In this video, I’m going to show you how you can use CiteIt.net to create expanding citations for YouTube videos that have transcripts.
I ‘ll start by going to an interview Joe Rogan did with Malcolm Gladwell in which Gladwell explained his 4-part Typology of Crime Stories.
One thing that few people are aware of is that YouTube provides a way to view the transcript of a video, whether a transcript was provided by the video creator or a rough transcript was machine-generated by a YouTube computer algorithm.
To view the transcript of this Malcolm Gladwell video, I’ll select the ‘…’ button to the right of the “Save” button and above the “Subscribe” button.
When using this button, I find that many, but not all videos will have an “Open transcript option.”
This opens up a section of the page that displays the transcript, including a time marker beside each line.
When you click on a given line, it resets the video start position.
One of the nice things about video transcripts is that you can search it if you know some of the words spoken.
So next I’m going to try to identify the section of the video that deals with Gladwell’s crime typology. So I’ll click Control-F to find the word “western”.
The first search result is “southwestern Ontario”, which is not what we want.
The second result is what we want, so I will click on the line to reset the video time.
Now, if I want to get the next several minutes of the transcript, I could copy all the lines of text and then edit out the time markers.
Another way, which also serves to demonstrate how the CiteIt.net Web service works, is to copy the video’s URL into the Sample Code Transcript page.
I can do this by first copying the YouTube video URL to the clipboard.
I then go to the CiteIt.net home page and click on the “Create Text Version” of the HTML page or YouTube transcript.
And then I paste the YouTube video URL into the form field and click the “create text-version” button. This causes the Cite.net API to make a call to the YouTube API, which takes a bit more time than regular HTML web page queries unless the video transcript was previously queried and cached.
So now, I’m going to do a search for “western” again. I’ll skip past the reference to southwestern Ontario and find the selection pertaining to “crime”. I’ll copy this text selection to my clipboard and paste it into a blog post on a website that has the CiteIt.net WordPress plugin installed.
So I’ll next go to the demo site — demo.citeit.net — and login with the listed password.
I’ll paste in the copied text and make sure the text is selected while I click on the custom “CiteIt blockquote” button. This results in a popup box where I can enter the video URL.
Perhaps someday, the CiteIt.net API will calculate the video’s start time, based on the transcript, but for now, when you copy the link, you should select the time position at which you wish the video to start. Once you found the start position, click “Share” and check the “Start at” checkbox.
Then click the “Copy” URL and paste it into the custom WordPress popup.
When I next click “publish”, the WordPress plugin contacts the CiteIt.net API, which contacts the YouTube API and pulls in the full transcript, which the API then compiles into a JSON file with 500 characters of context before and after that, which the WordPress plugin displays when the reader clicks on the blue arrows or the popup.
After you click “publish”. to view the resulting page, you can click on the “permalink”, preview, or “view post” link.
When you do this, you should see a link to “Expand” the context and view the embedded YouTube video above the quote.
If you play the video, it should start where you specified with the “t=” number of seconds from the beginning.
Now, that I have successfully viewed the post, I can also go back and edit the post to add formattings, like bold, or italics, images, or anything else that doesn’t alter post when converted to the text version.
When I re-save the post with the formatting changes, I should see that the contextual arrows still appear.
If you modify the quote in ways that make the plain-text value of the quote different from the original, you should see that the contextual arrows or popup disappears. And if you used the developer tools to view the JSON files, you will notice that the hash number of the JSON files change and appears in red, indicating that the WordPress plugin can’t find a matching JSON file from the web service.
To fix the problem with this, it is easiest to re-copy the quote from the web service text version, get the quote to match first, and then add formatting, paying attention that you don’t change the content in ways that won’t match the original when converted to text.
If you still have problems, make a post on the demo site and tag it with “citeit-bugs”, with a link to your website so that I can see the bug in action.
In the future, I hope to solidify the precision of this matching process to verify the quote, while allowing the quote to have capitalization differences and ellipses.
CiteIt.net is an open-source project whose goal is to create
a higher standard of citation
for news organizations, academics, and web authors
If you have a suggestion or would like to become involved in the testing or programming of the project, feel free to contact me by email.
CiteIt.net aims to change norms. So next time you see an un-sourced quote or argument, ask them:
Can you CiteIt? Can you CiteIt?