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Citations: Deciphering and Using Them: Scholarly Article Citation (MLA)

How to read a citation, and then locate the cited item.

Article Citation, from an Online Library Database, (MLA Style)

This is an article in a scholarly journal. In addition to the journal title, these citations typically include the journal’s volume and issue number.  Additional information is provided when the article has been accessed via an online database.

Instructions on how to go about finding this article follow below.

Diagram: Citation for a scholarly article, MLA style. Author: last name, first name. Article title, enclosed ini quotation marks.  Journal title, italicized. Volume number. Issue number. Year of publication, (colon) page numbers. Articles found online include the name of the database (italicized), media type (web), and date of access.


How to Find the Article

To find this article, the first step is to determine if the Sawyer Library owns a copy, or has (online) access to the journal.

This may be done either through
  • the OPAC, or
  • with a tool called the “Electronic Journals List,” a.k.a. the “eJournal Locator.
Ideally, the OPAC will identify all the materials, print and electronic, that the Library owns or has access to. However, access to online journals can change, hence the need for the ‘eJournal Locator.’


The Online Catalog (OPAC)

The Electronic Journals List

The Electronic Journals List Quick Search ("eJournal Locator")

The Search Results

In this instance, the search results all point to a single online source (ScienceDirect) which contains the journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin.

The OPAC search results:

The Electronic Journals List / eJournal Locator search results:

Getting from the Journal to the Article

What happens next?

The next step is to follow the link to the suggested database, which contains the journal, and retrieve the article. That process is covered in a separate guide. See the tab labeled "Starting with a Citation and Finding an Online Article, in the guide entitled "Full-Text Journal Articles: How to Track Them From a Citation."

Of importance here is to:
  1. Distinguish between a citation for a book, and a citation for a journal article.
  2. Recognize that when looking for an article in a journal, magazine, or newspaper, it is crucial to first determine if the Library subscribes to that publication.

See also...

Search Tools: the Catalog and the eJournal Locator