We all know there are citation rules for books and journal articles, but modern media come in many more formats, and it might not always be clear how they need to be referenced. Here, we look at the rules for how to cite a podcast and walk you through the common referencing styles.
When to Cite a Podcast in an Academic Paper
You should cite a podcast like you would give credit to any other medium: when you are directly quoting from it, when you are using thoughts and ideas you have heard someone express in a podcast, or when you are summarizing a podcast’s fundamental theory or argument. Not doing so constitutes plagiarism, just like presenting other people’s ideas and work as your own does, no matter what source you took your content from.
How you cite a podcast in a paper depends on the reference style you are following—you need to pay attention to small details like italicization, punctuation, and quotation marks, even if they seem trivial. And no matter what style guide you apply, you need to include the following basic information:
- Host/narrator’s name
- Podcast/series/episode titles
- Production/publication date/period
- Series/episode numbers
- URL or app/platform
Let’s look at the (sometimes subtle) differences between the most common style guides when it comes to podcast references.
Citing a Podcast in APA Style
APA style podcast references include the name(s) of the host(s) followed by “Host” in parentheses, the publication/production date of the episode in parentheses, the title of the episode in sentence case, the episode number (if applicable) in parentheses, the medium type in brackets, the title of the podcast in italics, the production company, and the URL (if available online):
Host last name, Initials. (Host). (Year, Month Day). Title of episode (No. of episode) [Audio podcast episode]. In Title of podcast. Production Company. URL
Note: If you access the podcast from a platform or app rather than a specific URL, you can omit the URL and include a note indicating the platform (e.g., “Retrieved from Spotify”).
Citing a specific podcast episode in APA Style
This is probably the most common podcast citation type, referring to something a host or guest said in a specific episode of a podcast:
Smith, J. (Host) (2022, September 15). The Science of Sleep (No. 42) [Audio podcast episode]. In Mind and Body Matters. ABC Podcasts. https://www.example.com/mindandbodymatters/episode42
Citing a podcast series in APA Style
If you want to cite an entire podcast series, include the title of the series after the production/publication period (not date) instead of the title of the episode, and replace the “episode” in parentheses following the title with “series”:
Smith, J. (Host). (2022-present). Mind and Body Matters [Audio podcast series]. ABC Podcasts. Retrieved from https://www.example.com/mindandbodymatters
Note that you can either list the host as author or, if hosts vary across episodes, replace them with the executive producers. You indicate that by replacing the “Host” after the name with “Producer”.
Citing a video podcast in APA Style
It does not matter for your APA citation if you refer to a video rather than an audio podcast, except that you need to replace the “Audio podcast” in square brackets with “Video podcast”:
Smith, J. (Host). (2022-present). Mind and Body Matters [Video podcast series]. ABC Podcasts. Retrieved from https://www.example.com/mindandbodymatters
APA podcast citation examples
How to cite a podcast series:
|APA format||Host last name, Initials. (Host). (Year, Month Day). Title of series [Audio podcast series]. Production Company. URL|
|APA reference list entry||Meraji, S.M., & Demby, G. (Hosts). (2016–present). Code Switch. [Audio podcast series]. National Public Radio. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/codeswitch|
|APA in-text citation||(Meraji & Demby, 2016–present, 05:32)|
Note that you can highlight a specific quote in an in-text citation by adding a timestamp.
How to cite a podcast episode:
|APA format||Host last name, Initials. (Host). (Year, Month Day). Title of episode (Episode #) [Audio podcast episode]. In Title of podcast. Production Company. URL|
|APA reference list entry||Hannah-Jones, N. (Host). (2019, August 23). The Fight for a True Democracy (No. 1) [Audio podcast episode]. In 1619. The New York Times. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-1-the-fight-for-a-true-democracy/id1476928106?i=1000447613003|
|APA in-text citation||(Hannah-Jones, 2019)|
If you are unsure, the Wordvice APA Citation Generator can help you check if your references are in line with APA style before you press that “submit” button!
Citing a Podcast in MLA Style
MLA style podcast references cite the same information but in a slightly different format. Include the following, and note the quotation marks and italics: Host last name, First name, host. “Title of Episode.” Title of Podcast, Publisher, Day Month Year, URL (if available).
