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MLA Style Manual: References

 

References should appear at the end of a sentence unless several sources are referenced and that needs to be clarified.

Turner notes that ..... [1].
Authors such as Turner [1], Smith [2], and Robert [3] note that....

Reference should be made to the version, electronic or print, that was actually referenced. If authors are aware that an alternate format exists and wish to direct readers to it, the reference should include in parentheses: “Available from:,” the full uniform resource locator (URL) in angle brackets, and the date cited in square brackets.

Leisey M. The Journey Project: a case study in providing health information to mitigate health disparities. J Med Lib Assoc. 2009 Jan;97(1):30–3. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.97.1.005. (Available from: <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2605042>. [cited 1 Sep 2009].)

Task Force on Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians. Vital pathways: the hospital libraries project: final report and recommendations, December 31, 2008. Chicago, IL: Medical Library Association; 2008. (Available from: <http://www.mlanet.org/pdf/resources/vital_finalreport.pdf>. [cited 1 Sep 2009].)

MLANET carries the same integrity of an MLA print publication, and may be referenced with confidence.

citations in text

Titles of books and journals should be given in italics. Titles of book chapters, journal articles, and electronic documents should be in plain type, enclosed in quotation marks. Web page titles and sections of chapters are capitalized but do not use italics or quotation marks. See “capitalizing titles of works” in the “Names and Terms” section for capitalization guidelines.

In the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA), formerly the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, if an author mentions a website in the text but has not cited specific content that would warrant a reference, the uniform resource locator (URL) for the website is placed in angle brackets following the relevant text.

In the MLA News, single web addresses may be placed in parenthesis following the text that mentions the website.

Links from MLANET to non-MLA web pages is under study.

reference styles

MLA reference style is based on the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” (which describe what is often referred to as “Vancouver style”), of which MLA is a signatory. The purpose of a reference is to enable a reader to find the same original material; therefore, the information should be complete and in detail.

Include the names of all authors. Follow Index Medicus for abbreviations of journals. Delete “Ltd.,” “Co.,” and corporate indications from names of publishers. Use two-letter postal abbreviations for states.

Repeat a reference number in the text that has already been used. If an author repeatedly cites a work, usually a monograph, but cites specific pages of it, rather than give the full Vancouver reference version of the work, section 14.24 of CMS16 can be followed for such references by using a new reference number with the primary author’s last name and a shortened title of the work followed by the specific page numbers.

For unpublished materials, theses, and audiovisual materials, include enough information for the reader to obtain a copy, if desired.

The styles described below show the information to be included and the punctuation. Sample references are listed after each explanation. Set all in plain type.

See Appendix A for other resources on reference requirements.

reference styles, books

  • Author’s last name and initials (no periods after initials).
  • Editor’s last name and initials (no periods after initials), ed.
  • Title (capitalize only first word, proper names).
  • Edition number.
  • Volume number.
  • Place of publication (city, state, postal abbreviation without a period):
  • Publisher;
  • Year.
  • Number of pages (optional).
  • Miscellaneous.

Dillman DA. Mail and telephone surveys: the Total Design Method. New York, NY: Wiley; 1978.

Pizer IH, Walker WD. Physical access to resources. In: Darling L, Bishop D, Colaianni LA, eds. Handbook of medical library practice. 4th ed. v.1. Chicago, IL: Medical Library Association; 1982. p. 15–64.

Smith AE, ed. Storage policies for information systems. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University; 1969. (Research Memorandum Series 68–9).

reference styles, electronic documents

  • Author’s last name and initials (no periods after initials).
  • Title (capitalize only first word, proper names)
  • [Internet].
  • Edition or version statement.
  • Place of publication (if available):
  • Publisher;
  • Date of original publication (if available)
  • [Date of last revision; date of citation].
  • Internet protocol <http://web.address>, <ftp://document.address>, or <availability information>.
  • If there is insufficient information about the document cited, but it is part of a larger work (e.g., a web page that is part of a larger site), provide the following information:
    • Last names and initials of the authors of the document (if available).
    • Document title.
    • “In,” (complete reference information for the larger work).

Medical Library Association. MLANET [Internet]. Chicago, IL: The Association; 1996 [rev. 1 Jan 2008; cited 24 Jan 2008]. <http://www.mlanet.org>.

