Citing Sources from Online Databases Using MLA Style (7th Ed.)

MLA style calls for references to be typed double-spaced, in hanging indention, as shown in the examples below.

Periodical articles in Databases

General format for articles:

Author, Firstname. "Article Title." Periodical Title Volume 
       number.Issue number [if available] (Date): Number range 
       of pages [if numbered]. Name of database. Web. Date 
       of access.

  • If there are no page numbers, use the abbreviation, "n. pag."
  • Give the name of the database, not the database publisher or service, e.g., "Academic OneFile," not "Gale."

Magazine Articles (examples)

The volume and issue numbers are not necessary for popular magazines.

        Example from one of the Gale databases:

Thurston, Peter. "Conflict Along the Amazon." Time 15 March

       2007: 32-33. General OneFile. Web. 1 October 2009.

        Example from CQ Researcher:

Jost, Kenneth. "Sentencing Debates." The CQ Researcher 5 Nov. 

      2004: 925-948. CQ Researcher. Web. 28 Feb. 2008.

Note: In CQ Researcher, you can find the appropriate information for citing an article by clicking the "CiteNow!" link, then clicking on "MLA Style" in the resulting popup window.

        Example from Issues & Controversies:

"Update: Genetic Engineering." Issues & Controversies On File 7 

      Oct. 2005: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Web. 5 Jun. 2007.

Note: In Issues and Controversies, you can find the appropriate information for citing an article by clicking by clicking the "Print/Citation" icon at the top of the screen.

        Examples from Congressional Digest

The library's online access to Congressional Digest is throughCongressional Digest Corporation's database, Pro & Con Online. Each issue of the magazine is divided into two sections. The first, or feature, section discusses the overall topic, and is divided into subsections. Here is an example of a citation for either the entire issue or for the first, (feature) section:

"Covering Uninsured Children: The SCHIP Reauthorization Debate." 

      Congressional Digest Oct. 2007: n.pag. Pro & 

       Con Online. Web. 16 Jun. 2008.


The second part of each issue is headed Pro & Con, and asks a question relating to the featured topic. The questions are answered for or against by arguments taken from congressional speeches. If you wish to cite only one argument, you may wish to begin with the name of the author, and use the captioned question as the title of the article, e.g.,

Etheridge, Bob. "Should the House pass H.R. 3162, the 

      Children's Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act?"

      Congressional Digest Oct. 2007: n. pag. Pro & 

      Con Online. Web. 16 Jun. 2008.


Journal Articles (examples)

Give the volume and (if available) issue number, with the year in parentheses. Examples:

Fredericks, Samuel. "Cognitive Ergonomics and Concept-stage Desk 

       Design." Journal of Ergonomic Research 25.3 (2008): 535-541. 

       Business Source Premier. Web. 16 June 2008
McMaster, K. L., et. al., "Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies: A 'Tier 1' 

      Approach to Promoting English Learners' Response to Intervention." 

      Exceptional Children 74.2 (2008): 194-214. Education Full Text.  

      Web. 22 Feb. 2010.
Brausch, Amy M.,  and Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp. Body Image and  

      Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents. Body Image 4.2 (2007): 

      207-212. ScienceDirect Health and Life Sciences Collection. 
      Web. 19 Mar. 2009.

Newspaper Articles (examples)

Pollack, Andrew. "In Midwest, Flutters May Be Far Fewer." The New York 

      Times 12 Jul. 2011, late ed.: sec. D:1. Web. 15 July 2011.
Joyeuse, Elizabeth. "Headache Cures." Toronto Star 31 January

       2006: A24. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 5 Febuary 2009.

Literature Resource Center (examples)

Articles reprinted from Gale reference books

These reprints can be recognized by the paragraph that begins "Rpt. in" underneath the original citation:

picture of Literature Resource Center screen showing Rpt. in

Palmer, James W. "From Owl Creek to La Riviere du Hibou: The Film 

      Adaptation of Bierce's 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge'." Southern 

      Humanities Review 11.4 (1977): 363-71. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism, 

      Vol. 72. Ed. Joseph Palmisano. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature 
      Resource Center. Web. 22 Feb. 2009.

