In the era of YouTube videos, podcasts, adverts, off-air recordings and DVD extra features, it is crucial for students, researchers and academics to be able to cite these sources properly. The BUFVC’s AV Citation Guide brings together academics, archive historians, journal editors and researchers to address the complexities of audiovisual citation.
The AV Citation Project
In an exciting initiative, the BUFVC has brought together academics, archive historians, journal editors and researchers to address the complexities of audiovisual citation. As part of the HEFCE-funded Shared Services project, this working group is currently producing a series of guidelines to enable the citation of a range of audiovisual sources for teaching, learning and research. The guidelines are being created for two purposes: to provide sensible, clear and practical uniform ground rules for the citation of audiovisual material and to ensure that all audiovisual material referenced and used in research and higher education can subsequently be found by others.
Current Citation Practice
Existing guidelines for audiovisual resources are modelled on standards established for text-based sources. They frequently privilege the author, a practice that is unsatisfying when applied to a great deal of audiovisual material. In the era of YouTube videos, podcasts, adverts, off-air recordings and DVD extra features it is crucial for students, researchers and academics to be able to cite these kinds of sources according to what is useful rather than simply the title, author, date and publisher. Useful information for audiovisual sources may include detail on date uploaded or created, version, format, date accessed, chapters, URL or point of access, and owner of material.
These guidelines don’t equal a catalogue record or a database entry. As with any source, you can find out a great deal about audiovisual material which does not need to be included in a straightforward citation. Digital records often include extensive metadata such as catalogue numbers, length of the footage in feet, the date of the original footage, when it was digitised, related items in the series and if it has been broadcast since its original transmission. This is important information, yet including all of this in a citation is not appropriate or practical.
Following a survey of existing guidelines on AV citation the working group, led by Dr Sian Barber, is now producing a set of new guidelines to offer a practical approach to this tricky problem. Once finalised, the guidelines will be thoroughly tested and incorporated into the final template. Rigorous enough to provide all the necessary information for referencing purposes and yet flexible enough to allow for the citation of material as diverse as YouTube videos, radio programmes and lecture podcasts, the guidelines will be made freely available in March 2013.
Have you ever wondered how to cite a TV advert? Or extra features on a DVD? What about a scene from a director’s cut feature film or amateur film footage held in an archive? Or how do you ensure that those writing for your journal provide enough information on the resources they have used? How can you give the best advice to students and how do you make sure that your own resources are being correctly cited?
- For more information see: http://bufvc.ac.uk/projects-research/sharedservices/avcitation
- Join the discussion on Twitter: @bufvc #AVcitation