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MLA 7th ed. Style Guide: Online Databases

Selected guide from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition.

Essential Elements

The materials in most online subscription databases include publication information from a previously published print version of the source. Therefore, you should format your citation as you would the print version of your source, followed by:

  • Name of the Database (italicized)
  • Medium of Publication (Web)
  • Date of Access

If page range can be determined by using the PDF format, use that. If no page numbers are given, use n. pag. If the page range is not continuous, use the first page number followed by a plus sign and no space.

Citing Database Sources

When citing sources from a database, the type of resource (newspaper, magazine, journal, etc.) will determine the citation format, not the database itself. Be sure to follow an example that illustrates that same type of resource that you have used.

Sample Citations - Online Databases

Scholarly Article in an Online Database

Beckhard, Sven. "From Tuskegee to Togo: The Problem of Freedom in the Empire of Cotton." Journal of American History 92.2 (2005): 498-526. JSTOR. Web. 28 Aug. 2009.

*See Scholarly Articles section form more information.


Newspaper Article in an Online Database

Henry, Reg. "Tweeting Our Way to Our Own Demise." Knoxville News Sentinal 23 Mar. 2009: 11. NewsBank. Web. 28 Aug. 2009.

*See Newspapers section for more information.


Magazine Article in an Online Database

Klein, Joe. "The American Myth." Time 22 Sep. 2008: 32+. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 28 June 2010. 

*See Magazines section for more information 


eBook in an Online Database

Deegan, Heather. Africa Today: Culture, Economics, Religion, Security. New York: Routledge, 2009. NetLibrary. Web. 25 Jan. 2010.   

*See Books section for more information.

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