Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Database: MLA International Bibliography

In an attempt to provide the best possible professional-level resources for literature and related subjects, we made a database switch this summer.  We removed Literary Reference Center Plus from our roster of online files, and substituted the well-known MLA International Bibliography.  Although this database has no full-text content on its own, it is considered a premier index.  And since we are getting the MLA International Bibliography via EBSCOhost, we will be able to link many of the citations researchers will find to the complete articles they'll want.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) claims their product is "the most comprehensive listing of scholarly material in language, literature, culture, and folklore."

It is certainly a detailed bibliography of journal articles, books and dissertations and because it was converted from a paper bibliography going back almost a hundred years, citations date back to the 1920s and total 2.3 million references.  The MLA International Bibliography indexes than 4,400 journals & series, and 1,000 book publishers.

Coverage is international in scope and includes almost 60 selected titles from JSTOR's language and literature (deep backfile) collections, all of which link as full-text.

MLA International Bibliography also contains nearly 11,000 subject names and terms. Subjects consist of literature, language and linguistics, folklore, literary theory & criticism, dramatic arts, as well as the historical aspects of printing and publishing. Listings on rhetoric and composition and the history, theory and practice of teaching language and literature are also included.

In addition to the bibliography, the database includes the MLA Directory of Periodicals; the association's proprietary thesaurus used to assign descriptors to each record in the bibliography; and a proprietary, searchable directory of noted authors' names, with links to brief descriptive notes.

The MLA International Bibliography works perfectly well just doing a simple keyword or field search from the landing page.  Howeve, if you wish to explore the the indexes, just click the "More" link in the top blue border.  If I browse the index of "Literary Technique," for example, for the word iambic, I am offered several options, including "iambic meter," "iambic pentameter," "iambic tetrameter" and "iambic trimeter" with an indication of the records count for each index term.

The other complimentary add-on is The MLA Directory of Periodicals (which is also a link in the top border). Although most researchers won't need it,  it does provide useful facts about journals indexed, including information for potential contributing authors--like submission requirements and details (like time between submission and publication decision).

Remember, MLA International Bibliography is not inherently a full-text database, but you will find lots of full-text provided.

We hope that students and faculty in the English and Humanities & Modern Languages departments--and anyone studying international culture--will find this a vaulable database to consult.

  [Find MLA International Bibliography on our A-Z database list, or in our Subject Database List for Literature, Arts & Humanities.]

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