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Citations - MLA Style: About the DOI

Resources for MLA (Modern Language Association) style, with examples of how to cite materials from Chemeketa's databases.

A Note on MLA 8th Ed.

  • A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a standardized string of letters and numbers that represent an online resource.
  • In MLA style, an article or other material found in a database are generally cited with the name of the database in which it was found, followed by a DOI, if possible.
  • In practice DOIs are mainly available for scholarly journal articles, and not always then.
  • When no DOI is present, the URL is given, without "http://."

Where To Find the DOI

As mentioned above, the DOI is available mainly for scholarly journals. That means that a database that includes magazines or reference books as well as scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals may have some articles with DOI and some without.

The DOI is sometimes given as part of the text of an article, above or below the abstract. See also under PDF files, below.

Gale Databases (aka Infotrac)

Many, but not all, Gale databases give a DOI where one is available. Click the title of the article to display the abstract/full text page. The information about the article may include a DOI.  If a PDF version of the article is available, the PDF may contain a DOI.  If the form is

     http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2009.02.046

Remove the http://dx.doi.org/ and substitute doi:

     doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.02.046

ScienceDirect

Click on the title of the article to display the full text. The DOI is shown at the top of the Article tab, above the title of the article.

PDF Files (any database)

Some journals print a DOI for each article, usually at the top or bottom of the first page of the article, or near the abstract.

When There's No DOI

If there is a periodical article without a DOI, the MLA style requires you to give the URL after the database name.