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Citation Guide: Correspondences & Interviews

Correspondences & Interviews

To cite personal correspondences, including conversations, letters, emails, text messages, etc., you can either note the correspondence in-text or in a footnote.  Such personal correspondences are typically not included in bibliographies.

Professor Sheila Jackson explained in a February 10, 2022, email sent to me that…

            #. Sheila Jackson, email message to author, February 10, 2022. 

For non-confidential interviews, you should normally include the name of the person you interviewed.  If, however, the interviews were conducted in confidentiality, then substitute in a title for the interviewee, and note in the text or in a footnote that names have been withheld for confidentiality.  Unpublished interviews should be cited in footnotes, and are typically not included in a bibliography


            #. Interviewee’s firstname lastname (title/role), interview with author, date.

             #. Brynden Rivers (pastor, First Unitarian Church of Northwall, WI), interview with author, September 2013.


            #. Interview with title, date.

            #. Interview with Chicago Public School teacher, August 4, 2022.


            #. Interviewee’s firstname lastname, interview by interviewer’s firstname lastname, platform information, date, URL.

            #. W. Kamau Bell, interview by Trevor Noah, The Daily Show, YouTube video, 9:08, Aug. 13, 2020,

Shortened footnote

            #. Interviewee’s lastname, interview by interviewer’s lastname.


Interviewee’s lastname, firstname.  Interview by interviewer’s firstname lastname.  Platform information, date. URL.

Bell, W. Kamau.  Interview by Trevor Noah.  The Daily Show. YouTube video, 9:08, August. 13, 2020.

Using Stable URLs

A bibliographic citation is meant to give the reader all of the information she needs to find and access the source being cited.  When citing online content, that means including the web address, otherwise known as the URL or Uniform Resource Locator.  Citing websites can be tricky.  While many works on the internet are freely open to anyone, many others are only available to verified users with a login or users who pay to get access to something behind a paywall.  If you are citing a source that requires a login or is behind a paywall, you MUST use what is variously called a stable URL or permalink. While a stable URL/permalink will not necessarily give every reader access to the article or content, they will at least be directed to a page that shows that the article is indeed there.  If you instead put a non-stable URL, like the URL from the top browser bar, then a reader who types in or click on that link will not be directed to that article.

One specific type of stable URL is a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), a URL which is permanently linked to that object.  Anyone making online content can register their content with the DOI organization.  DOIs all begin or

Many article databases note a stable URL or include a tool for finding one.  On JSTOR, a stable URL and DOI can be found on the left side of the page when you click on an article.  On EBSCO Academic Search Complete, there is an option for obtaining a permalink at the bottom of the right-hand column; look for the chain-link icon.   Click on it and the permalink will appear above the article title.

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