How to Cite a Podcast: A Guide to Getting Proper Citation Formats

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In order for your reader to be able to locate the source material you used, it is important to properly cite any podcast episode you reference. Having the correct information will make it easy for anyone reading your paper to locate and read the source. Failure to provide this information correctly is not just unprofessional; it can also leave you open to charges of plagiarism.

Getting this right means double-checking that you have all the necessary elements and that it will be easy for others to find and read it again if they want to.

In general, the rules for citing a podcast in any style are similar to those for citing a website or another type of digital source. You will need to include the title of the podcast, the name of the producer (if there is one), and the episode number, if applicable.

Beyond that, there are some specifics that vary depending on which referencing style you use. Find out how to cite a podcast in the three most common ways by reading on.

Understanding Podcast Citations

Podcasting has been growing in popularity, with more and more people tuning in for their daily dose of news, entertainment, and education. However, because they are frequently accessed online, it can be difficult to determine how they fit into the traditional world of academic citation.

As a result of that, little attention has been given to podcast citations in the academic world, leading to confusion on how to properly cite them in an academic paper.

Entertainment shows, such as TV shows and movies, have long been recognized as valid sources for academic papers. But podcasts often get different attention than books or journal articles because they aren’t as formal and aren’t printed in a book or journal. That something isn’t published in a traditional way doesn’t make the information any less valuable or valid for academic use.

While some may argue that citing a podcast is unnecessary because it does not contribute directly to original research, it is still necessary to acknowledge the sources of information and ideas presented in the podcast episode, whether it’s a podcast interview or a podcast lecture.

Like any other media source, a podcast can have information or ideas that are relevant to your work. Citing them shows the reader that you looked at a wide range of sources when making your argument or doing your research.

Proper citation is necessary in order to support and validate the points you make in your academic writing, whether you are citing a video podcast, a podcast lecture, or a podcast title. This means that citing a podcast episode can be just as important as citing a television episode in terms of giving credit where credit is due.

When Citation of a Podcast is Needed

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In general, if you have listened to a podcast that has provided information or ideas that are relevant to your work, you should include it in your reference list. This can be done by using specific quotes from the episode or bringing up specific numbers or research results that were mentioned in the episode.

It is also important to mention any interviews that were done during the episode and give credit to the person who was interviewed for their insights and knowledge.

In any case, if you have drawn upon information or ideas from a podcast episode in your academic work, it is good practice to include it in your reference list. There are three major citation styles: APA, MLA, and Chicago, all of which have guidelines on how to properly cite a podcast episode.

APA Podcasting Referencing Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) style includes specific guidelines for referencing podcasts. When you use APA to cite a podcast episode, you need to include the following:

  • The name of the podcast
  • The producer or host of the podcast
  • The date that the episode was published
  • The title of the episode
  • The URL(if available)

APA Citation Format

Host last name, initials (Host). (Year, Month Day). Episode title (No. Episode number). (Audio podcast episode) or (Video podcast). Podcast name. Retrieved from Production Company. URL

Example:

Gleason, M. (Host). (2018, January 16). The digital footprints we leave behind (No. 16) NPR. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this

  • If it is the entire podcast series you are citing rather than a specific episode, then there is no need for an episode number.
  • If the URL is unavailable, it can be left out of the citation.

APA In-Text Podcast Citation

When referencing information or ideas from a podcast episode in the body of your paper, you will need to include an in-text citation. It is also used for a direct quote from the podcast episode.

According to APA in-text citation guidelines, this should include the last name of the host and the year that the episode was published.

Formate

Host’s Last Name, Year, timestamp

MLA Podcasting Referencing style

In the humanities and liberal arts, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style of citing sources is often used. When citing a podcast episode in MLA, you will need to include the following information;

  • The name of the podcast
  • The producer or host of the podcast
  • The date that the episode was published
  • The title of the episode
  • The podcast URL(if available)

MLA Podcast Citation Format

Content owner’s last name, first name, and title (if available). “Podcast Episode Title.” Podcast Name, Production Company name, Day Month, Year, URL.

Example:

Gleason, Mike, (host). “The Digital Footprints We Leave Behind.” How I Built This, NPR, 16 Jan. 2018, www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this.

Chicago Style 

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is often used in business and technical writing. It is a style designed for authors and publishers who want to communicate information in a clear and concise manner using footnotes and endnotes. When citing podcast audio, the basic format for CMS is as follows.

For Footnotes

Last Name, First Name. “Episode Title.” Podcast Name, Production Company, date of release (month, day, year). URL.

Example;

Gleason, Mike. “The Digital Footprints We Leave Behind.” How I Built This, NPR, January 6, 2019. www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this

For Bibliographies

First Name, Last Name. “Episode Title”.Title of the podcast. Podcast audio, Accessed (Month Date, Year of publication). URL.

Example;

Mike, Gleason. “The Digital Footprints We Leave Behind.” How I Built This, NPR, January 6, 2019. www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this.

It is important to note that with CMS,

  • if the podcast episode was published on a specific date, it should be included. If not, you can use the access date instead.
  • Also, the URL is only required if it directly relates to finding or accessing the episode and is not just for general information about the podcast itself. It is also not required if it cannot be accessed online.
  • As with the other styles, if it is the entire series of podcasts you are citing rather than a specific episode, then there is no need for episode titles in both footnotes and bibliographies.
  • If the URL is unavailable, it can be left out of the citation.

FAQ

Do Podcasts Need to Be Cited?

Yes, all sources used in an academic paper should be appropriately cited. This includes podcasts, which are a form of media and should be treated as such. It is important to give credit to the source correctly so that the reader knows where the information came from and can check it for themselves if they need to.

What Kind of Source Is a Podcast?

Podcasts are a form of media, so they should be cited like any other source in an academic paper. As such, they should be cited using the appropriate style guide. Depending on the discipline and specific requirements of the paper being written, this could include APA, MLA, or Chicago-style citations.

Is Podcast a Primary Source?

Yes, podcasts can be considered primary sources, depending on their content. Primary sources are first-hand accounts or original pieces of information that have not been interpreted or evaluated. If, for example, a podcast has an interview with the person being written about, it could be used as a primary source in an academic setting.

Do You Put a Podcast Title in Quotes or Italics?

When citing a podcast in an academic paper, the title should be put in italics. This is the standard format for any source being cited and helps make it easier for readers to differentiate between the author’s own words and those of another source. Also, if a podcast has more than one episode, each one should be listed separately with its own title in italics.

Conclusion

All things considered, citing a podcast is very similar to citing any other source. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind when putting together your citations. By following the guidelines laid out in this article, you can be sure that your citations will be accurate and complete.

We recommend always double-checking with the style guide for any updates or changes in formatting.

However, there are tools available, such as podcast citation generators, that can help with creating citations. It is essential to use them as a guide and not rely solely on their formatting. And remember, properly citing your sources not only gives credit where it is due but also allows readers to track down the source for more information or further research.

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