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December 13, 2011

Thing 22: Finding and sharing YouTube videos

YouTube is the biggest video sharing website on the web. It has a wealth of content and provides some information about that content, such as how many times each clip has been viewed, and from which part of the world it has been viewed. Thing 22 requires you to find and share YouTube content relevant to your research. You will also be asked to provide a short commentary on the videos.

YouTube for researchers
YouTube has two distinct applications for research.

  1. You can use YouTube to present your own research outputs. This is becoming common as a means of reporting on ‘research in progress.’ For practical advice on producing video content, see my guide on video essays for the Wolfson Research Exchange.
  2. You can use YouTube as a primary data source. Always keep in mind the issues of value and validity. Who has uploaded this video, and why? There are also problems over the stability of YouTube as a data source, as this interview with Dr. Fanar Haddad makes clear.


Finding YouTube content
Locating relevant material can be a challenge on a fluid site like YouTube. The site has just updated its design as well, but this handy guide should answer any questions you have about layout or functionality. Sign in, either using your Google account, or creating an account via the button at the top left.

You’re now ready to start searching! Remember:

  • the query bar at the top allows for keyword searches, which you can then filter
  • pay attention to who has uploaded the content
  • if it is a trusted source, explore their other videos
  • it’s worth subscribing to YouTube channels of organisations and institutions directly relevant to your research.


Sharing YouTube content
Thing 22 is to find and share two YouTube videos relevant to your research. We also want you to comment on why you are sharing this content and why you think it is useful.

Embed one video into your blog and share the other via Twitter. The Share button will provide a custom message – you can edit this to provide your commentary.

Additional things

As Dr. Haddad suggests in the video above, downloading YouTube videos is one way of preserving them. Using these step-by-step instructions, download your chosen videos.

Further information


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