This is the "Home" page of the "As Seen On the Web: Using Online Video for Research" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

As Seen On the Web: Using Online Video for Research  

As Seen On the Web: Using Online Video for Research
Last Updated: Feb 25, 2015 URL: Print Guide
Home Print Page

As Seen On the Web: Using Online Video for Research

Sites like YouTube ( ) and Ted Talks ( ) have become standards for providing people with information. Depending on your information needs, a video can be far more useful and accessible than text based information.  But how do you find quality and authoritative content?  How do you share this media with others? How do you cite videos in your research? And can you create videos for your own purposes?  In this workshop, you will learn the where and how of using online video for research.


The Case for Video

If you have ever relaxed while watching a movie, been informed by the evening news, been tempted while watching a commercial, learned from on online tutorial or been inspired by a documentary then you are already well aware of the power of video.

Video has tremendous appeal to the vast amount of people who are visual learners.  As well as a myriad of arguments for use in an academic setting.

For instance

  • It can provide a clearer explanation than written text
  • It can convey emotion far better than other mediums
  • It allows one to revisit or share a moment or experience
  •  It is familiar to so many of us
  • It can be far less intimidating than other mediums
  • It is easy to find in our Internet connected world
  •  It is easy to create with everyday equipment and little or no experience

Finding Video on the Web

We are often exposed to video online in the form of emailed links to trending video and clips on our favorite sites.  But to truly experience the power of video, you need to be able to search for what you need. 

Using Search Engines to find videos

Search engines will generally allow you to search for different types of media such as images, file types, audio and video.

Bing |

Google |


Social Media: Video

Many sites allow users to create and share video content as a form of social media. 


Online databases

There are many online databases that provide access to video.  Sometimes these databases are publicly available or subscription databases available with login credentials.

Going to the Source

Many companies and organizations have embraced the power of video and routinely post free video content on their site.  So if you hear about a great show on PBS ( )or segment on CBS Sunday Morning ( ) you can visit the site and often find the video.


Citations for Video

Just like any other resource, if you use video in your academic work, you need to give credit by providing citation information.


MLA Citation Film or Video recording

Annie Hall. Dir. Woody Allen. 1977. Videocassette. MGM/UA Home Video, 1991.

Online Video

YouTube (MLA)

Author’s Name or Poster’s Username. “Title of Image or Video.” Media Type
Text. Name of Website. Name of Website’s Publisher, date of posting. Medium. date retrieved.

Shimabukuro, Jake. "Ukulele Weeps by Jake Shimabukuro." Online video clip.
YouTube. YouTube, 22 Apr. 2006. Web. 9 Sept. 2010.


Personal Video

Miller, John. Personal video. 23 Feb. 2015.
Miller, John. Personal smart phone video. 23 Feb. 2015.


Creating your own video

In the past, the cost of equipment and skills needed to produce quality video put it out of reach for most people. Today, that isn’t the case. Anyone with access to a smartphone or tablet has access to the powerful video production software and video capture equipment needed to make almost any kind of project. For examples check out,  7 Superb Short Films Shot with Cellphones (


Cell phone & Tablets
Most newer smart phones and tablets have the option to record video.  Some have built in editing programs.


Most platforms including IOS and Android have low cost or free apps available for producing video.

Edutopia: 5 Apps for Making Movies on Mobile Devices


Screencasting is creating a digital recording of a computer screen.  Screencasting can be a great way to create tutorials or share information. Sites like Jing, ( ) and software like Camtasia ( )


Potential uses

1.      Film a scene or setting and ask people to create a literary work based on what they see

2.      Use as a story telling aid to set the background for a lecture or to spark  a discussion

3.      Film an experiment for observation, discussion or review

4.      Show someone how to solve a problem

5.      Use in place of PowerPoint to create a visual backdrop for a lecture or presentation

6.      Use to better illustrate a scenario

7.      Use to share observations of an environment

8.      Create tutorials to teach a skill

9.      Use to collect scientific data (observations)

10.  Use to collect social data such (interviews)


Other Resources

Edutopia Five-Minute Film Festival: Vine and Instagram Video in the Classroom

The Best Resources for Learning To Use The Video Apps “Vine” & Instagram

ENotes Blog: Social Media and the Classroom: How to Use Vine

'Time Traveler' in 1928 Charlie Chaplin Film?

A Rare Peek Inside The Architecture Of Antarctic Exploration




Evaluating Content

Evaluating Content

Just like any information you find on the Internet, you will want to evaluate your videos to determine if the information they contain is appropriate for our needs.

1. Make sure you understand your information needs

  • What kind of information do you need?
  • What do you plan to do with the information?

2. Review the page, content, and URL and determine:

  • Who is the author?  - Are they qualified?
  • What is the source?  - Is it reliable?
  • When was it published? -  Is it current?
  • What is the purpose of the site?  - Is it biased?

Loading  Loading...