Citing a specific podcast episode in MLA Style
The episode number follows the title of the podcast in MLA style:
Smith, John, host. “The Science of Sleep.” Mind and Body Matters, episode 15, ABC Podcasts, 15 Sept. 2022, www.example.com/mindandbodymatters/episode42.
Citing a podcast series in MLA Style
To cite a whole podcast series instead of a specific episode in MLA style, omit the episode title and number and list only the series title:
Host last name, First name, host. Podcast name. Publisher, year range, URL.
Smith, John, host. Mind and Body Matters. ABC Podcasts, 2022-present, https://www.example.com/mindandbodymatters
Note that you can always replace the “host” after the name with the role of the person you want to cite or who made the most relevant contribution and therefore should be mentioned, depending on the context and purpose of your citation. The cited individual can be the host of the show, the narrator, a guest, or the producer.
Citing a video podcast in MLA Style
Because MLA podcast references do not mention the specific medium (unless “audio” or “video” is in the title or in the name of the publisher), citations of video and audio podcasts look identical.
MLA podcast citation examples
|MLA format||Host last name, First name, host. “Episode Title.” Podcast Name, season/episode number, Publisher/Sponsor, Day Month Year, URL.|
|MLA reference list entry||Gladwell, Malcolm, narrator. “A Good Walk Spoiled.” Revisionist History, season 2, episode 1, Pushkin Industries, 15 June 2017, revisionisthistory.com/seasons?selected=season-1|
|MLA in-text citation||(Gladwell, 2017, 04:17)|
Or, if you listened to the episode on an app, only provide the details the app lists (the season/episode numbers and publisher might be unavailable), name it, and mention which version you are using to access the podcast:
|MLA format||Host last name, First name, host. “Episode Title.” Podcast Name, App Name app, Publisher/Sponsor, Day Month Year, URL.|
|MLA reference list entry||Gladwell, Malcolm, narrator. “A Good Walk Spoiled.” Revisionist History, iTunes app, 16 June 2016.|
|MLA in-text citation||(Gladwell, 2017)|
Still unsure whether you are citing all those podcasts correctly? Use our MLA Citation Generator to make sure your references are in the right format.
Citing a Podcast in Chicago Style
A bibliography entry for a Chicago-style podcast reference looks like this:
Host Last name, First Name. “Episode Title”. Produced by Producer. Podcast Title, Month Date, Year of publication. Podcast, format, Length in 00:00. URL.
Please note that Chicago-style citations vary depending on whether you are following the author-date or notes-bibliography system. The examples at the end of this section show how the different versions of the same citation appear depending on your format.
Citing a specific podcast episode in Chicago Style
Chicago-style citations do not necessarily include episode numbers, but the episode title needs to be presented first after the host, in quotation marks:
Smith, John. “The Science of Sleep.” Produced by ABC Podcasts. Mind and Body Matters, September 15, 2022. Podcast, MP3 audio, 30:04. https://www.example.com/mindandbodymatters/episode42
Citing a podcast series in Chicago Style
If you are citing the entire series of a podcast in Chicago style, omit the episode title, provide just the production/publication year or the time period, and leave out the episode length:
John Smith, Mind and Body Matters. Produced by ABC Podcasts, 2022-present, Podcast, MP3 audio, https://www.example.com/mindandbodymatters
Citing a video podcast in Chicago Style
To refer to a video podcast, simply replace the “MP3 audio” after the date and year of publication with the correct format:
Smith, John. “The Science of Sleep.” Produced by ABC Podcasts. Mind and Body Matters, September 15, 2022. Podcast, MP4 video, 30:04. https://www.example.com/mindandbodymatters/episode42
Chicago podcast citation examples
How to cite a podcast episode:
|Chicago format||Host Last name, First Name. “Episode Title”. Produced by Producer. Podcast Title, Month Date, Year of publication. Podcast, format, Length in 00:00. URL.|
|Chicago bibliography entry||Mars, Roman. “Sound and Health: Cities.” Produced by Leila Battison and Dallas Taylor, with help from Sam Schneble. 99% Invisible, May 16, 2019. Podcast, website, 19:09. http://www.99percentinvisible.org/episode/sound-and-health-cities/|
|Chicago footnotes||Long-form: Mars, Roman. “Sound and Health: Cities.” 99% Invisible, May 16, 2019. Podcast, website, 19:09. http://www.99percentinvisible.org/episode/sound-and-health-cities/|
Short-form: Mars, “Sound and Health: Cities.”
