Guide for Citing Audiovisual Materials

During the past couple of years I’ve been part of a working group set up by the British Universities Film and Video Council to draw up guidelines for the correct citation of Audiovisual. The fruits of our labours are published today.

The new guidelines offer recommendations for the correct citing of a wide range of media formats

The new guidelines offer recommendations for the correct citing of a wide range of media formats

In an era when increasing emphasis is being place on multimedia, it seems almost unbelievable that this is the first serious attempt anywhere in the world to produce an authoritative guide for what information to include when citing radio, film, TV and a plethora of other media.

As John Ellis, Professor of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, has noted, “Citation exists so that you can find the source of any quotation. The rules have long since been worked out for print sources. However, for moving image and sound, no-one quite knows what to do, so references are usually imprecise and sometimes left out completely.This guide now makes it possible for any writer [including students] to lead their readers to the exact audiovisual source they are discussing.”

The process of producing the new guide has been fascinating (far more so than it might sound!) Once you start to scratch the surface you start to realise the vast range of the different sources, formats and so on that might need to be included. The guide is shared with the academic community in the knowledge that it will very likely need refining, especially as new formats for sharing AV information are developed. Nevertheless I’m proud of this first edition and encourage any of you who are using and citing audiovisual materials to refer to it and, where appropriate, to suggest refinements.

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