When citing a work in a database (e.g., Academic Search Complete) searched on the website EBSCOhost, should the container be the database or the website?
EBSCOhost is a research platform that contains, among other research tools and features, multiple databases. At EBSCOhost, visitors can search at once for articles in a range of databases; the website’s search function treats these databases as search filters. When an article is retrieved, the search filter used to find it is not always evident to the user. The identity of EBSCOhost as the container of the article is always clear, however. MLA style encourages writers to document the facts they observe. This principle is especially important online, where the presentation of information changes constantly. In the following example, the work “Watermark” has two containers: the journal in which it was published and the website, EBSCOhost, on which it was searched for and viewed.
Corral, Eduardo C. “Watermark.” New England Review, vol. 30, no. 4, fall 2009, pp. 24–25. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com.
An advanced user of EBSCOhost who determines that an article comes from a certain database would not be wrong to cite the database instead of EBSCOhost as container 2.