News at Princeton

Monday, April 24, 2017

Submit Multimedia

The Office of Communications accepts submissions of video, audio and slideshows that relate to and depict academic or campus life and that are produced by Princeton students, faculty members, staff members or approved campus organizations.

Submitted multimedia will be considered for presentation on the University homepage, the Multimedia pages, in news stories, the University's YouTube channel or in other publications, and are subject to the guidelines and procedures that follow.

In this page

Submission guidelines
Closed captioning
Copyright and intellectual property

Appearance releases
Audio recommendations

File formats and transfers
Princeton's YouTube channels


Campus video producers should notify of a planned video submission as early as possible, with an expected delivery date and the date of any related events, so that we can include your project in our schedule.

The final version of each video production should be submitted to at least two weeks before its intended debut date. Please see the file formats and transfers section below for more details.

Submission guidelines

We ask that videos be informative and/or entertaining but not be promotional in tone. However, you can mention the date/time and location of an event with a slate of text at the end of the video. We also can hotlink to an event announcement or other additional information in the supplemental text that appears next to the video.

Keep videos to a maximum of approximately three minutes in length. Shorter is better, as viewers tend to watch briefer videos more completely. If your video exceeds three minutes, please submit a trailer or the segment of the video that you want shown and provide a link to the full version.

We are seeking videos with content that can be understood by and appeals to a broad general audience. As such, we will not accept works containing profanity or content that violates University policies found in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities. Additionally, as a nonprofit institution, we require that videos appearing on University websites not include commercial logos or messages. They also may not show URLs directing viewers to external businesses.

When using text to show the title of an individual, you must include appropriate proper names and should not use slang or abbreviations.

You must include a brief written summary (three to five sentences) of your video.

Closed Captioning

Once your video has been approved, you will be responsible for having it closed-captioned. You may use: your own tools for adding closed captioning; a paid professional service, which can take two to four days to complete; or free tools such as the one available on YouTube. We have found that the YouTube captioning tool currently works better if you upload a transcript of the dialogue to be timed instead of letting it transcribe the dialogue for you.

Regardless of the tool you use, you are responsible for providing accurate closed captions that identify the speakers each time they speak and are free from spelling errors and homophones (words that sound alike but have different meanings). For more closed captioning resources, please contact

Copyright and intellectual property

Videos created using University funds or resources are to be copyrighted to the Trustees of Princeton University using the current year in the following format:

2016 The Trustees of Princeton University

For videos and multimedia to be considered for University websites, you must have created and/or have permission to use all content, including video and still imagery, words and music. You also will need to gain permission if your video shows sets, props, lighting and/or costumes designed by individuals who are not part of the campus community.

The University discourages video and multimedia producers from adding background music that they did not compose themselves. The exception is using music for which you have obtained explicit permission from all copyright holders, including holders of lyrics, composition, performance and recording rights. We will not accept a remix of copyrighted music.

Brief instances of incidental background music in a scene may be acceptable, according to generally agreed-upon fair-use guidelines. Examples of incidental music include a recording made during a performance or sporting event, from which the video producer could not remove the background music.

Alternatives to using copyrighted sound recordings for background music include:

  • ambient noise,
  • audio that is shared via a Creative Commons license,
  • compositions and recordings by friends who grant you permission,
  • music you create yourself,
  • free audio loops included with software such as GarageBand and FinalCut Pro.

Appearance releases

Princeton students and faculty and staff members do not need to sign an appearance release form to appear in a video produced by the University.

The University requires that signed release forms accompany all videos considered for posting on the Web if the video includes someone in the following two categories:

  1. any person younger than 18 who is clearly recognizable and/or speaks in the video. A parent or legal guardian must sign the child/ward release form (.pdf).
  2. any person 18 or older who speaks in a video and who is NOT a current student or faculty or staff member at Princeton. Each such individual must sign the recording release form (.pdf).

Audio recommendations

We strongly recommend renting an external microphone so that you'll capture better audio of people speaking directly to the camera. Starting with higher-quality audio saves editing time and makes the final product easier to hear. Student videomakers can rent microphones at Media Services.

The audio levels should generally "peak" at -8db to -6db so that they are not too loud or too soft for the viewers. You can adjust these levels in FinalCut Pro or other video editing software.

Other technical services are available to Princeton faculty, students and staff through the New Media Center and Broadcast Center.

File formats and transfers

The easiest ways for members of the University community to share video files are to upload a .mov or .mp4 file onto a file-sharing site and to send the link and details to

Submissions for Princeton's YouTube Channels

The Office of Communications has established the official Princeton University YouTube presence with three channels: Features, Academics, and Campus Life.

The content on the Princeton Features YouTube channel is managed by the Office of Communications and includes videos that have been selected for the University's main website homepage. Students, faculty and staff can submit videos to be considered for both the University homepage and the Princeton Features YouTube channel. (See requirements above.)

The Princeton Academics and Princeton Campus Life channels are available for content produced by Princeton faculty and staff only. These two channels can accept videos without a duration limit. These channels also allow for higher-quality video uploads than personal YouTube accounts will accept. Faculty and staff members of academic departments and administrative offices who would like a one-time video upload to these channels may contact the Princeton Broadcast Center. For details about uploading more than one video, please contact