Articles taken directly from journals

Journal articles show the title of the journal followed by a volume and issue number, with a date in parentheses. There is no "Rpt." statement:

picture of journal citation in Literature Resource Center

Samide, Daniel E. "Anatomy of a Classic: Ambrose Bierce Cleverly Used
      Some Key Literary Tools in Crafting His Civil War Tale 'An 
      Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge'." The Writer 118.5
      (2005): n. pag. Literature Resource Center. Web. 22 Jun. 

Aggregated reference databases

Gale Virtual Reference (example)

González, Josué M.  "Baby talk." Encyclopedia of Bilingual

      Education. Ed. Josué M. González. Vol. 1. Thousand Oaks, CA: 
      Sage, 2008. 51. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 July 2009.

Oxford Art Online (example)

Gianluigi Colalucci. "Fresco." Grove Art Online. Oxford 

      Art Online. 28 Jun. 2012 .

Oxford Reference Online (example)

Crocker, Ruth. "Addams, Jane." The Oxford Companion to United States 

      History. Ed. Paul S. Boyer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. 

      N. pag. Oxford Reference Online. Web. 13 November 2008.

LexisNexis Academic (example)

picture of LexisNexis categories display

Periodical (newspaper and magazine) articles in LexisNexis Academic are cited in the ordinary way. Reference works are somewhat problematic, as it is not always easy to identify whether there was an original printed publication, and complete publication information for original printed publications is not given.

In looking at LexisNexis results, you may find it helpful to filter your results by clicking on the Categories at left of the results screen. They will help you to know whether you are looking at directories (i.e., reference materials), magazine articles, etc.

"Michael Dammann Eisner." The Complete Marquis Who's Who (R) Biographies. 

      11 Jun. 2009. N. pag. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 7 Dec. 2009.

Note: LexisNexis Academic also includes laws, regulations, and other legal information. Legal citations follow a complex system; MLA suggests that you use the The bluebook: a uniform system of citation. Ask your librarian for assistance.

General format for electronic books:

Author, Firstname. Title of the book. Place of publication: publisher, 
	year of publication. Name of Internet site.  Web. Date of access.


Evans, C.D., and Emma Tippins. The Foundations of Emergency Care. 

      Maidenhead, Berkshire: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, 2007. 
      ebrary. Web. 18 Nov. 2011. 

Image from Database

General format for art images:

Artist lastname, firstname. Title of work, in italics. Date of 
      composition. Medium. Collection. Database name, in italics. 
      Item number. Web. Date accessed.

If the date of composition is unknown, use the abbreviation "N.d."

Example for an art image:

Riemenschneider, Tilman. Saint Jerome and the Lion.  c.1490-1500. 

      Sculpture in alabaster. Cleveland Museum of Art. ARTStor. 
      Image No. AMICO_CL_103799732. Web. 17 Nov. 2009.

Example for a photograph from a photo database:

Child, Martin. Kafka Statue, Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic, Europe. 

      Photograph. 2007. Robert Harding World Imagery. Encyclopædia 
      Britannica Image Quest. Web. 27 Jun 2012.

Streaming Video

Example from Ambrose Video:

Twelfth Night, or, what you will. By William Shakespeare. Dir. John 

     Gorrie. Perf. Alec McCowen, Robert Hardy, and Felicity Kendall. 

     BBC.  1980. Ambrose Video. Web. 16 June 2012.
Sources: Based on
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook For Writers Of Research Papers. 7th ed. New 
       York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009. [R 808.02 G35]

More information on citing resources using MLA style can be found at The OWL at Purdue (MLA)

To comment or request help, please e-mail Reference or call 503.399.5231.

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Updated: 6 February 2012