YouTube guidance


Process for uploading a video to YouTube

All videos uploaded to NIHRtv need to be checked by the Social Media Group.

All planned videos should be added to the YouTube Planner.

All videos should be uploaded to YouTube follwing the guidance below, with their visibility set as “private”. An email should be sent to the social media group inbox  ( with the link to the video.

A member of social media group will then review the video, and provide feedback or approval to make the video live within 3 working days. Please ensure you allow enough time when planning and uploading your content, before the live date. We recommend adding content 7 days before the live date, to allow enough time for feedback and for you to make any amends if necessary.

Films uploaded by LCRNs should be approved by the CRNCC communications team. If you work for an LCRN, please follow the above process but email to request review and approval for your film


Principles for uploading a video to YouTube


Title and description

These help the viewer understand what the video is about and what to expect by watching it. They also make the video searchable on YouTube and via Google, helping people to find our content. Ensure titles and descriptions are relevant and take into consideration SEO principles. Titles and descriptions need to be reviewed over time, and updated to be relevant (for example updating job descriptions of featured people.)

The title and description should be completed in full, even if your video is to remain unlisted. Do not leave as the default description.


  • The title should be clear and concise.
  • It should include keywords in relation to the theme or topic of the video. Keywords and phrases should be placed towards the beginning of the title. Keywords and phrases should also be said in the video and therefore appear in your subtitles.
  • Consider using questions commonly searched for on YouTube (you can use Google/YouTube search suggestions to help, and Google trends for suggestions of keywords.)
  • Titles should be kept to a maximum of 70 characters, where possible, to make it easier for search to display the full title.


  • Provide context and introduce what the video is about
  • Include your keywords and phrases, and the main message at the start. Only the first 100 characters will show on search results so this needs to grab attention and cover the subject of the video.
  • If there are different sections of your video that you consider users will want to link to then note these with the start time e.g. 01.30. YouTube will then automatically hyperlink those sections in the description.
  • Include the names and titles of any speakers.
  • At the end of your description a subscribe link for the channel and a link to follow our main Twitter accounts will automatically be included. Consider if another of our social media streams would be best to link to and update. Include a link to the NIHR website if it includes more information that is covered in the video.
  • Help is available from the YouTube description writing guide
  • If a video has been reproduced in different languages, link to versions in other languages.


YouTube will auto-generate subtitles. It is essential these are checked for accuracy prior to publishing. Auto-generated subtitles/captions can often include incorrect words and phrases. Detailed guidance for adding subtitles on YouTube. Subtitles should contain everything that is being spoken in the video. If a speaker uses a large amount of filler words (such as "like" or "um") then these can be edited to make it clear what is being said. Subtitles should be provided in the same language as the video is created in.

If your video includes a lot of non verbal content, you should include a description of what is happening. If the video includes sounds other than speech (background noises, phone ringing etc.), these need to be included as part of the caption. 


Ensure a relevant thumbnail is used.

Thumbnails helps people to see what the video features when searching on our channel or on YouTube. NIHR branded templates can be found in Canva and should be used for consistency. Pick a template that allows sufficient space for text. Ensure that any image added to the template is clear, and does not for example show someone with their eyes closed.

End screen

An end screen helps people to find related videos or playlists, and to encourage sign ups to NIHRtv, which will grow our channel. Adding an end screen can be done easily when uploading your video. NIHR branded templates can be found on Canva.


Use the tag function to identify where the video has been uploaded from. This will help us direct any questions or comments on the post to the relevant person.

Tags should be added using the following format:

Name of coordinating centre_initials
Examples: NETSCC_KW


Examples: LCRN_GM

List of LCRN abbreviations

How to use tags.

Video lifespan

All videos should be reviewed every two years to check if they should still be live on the channel, or changed to 'private'.

If your video has a limited lifespan, consider if a review needs to be done sooner than two years.


Please ensure you have an NIHR consent form completed by anyone appearing in the video. Consent forms should be stored in accordance with your host centre’s data policy.
The video owner is responsible for managing renewing this consent in line with your host centre's data policy. Any video where consent is no longer given should be set to be 'private' on YouTube.

People appearing in any NIHR videos uploaded to YouTube should be contacted after a period of time to ensure they still give consent to appear on the NIHR channel. The period for re-consent should be in line with your centre's data policy.

Our recommendations for time periods for re-consent are:

  •  Patients and the public - every two years
  •  NIHR staff - every seven years
  • NIHR-funded researchers or other research or healthcare professionals  - every seven years
  • Professional paid to deliver training/webinars - n/a

If consent is not given for the video, the video should be set to 'private' on YouTube, so it cannot be viewed publicly.

Anyone appearing in an NIHR video can withdraw their consent at any time, by contacting the relevant centre where the video was produced.


Playlists are a group of videos that are grouped together, and can help viewers find videos on a similar topic. Where a relevant playlist already exists, videos can be added to this playlist, but permission must first be sought from the playlist owner.

How to add a video to a playlist

  1. Under the video you would like to add to the playlist click Save
  2. Select a playlist such as Be Part of Research
  3. Your video will be added to the playlist

Any requests for new playlists should be directed to the NIHR Social Media Group. Playlists that are created without consulting the NIHR social media group may be removed.

Unlisted videos

A video should be uploaded as unlisted if you do not want it to be searched and watched by the public, for example if you are uploading a video that only has a limited audience.

Unlisted videos and playlists can be seen and shared by anyone with the link. Unlisted videos will not appear on our channel homepage. The video won't show up in YouTube's search results. You can share an unlisted video's URL with other people and anyone with the link can also reshare it.

Videos that will be embedded onto the NIHR website

All videos that are embedded onto the NIHR website, need to ensure they meet accessibility standards, and include a full transcript. Guidance on requirements for embedded videos.


Uploading and publishing video to NIHRlibrary

Video that we want to host and share to a specific group or audience, and not to a wider audience should be uploaded to NIHRlibrary.

Content on this channel might include:

  • A webinar or event recordings shared with attendees
  • Funding calls and guidance shared with applicants
  • Training videos shared with designated individuals.
  • Videos for NIHR staff and colleagues

Please follow best practice and ensure that your video is clearly described, subtitles or closed captions are enabled and checked, and any transcripts are made available in the notes.

  • Upload the video to NIHRlibrary
  • Save and select ‘unlisted’ so that the audience or group you share the link with can view it
  • Add a thumbnail image or select a frame from the video that is appropriate to the topic and audience
  • Copy the link and share with your closed group of recipients

If you require access to NIHRlibrary, then please email