Author-date: Mars, 2019.
How to cite an entire podcast series:
|Chicago format||Host Last name, First Name. Podcast Title. Produced by Producer, Year/period. Podcast, format, URL.|
|Chicago bibliography entry||Zomorodi, Manoush and Goldmark, Alex. Radiolab. Produced by New York Public Radio, 2002-present. Podcast, MP3 audio, https://radiolab.org/|
|Chicago footnotes||Long-form: Zomorodi, Manoush and Goldmark, Alex. Radiolab. 2002-present. Podcast, MP3 audio, https://radiolab.org/|
Short-form: Zomorodi and Goldmark, Radiolab.
Author-date: Zomorodi and Goldmark, 2022-present
Let our Chicago Citation Generator help you cite podcasts correctly in Chicago 17th style.
Citing a Podcast in Vancouver Style
The Vancouver style primarily focuses on biomedical literature and does not have specific instructions for citing podcasts. However, you can adapt the citation format for online audio or video content to create a citation for a podcast in Vancouver style, for example like this:
Host(s) or creator(s). Title of episode [Type of medium]. Title of podcast. Production Company; Year. Available from: URL or DOI (if available).
Another variation of Vancouver-style podcast references could look like this:
Creator AA, Creator BB. Title of episode. Title of Programme: subtitle [format]. Place of recording: Publisher; Year Date of recording [cited Year Date Cited]. Available from: Internet address.
Note that Vancouver-style citations always differ depending on the requirements of the journal you are submitting to and that many different variations are acceptable as long as they contain the relevant information and are consistent within a document. Make sure you check the author guidelines and apply any specific rules your target journal might have.
Citing a specific podcast episode in Vancouver Style
Bettiza, Sofia. Mystery on Maggiore [Internet podcast]. 5 Questions On. BBC Sounds; 8 June 2023. Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0ft2ywx.
Citing a podcast series in Vancouver Style
Since every episode of this series is presented by a different host (which is often the case), start with the specific streaming service that produces and publishes the podcast:
BBC Sounds. 5 Questions On [Internet podcast]. BBC; 2018-present. Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/p0cvzk80.
Citing a video podcast in Vancouver Style
Video podcasts do not differ from audio podcasts in Vancouver style—just indicate the specific format in brackets or parentheses after the episode or podcast title.
Vancouver podcast citation examples
How to cite a podcast episode:
|Vancouver format||Host(s) or creator(s). Title of episode [Type of medium]. Title of podcast. Production Company; Year, Date. URL|
|Vancouver website citation||1. Hawley, Sam. Vaping is everywhere. Can we really ban it? [Podcast: 13 mins.] ABC News Daily. ABC Radio. 2023, 4 May. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/abc-news-daily/vaping-is-everywhere-can-we-really-ban-it-/102298354|
|Vancouver in-text citation||Dr Emily Banks, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Australian National University, Canberra, is filling the public in on Australia’s efforts to combat smoking.1|
How to cite an entire podcast series:
|Vancouver format||Host(s) or creator(s). Title of series [Type of medium]. Production Company; Year/period. URL|
|Vancouver website citation||1. Meraji, Shereen Marisol, & Demby, Gene. Code Switch [Audio podcast series]. National Public Radio. 2016–present. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/codeswitch|
|Vancouver in-text citation||On Code Switch, hosts of color explore how race affects every part of society—from politics and pop culture to history, food and everything in between.1|
If your citations differ from these examples and you are not entirely sure if they are in line with Vancouver style, then use our Vancouver Style Citation Generator to check!
Wordvice can also help you with the general structure, flow, and tone of your manuscript—request our paper editing service or professional proofreading service and let our editors give you some expert-level input before you submit.