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MLA International Bibliography User Guide

Database Contents

The MLA International Bibliography is an electronic version of an index produced by the Modern Language Association (MLA) of America. It is the most comprehensive research tool available at the College for accessing scholarly information about languages, literatures, linguistics and folklore. Coverage is from 1963 to the present and the database indexes over 3,000 journal titles as well as book chapters, proceedings and dissertations. Full-text articles for over 100 journal titles are also included.


Accessing the Database

All members of the Saint Anselm College community can search the MLA database from anywhere on campus. It is recommended that users come to the Library when first using this database so that help in interpreting field tags and constructing search statements, etc. can be immediately provided. Remote access is available to Saint Anselm users only.


Getting Started

The MLA International Bibliography is listed in the alphabetical list of indexes on the Geisel Library's Homepage.


Basic Search

The default search screen is Basic Search. To switch to another search method, simply click on the navigation bar. In the Basic Search, type in one or more words in the find box and click search. To focus your search you may select the following options:

  • Check the box for Full Text to retrieve only full text articles.
  • You can limit your search by Peer Reviewed and Date.
  • You can expand your search by checking the box for related words.
  • Expand by search within the full text of the articles.
  • Expand applying the AND operator between each term.


Searching Techniques

Boolean searching allows you to create a very broad or very narrow search by using Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT) to string or combine search terms together.

  • AND - Finds records that contain both terms, e.g., 'Hawthorne AND symbolism'
  • OR - Finds records that contain either or both terms, e.g., 'medieval OR middle-ages'
  • NOT - Excludes terms that follow the NOT

Wildcard (?) and Truncation (*) Use the wildcard and truncation symbols to create searches where there are unknown characters, multiple spellings or various endings.

  • The wildcard is represented by a question mark (?). To use the wildcard, enter your search terms and replace each unknown character with a ?.
  • Truncation is represented by an asterisk (*). To use truncation, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with an *.


Advanced Search

  • Select "Advanced Search" at the navigation bar at the top of the screen.
  • Type a word(s) in the Find box, and click the arrows next to the default fields to select the field you want to search. For example: author, title, subject, source, etc.
  • Click the arrow to the left to select Boolean Operators (and, or, not), and type another search term in the next line.
  • Additional options are available in the Advanced Search such as limiting or selecting articles by Publisher Type, Language, Genre and other Limiters

Search tips box is accessible from all search screens will supply some additional information


Search Results

After a successful search a numbered list of articles will be retrieved.

  • The results can be sorted by Date, Author, Source, and Relevance.
  • Click on Search History to print or view your searches. Note: This is only available in the Advanced Search modes.
  • Each title will have a complete citation and many articles can be read as linked full text, articles.
  • The MLA database primarily contains citations for journal articles, book articles (i.e. chapters) and dissertations. There are also references to books and conference proceedings.


Mark, Print or E-Mail Records

Mark your selections in brief or full form by clicking on the ADD folder to the right of the desired citations.


Click on the "Folder List" button at the top of the search result screen. Then click on the Print or E-Mail option and follow instructions.

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