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Docuseek2 provides a tool for generating citations for films for proper inclusion inline and in a list of references.

The citation tool appears on the Credits tab of the Title Information page.

Docuseek2 supports four types of citations:

The different citation formats vary in their flexibility. The nature of the work being cited, and the nature of the material being cited, may affect how the reference material should be cited. In addition, films, and in particular documentary films, vary in how responsibility for the content is attributed. While Docuseek2 makes a good effort to construct a proper in-text and reference list citation, in all cases, the researcher should rely on institutional preference and legitimate references to the relevant citation style. The library is an excellent source for support in citation technique.

APA style

The APA format for a motion picture citation treats the producer and/or director as the "author". The name is followed by the role (e.g. "Producer" or "Director") in parentheses,the date, the title of the work in italics and a description of the format in brackets (e.g. "Motion picture". Additional personnel of note can be included after the format, in brackets, with brief phrases (e.g., "Narrated by", "With", "Written by"). The entry concludes with the country of origin and the company. As with all APA citations, the author (producer or director) name is in last name, first initial order; multiple names separated by commas with the last name preceded by "&". Elements in the citation are separated by periods. The first word of titles is capitalized, and the rest are lower case, with the exception of proper nouns.

Since the streaming video is accessed via the web, additional information about where and when the material was accessed should be added, as in "Retreived {Month day, year} from {URL}".

Docuseek2 provides two APA versions, per differing guidelines in the the fifth and sixth editions of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Perrin (2007) is based on the 2001 fifth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. He writes "an entry for a motion picture begins with the producer's or director's name" (p. 96, emphasis added). The example for a motion picture in his guide lists only a director. The 2010 sixth edition of the Publication Manual is vaguer, and simply states "for a motion picture, use the following format", with an example listing the producer, and then the director, as in:

Producer, A. A. (Producer), & Director, B. B. (Director). (Year). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio.

From a cursory survey of the sixth edition, the motion picture format is the only format that includes personnel names with multiple roles, and there does not appear to be clear rules for listing multiple producers and directors, as is the case for many films on Docuseek2. Docuseek2 follows the normal APA rules for listing multiple producers, and the connecting ', &' and then the normal rules for listing multiple directors. This results in clumsy citations like:

Daly, T., & Low, C. (Producers), & Verrall, R., & Budner, G. (Directors). (1959). A is for Architecture [Streaming video]. Canada: National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved August 31, 2015 from

A lot of ampersands. The sixth edition does not indicate how in-line citations should be structured, and is also mute on how to deal with situations where the same person appears as both producer and director. Docuseek2 lists the names in both the producer and director position.

Given the differences, Docuseek2 provides two APA options -- an APA 5th edition, with just the director; or if no director, just the producer; and an APA 6th edition as shown above. Here is the 5th edition version of the same reference:

Verrall, R., & Budner, G. (Directors). (1959). A is for Architecture [Streaming video]. Canada: National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved August 31, 2015 from

The in-text citation uses the author last name and year separated by a comma.


Reference (APA 5th edition): Belle, D. & Wrathall, N. (Directors). (2014). Abandoned [Streaming video]. United States: Bullfrog Films. Retrieved July 31, 2015 from

Reference (APA 6th edition): Belle, D. (Producer), & Belle, D., & Wrathall, N. (Directors). (2000). Abandoned: The betrayal of America's immigrants [Streaming video]. United States: Bullfrog Films. Retrieved August 31, 2015 from

In-text reference (5th edition): (Belle & Wrathall, 2014)

In-text reference (6th edition): (Belle, & Belle & Wrathall, 2000)

MLA style

MLA guidelines for film or video recordings are defined in section 6.8.3 of the MLA Style Manual. The MLA style emphasizes the work itself, and so begins with the title of the film (italicized), followed by the director, the distributor, the year of release, and the medium. Information about other contributors can be included if it is pertinent, after the title, and before the distributor. However, if the reason for citing the film is to highlight a particular individual, the reference should begin with the individual's name in last name, first name order. Titles are capitalized in "headline" style -- the first and most other words capitalized, with the exception of articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and some other exceptions.

MLA style calls for additional information to be included for material retrieved from the web, as described in section 6.7.2d. The entry should conclude with the title of the database, italicized, the medium of publication (in this case "Web") and the date of access in day month year format.

MLA in-text citations can vary in their format but are intended to help the reader find the cited work in the list of references. For works referenced by title (as with film), include the title in parentheses. If an individual is emphasized in the reference list, use the individual's last name inside parentheses. MLA style is fairly loose, preferring readability over potentially distracting pointers to sources, so best to consult the MLA Style Manual for guidance.

