Other Types of Source: Audiovisual media

Q1) How do I reference a radio broadcast
Q2) How do I reference a TV broadcast?
Q3) How do I reference a legally available copy of a TV or radio broadcast?
Q4) How do I reference a film issued on videotape or DVD?
Q5) How do I reference a CD-ROM or DVD of computer software?

The copying of broadcast audiovisual materials for public storage and use or performance is usually against the law, or carries special conditions. Thus it is often impossible to legally access a copy of broadcast material unless specifically published by the broadcasting organisation. Even where copies are made off-air legally, they may not be available to anyone other than the authorised copier, or they have little permanence beyond the use for which they were copied. Copies made at home by individuals are for their use only. Copies made legally by universities are regularly erased to make way for new recordings.  Even the broadcast organisations do not retain copies of everything they broadcast, and regularly clear out their own archives.

Thus there can be no guarantee that a programme can be accessed by another person unless the audiovisual material has been published in a permanent format, available for purchase or loan, on videotape, CD-ROM or DVD, and therefore legally stocked by public libraries or archives, for access by the general public.

So, unless a reference to a broadcast programme can be to a permanently available copy of the programme, it should not be included in the References section, but identified using an in-text citation only.

This may seem much too severe, but unless something can be accessed in the context of the whole original, a reader cannot be sure that it has been interpreted correctly eg a comment transferred into the printed word might have originally been said in an ironic tone of voice, or with a satirical facial expression. So, without public access to the complete original, for verification of precise words and context, it cannot have full academic standing as a genuine reference.

However, this cautious approach to referencing unavailable sources is not universal, and you may sometimes be asked to provide a full reference for everything.

Q1) How do I reference a radio broadcast?

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Usually, a legal copy will not be generally available, so a full reference should not be supplied, but full details should be cited in-text.

Example:

"On the Today programme (BBC Radio 4, 17 November, 2005, 7.00 am edition) John Humphries, one of the presenters, interviewing Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Education, suggested to her that 'freeing-up' the proposed Trust Schools meant giving them the right to select their pupils. Kelly denied there would be any return to selection, because "Trust Schools will cooperate, and not compete", with other local schools."

Q2) How do I reference a TV broadcast?

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Very often a legal copy will not be available, so a full reference should not be supplied, but full details should be cited in-text.

Example:

"Harold Pinter's speech on receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 was broadcast on UK television (More4 digital channel from Channel 4, 16.30, 7 December 2005) and proved to be as provocative as expected given his recent criticisms of the Iraq war and the 'war on terror'."

In this case, a recording would eventually be released. A transcript would appear even more quickly in more than one newspaper or journal, as well as on the Internet, and would be better as a reference, as it is more readily available - unless you were referring to the visual manner in which Pinter delivered his speech.

Q3) How do I reference a legally available copy of a TV or radio broadcast?

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Format: Name of the programme, Year published, Production Company. Place: Publisher. First broadcast day, month, year (if known).

Note:  Sometimes the production company and the publisher will be the same eg. BBC, though recently the BBC, like most other broadcasters, uses external production companies more and more for its material.

Example:

Richard III, 199?, BBC Television, London: BBC. Date first broadcast unknown.

Q4) How do I reference a film issued on videotape or DVD?

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Note: Where a film does not have a specific director, use the name of the production company. The distribution company for DVD etc, may not be the same as the original distribution company for showing in cinemas.

Example:

Dogville, 2003, Lars Von Trier. Released on DVD by MGM Home Entertainment, 2004.

Q5) How do I reference a CD-ROM or DVD of computer software?

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Format: Name of the product, year, (format), Producer, edition.

Example:

Microsoft Office, 2003, (CD-ROM), Microsoft Corporation, Student and Teacher Edition.