navigating The Sea Of Information: In the age of information overload, Harvard referencing helps both you and your readers locate and access the sources you have cited easily.

Now that we understand the importance of Harvard referencing let us move on to the specific topic of referencing a YouTube video.

Harvard Referencing YouTube Videos

YouTube is a wealth of knowledge of educational content, documentaries, lectures, and other valuable resources. When incorporating a YouTube video into your research or assignment, it is essential to cite it correctly. Let us go through the steps of referencing a YouTube video in Harvard style.

Collect The Necessary Information

Before you can create a Harvard reference for a YouTube video, you need to gather the following information:

  • Author(s) Or Creator (s): Find out who uploaded the video. This might be an individual, an organisation, or even a username.
  • Title Of The Video: The title of the video should be in italics or enclosed in quotation marks, depending on your institutional guidelines.
  • Publication Date: Look for the publication date on the video’s page. It’s usually located just below the video title.
  • URL: The URL (web address) of the video is important for providing a direct link to the source.

Create The Harvard Reference

Now that you have all the necessary information, you can create a YouTube video Harvard referencing. The general format for referencing a YouTube video in Harvard style is as follows:

Author(s)/Creator(s). (Year). Title of the video [Video]. Website Name. URL

Here’s a practical example:

Harvard Referencing Video. (2023). How to Harvard Reference a YouTube Video [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=examplevideo

In-Text Citation

When you use information from the YouTube video in your text, you should also include an in-text citation. The in-text citation follows the same author-date format:

(Harvard Referencing Video, 2023)

You can place the in-text citation within the body of your work at the relevant point where you reference the video.

Reference List

Finally, add the full reference to the YouTube video in your reference list. This list typically appears at the end of your paper or assignment, and it should include all the sources you have cited. Here’s how the YouTube video reference would appear in the reference list:

Harvard Referencing Video. (2023). How to Harvard Reference a YouTube Video [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=examplevideo

Remember to organise your reference list alphabetically by the author’s last name or by the title if there is no identifiable author.

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Tips For How To Reference A YouTube Video

To find reliable YouTube video sources, follow these tips:

  • Source Check: Ensure the video is from a reputable uploader, organisation, or academic institution.
  • Publication Date: Verify that the video’s content is current and relevant by checking its publication date.
  • Viewer Engagement: Higher views, likes, and comments can indicate quality and relevance.
  • Comment Review: Read viewer comments for insights into the video’s accuracy.
  • Cross-Reference: Confirm the information by cross-referencing it with credible academic sources.
  • Citations: Videos with references to other sources may be more reliable.
  • Quality: Well-produced, professional-looking videos are more likely to contain accurate information.
  • Bias Awareness: Be cautious of biased content and balance your references with different viewpoints.

These tips help you identify high-quality, trustworthy YouTube video sources for your academic work while maintaining academic integrity and credibility.

When including YouTube videos in your academic work, it is important to be mindful of the legal and ethical aspects. Understanding these considerations ensures that you respect copyright laws and maintain academic integrity.

Copyright Issues: YouTube videos, like other content, are protected by copyright. This means that the creators have rights over their work. Using copyrighted material without permission can lead to legal issues. Always check the copyright status of the video you want to reference.

Fair Use: Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material for specific purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, or education. However, the interpretation of fair use can be complex and may vary by jurisdiction. Ensure you understand how fair use applies in your academic context.

Obtaining Permission: If using a copyrighted YouTube video does not fall under fair use, it’s best to get permission from the copyright holder. This might involve contacting the video creator or the hosting platform. Keep records of permissions granted.

Respecting Academic Integrity: Proper referencing is essential, even when using material under fair use. Giving credit to the source is a fundamental aspect of academic integrity and honesty.

Citing Creative Commons And Public Domain Content: Not all YouTube content is copyrighted. Some creators use licenses like Creative Commons, allowing various levels of use. Public domain content is free from copyright. Understand and follow the terms of the license or the public domain status.

Being aware of the legal and ethical landscape when using YouTube videos is essential for academic work. Always acknowledge sources, respect permissions, and follow your institution’s guidelines.


Academic integrity is based on proper referencing; therefore, learning how to reference sources correctly—including YouTube videos—is important. You will be well-equipped to give credit where credit is due and appropriately navigate the world of digital resources if you follow the rules set forth in this blog post.

Recall that proper referencing is not only necessary but also a skill that can improve the quality of your academic writing and add authority to your study. You will, therefore, be aware of how to properly cite a YouTube video in your research the next time you use one.


To Harvard reference a video, include the creator’s surname, initials, year of publication, title of the video, [Online], platform, URL. For example: Author, A. A. (Year). Title of video. [Online]. Platform. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year). Ensure you consult the official Harvard referencing guide for specific details and variations.

To Harvard reference a YouTube video, follow this format: Author’s surname, Initial(s). (Year) ‘Title of video’, YouTube. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year). For example: Smith, J. (2022) ‘The Art of Coding’, YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/example (Accessed: 1 March 2023). Verify with the official Harvard referencing guide for any updates.

Harvard referencing a video encompasses all types of videos, while Harvard referencing a YouTube video specifically refers to citing videos hosted on the YouTube platform.

Yes, YouTube videos can be used as sources, provided they are relevant and credible. Ensure proper Harvard referencing to give credit to the Creator.

In this case, use the username of the uploader as the author and use “n.d.” for no publication date in your Harvard reference.

Yes, in-text citations follow the author-date format, e.g., (Author, Year). Include this in your text where you reference the video content.

Fair use laws may allow limited use of copyrighted material for purposes like criticism or education. However, the interpretation of fair use varies. Always check your jurisdiction’s guidelines and cite appropriately.

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