The Docuseek2 MLA citations will always use the film title.

Reference: Abandoned. Dir. David Belle and Nicholas Wrathall. Distributor: Bullfrog Films, 2014. Docuseek2. Web. 31 Jul 2015.

In-text reference: (Abandoned)

University of Chicago style

The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) describes two systems of documenting sources. The "Notes-Bibliography" style, uses footnotes or endnotes for in-text references, with a bibliography of all references at the end. The Manual suggests this format for research works in the humanities. With the"Author-Date" style, in-text references indicate the source by the author and date in parentheses immediately following the reference; a list of references appears at the end. This format is favored in the social and physical sciences. The content of the references are similar in both styles, differing primarily in placement. Docuseek2 provides University of Chicago style citations in the Author-Date form, but the content of the references can be easily adapted for the Notes-Bibliography style. Refer to
The Chicago Manual of Style for specifics on using either system.

Titles are capitalized in "headline" style -- the first and most other words capitalized, with the exception of articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and some other exceptions.

For audiovisual materials "[w]hom to list as 'author' depends on the focus of the citation and is a matter of authorial discretion." (section 15.53, p. 809). For multiple names, the first name is in last name, first name order; and subsequent names are in first name last name order. In cases where the film is a recording of a television program, Chicago style says that information about the original performance or source should be included. Docuseek2's citations will not include original airdate information, but it applies to only a handful of titles.

Citations of online materials should include the URL of the material.

Author-date in-text citations list the last name and date in parentheses, with no separating comma.

Reference: Belle, David, and Nicholas Wrathall. Abandoned. Reading, PA: Bullfrog Films, 2014.

In-text reference: (Belle and Wrathall 2014)

Turabian style

The Turabian style is derived from the Chicago style. The Turabian style for citing films is straightforward: reference the director (last name, first name) followed by "dir."; then the date, title (italicized), and the name of the company that produced or distributes the film. Indicate the viewed format of the film. As with Chicago style, titles are capitalized in "headline" style -- the first and most other words capitalized, with the exception of articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and some other exceptions. If no director is cited, but a producer is, Docuseek2 will indicate that role.

For citations of online material, include the access date and the URL of the material.

Docuseek2 provides Author-Date formatted in-text references.

Reference: Belle, David, and Nicholas Wrathall, dirs. 2000. Abandoned: The Betrayal of America's Immigrants. Bullfrog Films. Streaming video. Accessed October 17, 2015 from

In-line reference: (Belle and Wrathall 2000)

Additional notes

To understand how Docuseek2 assembles a citation, here are some important things to note:
  • Docuseek2 relies on information in the title's MARC record.
  • For most of the citation formats, if directors are identified in the MARC record, those people are considered the "authors" for the work.
  • If a director is not identified, and one or more producers are identified, the producers will take the place of "author."
  • The exception to the above two points is the APA sixth edition format, which will list both producers and directors (see above).
  • Docuseek2 uses the the producer or distributor who provided the film to Docuseek2 as the distributor / company / studio associated with the film -- not Docuseek2, and usually NOT the actual production company or country of production. The original production company and country may be found in most cases in the MARC record.
  • The Credits page will identify other important personnel in the film, e.g. a narrator, interviewer, interviewee, actor(s), composer, etc. Some citation styles (e.g. MLA) suggest referring to the person connected to what you are referencing. The Docuseek2 citation will only reference the director or producer.
  • Citations use the title from the MARC record. MARC record capitalization style for the most part matches the APA style. The title will display in the original language of production. MLA, Chicago and Turabian capitalization in most cases will be correct, but double-check against your style manual.
  • The citation will use the film year from the Docuseek2 database, not the MARC record, unless the year is missing from the Docuseek2 database.
  • Several films on Docuseek2 are part of series. We have tried our best to accurately cite the series name and episode or part, but double-check your style manual.
  • The final authority for information about the film is the film itself, and the relevant information will appear in the credits at the beginning or end of the film.

We appreciate hearing any feedback about our citations. Please email with any suggestions, complaints, etc.

The American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) (2010). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Modern Language Association. (2008). MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing. (3rd ed.) New York: The Modern Language Association of America.
Perrin, Robert. (2007). Pocket guide to APA style . (2nd ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Turabian, Kate L. (2013). A manual for writers of research papers, theses and dissertations. 8th edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.