Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Using Multimedia in your Research

This guide goes over the basics of incorporating multimedia into research projects and presentations and accompanies a Savvy Researcher Workshop.

Checking for reliability

Many evaluative methods for articles and news sources can be used for multimedia sources as well.

  • Check other work from the author(s) to see if the work is fact-checked. Are they an expert in the field/topic? Do they have a track record of reliable work?
  • Check the sources that are cited. Are the sources they are drawing research from reliable?
  • Check other articles on the topic, if possible. Do other sources agree or disagree with the claims of the article?
  • Check other articles from the same source, or sources that comment on the reliability of the source.
  • Question the viewpoints and specific choices made within the source. Is there any evidence that the author(s) may be trying to advertise or sell a service or viewpoint for a particular benefit?

Ask a librarian if you’re still unsure!


While using multimedia, you need to ensure that you're not breaking any copyright laws. The Library's Copyright Reference Guide provides an abundance of information about how to navigate copyright. 

When using copyrighted work for research purposes, there is a code in copyright law that allows for fair use. To determine fair use, the purpose, nature, amount, and effect of the use of the work are considered. The Fair Use page of the copyright guide provides more information. 


It is still necessary to cite sources when operating under fair use. Many citation styles have been updated to include formats for multimedia sources. The Purdue Online Writing Lab provides comprehensive overviews of common styles in the Research and Citation Guide.  

Additional questions? Ask a librarian!