How to quote a code of ethics

Quoting the interview correctly - examples

Interviews can be one of the sources that you use in your master's or bachelor's thesis. If you want to cite an interview in a scientifically correct manner, differentiate between the type of communication - between interviews you conducted yourself and those that have already been published.

References check

Quote your own interview

To use interviews that you have conducted personally, you transcribe them, that is, you take a transcript of the conversation. Such personal interviews, as well as telephone conversations, but also an exchange of letters or e-mails, count as 'personal communication'.

Own interviews and other personal communications that will be used for your work are included in transcribed form in attachments. However, they do not appear in the bibliography. In order to be able to refer to the attachment when citing, the contents must be sorted, ideally by numbering and categorizing the attachments with points and, if necessary, sub-points.

APA reference in the running text

Example of an APA-compliant reference to an interview in the appendix
According to the statements of X (see Appendix 1) ...
As can be deduced from the interview with X ... (see Appendix 1.1).

Harvard citation

If you use the Harvard citation or the German citation for the work, the reference in the text must contain the following information:
  • Name of the interviewee
  • '(Personal) interview', 'interview with' or similar
  • place and date
  • Reference to the appendix
How it results ... (Schmidt, Manfred, personal interview, Berlin, April 10th, 2020, see Appendix 1).

German citation

With this citation, a footnote is placed in the running text that contains the reference as a full reference or a short reference.
1See Schmidt, Manfred: Interview, April 10, 2020, see Appendix 1.
2See Schmidt, April 10, 2020, see Appendix 1.

Quote published interview

Interviews are considered to be published if they have either been transcribed in a newspaper, magazine or book or published in podcasts. In this case, the interview will be cited scientifically correct just like the source in which it can be found. The author of the source is considered the author.

In order to cite correctly, there is a note in the text and - unlike in self-conducted interviews - an entry in the bibliography

APA citation style

The reference in the text with the author's last name in brackets and the page number can look like this:
As the arguments show ... (Schmidt, 2020).
"One can agree on this view of things." (Schmidt, 2020, p. 15)

The bibliography should include the full information:
Schmidt, M. (2020). Quoting scientifically correct. Verlag, 50 (2), 15-23.

Harvard citation

Reference in the text
As the arguments show ... (cf. Schmidt 2020: 15).
"One can agree on this point of view." (Schmidt 2020: 15)

Schmidt, M. (2020). Quoting scientifically correct. Verlag, Ort, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 15-23.

German citation

In the case of published interviews, you can also differentiate between full reference1 and short reference2 of the publication in a footnote, alternatively in a verbatim quote: "One can agree on this point of view."3.

1See Schmidt, M. (2020). Quoting scientifically correct. Verlag, Ort, vol. 50, no. 2, p. 15.
2See Schmidt, 2020, p. 15.
3Schmidt, 2020, p. 15.

Specification in the bibliography

As you can see, an entry in the bibliography is only made if you cite interviews that have already been published. In this case, the full details of the author or editor of the publication, title, in the case of magazines also the year and number as well as the date of publication must be given, if necessary also the page, if you only used one or a few specific interviews.

Quoting anonymous interviews

When evaluating and citing interviews as part of qualitative research, the respondents are often anonymized. In this case, you cannot give a name when referring to the interview. In order to make the participants directly identifiable, you can assign a number to each person and state this in connection with the statement.
From the conversation it became clear that ... (Participant 17, personal communication, April 12, 2020).
Participant 14 states that ... (see Appendix 1.4).

Reference to interview in the appendix

Since independently conducted interviews and comparable communications always have to be prepared in one or more attachments, the citation methods already described above apply here, in each case for
  • APA
  • Harvard citation
  • German citation
Quoting an interview correctly is not difficult if you have the citation rules in mind. In no case does it work completely without a reference, because in this case you can also be accused of plagiarism. If you want to be absolutely sure that your work will meet the requirements of the examiners, you can play it safe with academic editing.

Professional editing


How do I quote from an interview?

You first differentiate between interviews you have conducted yourself and interviews that have already been published. Self-conducted interviews and other personal communications are compiled in appendices to which reference is made in the text. They are not entered in the bibliography. Published interviews are cited with the publication as a source.

How do I quote personal communication?

If you have had personal conversations with someone, you can write them down in the form of a memory log. The APA citation also allows references to personal communications that are not included in the appendix to the paper. However, to make the information available to examiners and readers as fully as possible, you should still attach such communications.