How DO you cite audiovisual materials correctly?

The BUFVC is conducting a survey about people's experience of citing AudioVisual materials

The BUFVC is conducting a survey about people’s experience of citing AudioVisual materials

Most of us feel reasonably comfortable with the conventions for citing books, journal articles and so on. There may be certain variability between journals regarding formatting (it has been argued that there are as many versions of Harvard as there are journals using “Harvard” for example), nevertheless there is fairly standard agreement about the core information that is needed.

What, however, are the rules if you need to cite a particular interview within the lunchtime news on a given day? Or the Director’s commentary that comes as a bonus with a bought DVD? Or, indeed, what about citing the film itself? What are the correct procedures for referencing these materials?

For the past 18 months  I have been part of a working group convened by the British Universities Film and Video Council to draw up an authoritative guide regarding citation of audiovisual materials. We’ve had some really interesting discussions about different media, different contexts and different purposes for the citation.

Our deliberations are drawing towards a close, but before they do the BUFVC is conducting a survey to check that we haven’t missed anything or come to any erroneous decisions. Therefore if you are reading this between 13th December 2012 and 14th January 2013 do please take the opportunity to fill out the survey – it doesn’t take very long and you get a chance to win vouchers to your favourite tax-avoiding online retailer! The survey itself can be found via this link (alternatively see here for more background info). Thanks.

Science and Television: friend or foe?

I’m a big fan of both science and television and have blogged previously about their inter-relationship (e.g. Science on the telly and A new model for interaction of scientific research and TV?).  I was therefore very interest to hear Physicist and former pop star Prof Brian Cox delivering the 2010 Huw Wheldon lecture on the topic Science: A Challenge to TV Orthodoxy (available on BBC iPlayer until December 8th).

As the presenter of the excellent Wonders of the Solar System, Cox is ideally positioned to examine the tensions between science and television which, he notes, is “the primary medium for the dissemination of scientific knowledge to the non-specialist public” (01:25).

Brian Cox

Brian Cox is Professor of Physics at the University of Manchester

There are, Cox notes, incompatibilities between the goals of science and television; though he is keen to emphasise that these are “occasional” and that he does not subscribe to the model that there are serious deficiencies in TV’s coverage of science. For example, a practising scientist must never have an eye on the audience, which would de facto compromise the impartiality of the process (08:10). In contrast, television must have their viewers (and reviewers) in mind. Continue reading

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