Guedon JC. Beyond core journals and licenses: the paths to reform scientific publishing. ARL Bimonthly Report [Internet]. 2001 Oct(218) [cited 20 Nov 2002]. <http://www.arl.org/newsltr/218/guedon.html>.

Jones WR. Culture technique. Email message to: James Larson. 2005 Nov 15, 7:50 p.m. [32 lines].<http://www.mlanet.org>.

reference styles, journals

  • Author’s or editor’s last name and initials (no periods).
  • Title of article (capitalize only first word and proper names).
  • Journal title (Index Medicus style abbreviation; see “Appendix A: Abbreviations for Commonly Used English Words in Journal Titles” from Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers for abbreviations of common English words ).
  • Year and month (or season) of publication(s);
  • Volume number
  • Issue number (in parentheses):
  • Inclusive page numbers using an en dash.

Brantz MH, Forsman R. Classification and audiovisuals. Bull Med Lib Assoc. 1977 Apr;65(2):261–4.

Lawrence B, Weil BH, Graham RX. Making online searches available in an industrial research environment. J Am Soc Inf Sci. 1974 Nov/Dec;25(6):364–9.

Smith R. Adapting a new technology to the academic medical library: personal digital assistants. J Med Lib Assoc. 2002 Jan;90(1):93–4.

De Groote SL. Citation patterns of online and print journals in the digital age. J Med Lib Assoc. 2008 Oct;96(4):362–9. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.96.4.012.

reference styles, book review citations

  • Authors (last name, first name, period). (Set “and” between authors in small caps.)
  • Title with initial capitals on principal words and set in boldface.
  • Edition.
  • Editor (“Edited by...” capitals/lowercase).
  • City, State (use standard abbreviations, no periods):
  • Publisher;
  • Year.
  • (Series information.)
  • Number of pages (preface pages in lowercase Roman numerals; number of text pages in Arabic numerals):
  • Price.
  • ISBN:
  • Acid-free paper symbol (if applicable)

Veaner, Allen B. Academic Librarianship in a Transformational Age: Program, Political, and Personnel. Boston, MA: G. K. Hall; 1990. 520 p. $28.50. Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-8161-1875-2.

The Pituitary. Edited by Colin Beardwell and Gary L. Robinson. Boston, MA: Butterworth; 1981.(Butterworths international reviews, clinical endocrinology 1.) 337 p. $29.95. ISBN: 978-0- -4070-2272-4.

NOTE: Names are set as follows:

  • One author: Smith, John A.
  • Two authors: Smith, John A.; and Jones, Casey Q.
  • Three authors: Smith, John A.; Jones, Casey Q.; and Johnson, Lyndon B.

reference styles, collection development lists

Note that the style differs from standard JMLA style and provides the necessary purchasing information.

Monographs
  • Author or editor (last name, first and middle initials, period).
  • Title (use italics).
  • Edition
  • City, State (state abbreviated):
  • Publisher;
  • Year.
  • Price.
  • ISBN number.
  • Miscellaneous.

Nakamura RM. Health in America: A Multicultural Perspective. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon; 1998. $46.00. ISBN: 978-0-205-29012-4.

Smedley Brian D. [and others], eds. Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2003. $79.95. ISBN: 978-0-309-08532-2.

Journals
  • Journal title (use italics).
  • Frequency of publication.
  • Price.

Journal of the American Dental Association. Monthly. $20.00.

reference styles, journal review citations

  • Title (use boldface type).
  • Subtitle (use plain type),
  • City, State (standard abbreviation, no periods):
  • Publisher;
  • Year.
  • Volume,
  • Number,
  • Year.
  • Frequency of publication.
  • Price.
  • ISBN, ISSN.

Journals may be cited as monographs (special issues of currently established journals) or as new publications; for example: Monograph:

Clinical Therapeutics. International Journal of Drug Therapy, 1982. v.5 (special issue). $5/issue, $29 (subscription).

New publication

Survey of Immunologic Research. Basel, Switzerland: Karger; 1982. v.1, no.1, 1982. ISBN: 978-3-8044-2971-6; ISSN: 0252-9564.