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FOLK 2500: Oral Literature (Gordon) Fall 2022: Citing sources

George Retieff, storyteller and informant for folklore students. Retrieved from Digital Archives Initiative, Memorial University:

How to cite audio recordings

For citation purposes, you can treat an audio file as similar to a musical recording or radio/podcast recording. Note that the citation guides do not specifically address this type of recording, so you need to use some judgment in building your citation.

To cite an audio file from the DAI (for example:, refer to the specifics for your citation style (see links below), and consider the following:

  • You could use the roles Informant and Collector instead of roles like Writer, Director, Producer, Host, Composer, Conductor, Vocalist that are listed in the examples.
  • The medium or format would be MP3.
  • You could list Memorial University Digital Archives Initiative as the label/producer/publisher.
  • Alternatively, if you wanted to include the sponsor of the recording in your citation (which in this example is the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory), then you could list ICHI as the label/producer/publisher, and then list the DAI as the database in which you found the recording.

As you see, you have a little flexibility, and you will need to use your judgment as a folklore researcher to figure out what your readers need to know about the source you are using.

APA Style
Follow the guidelines for Sound Recording listed here:

Chicago Style notes “The order of these elements—and which ones are included—will depend not only on the nature of the source but also on whether a part or the whole is cited and whether a particular contributor is the focus of the citation. More information here:

General guidelines for Chicago Style:

MLA Style notes “Begin with the name of the person or group whose contribution is most relevant to your research, followed by a label identifying the person's role.” Follow the guidelines for Sound Recording listed here:

Citation: A (very) brief introduction