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How do I cite an early-access article, and how do I cite it when it is later published?

An early-access article—also called an article published before print or an article published ahead of print, among other names—is an article that is slated for inclusion in a journal but posted on a publisher’s Web site in final, edited form ahead of the full issue. When you cite such an article, list the publication details provided on the site for the early-access version. As always, follow the MLA format template.
In most cases, list the author or authors, title of the article, title of the journal, and the date the article was published online. In a second container, list the name of the publisher’s Web site on which the article appears and the DOI for the article.

Published 6 September 2019

I’m citing an online article that lacks page numbers. The database containing it provides the page range for the original print version. Do I include the page numbers in my entry?

Yes. Databases house digital copies of works and supply the publication information for the version of those works that have been digitized, usually in PDF or HTML. They generally are not considered a republished version of the work, and so it is insufficient to provide information only about the database version. Thus when you cite the HTML version of a print article from a database, provide the original publication information that the database supplies—including the page range, if given—in the first container of your works-cited-list entry. Then list the name of the database and the URL in the second container.
The following example shows a quotation from an HTML version of an article by James G.

Published 22 July 2019

How do I cite a serialized article?

Create a separate works-cited-list entry for each part of a serialized article or for each article published in a series, following the MLA format template. You may include the name of the series, if known, at the end of entries for articles published in a series.
An article published in two parts:

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. “Epistemology of the Closet.” Raritan, vol. 7, no. 4, Spring 1988, pp. 36–69.
—.“Epistemology of the Closet (II).” Raritan, vol. 8, no. 1, Summer 1988, pp. 102–30.

An article published as part of a series:

Glatter, Hayley, et al. “When Homework Is Useless.” The Atlantic, . . .

Published 31 May 2019

How should I cite an article from a journal that uses article numbers and starts pagination anew for each article?

Omit the article number and page numbers, as shown in the example below, because the name of the author and the title of the journal are sufficient to lead your reader to the article. 

Boyd, James W., and Tetsuya Nishimura. “Shinto Perspectives in Miyazaki’s Anime Film Spirited Away.” Journal of Religion and Film, vol. 8, no. 3, Oct. 2004. Digital Commons@UNO, digitalcommons

  . . .

Published 27 March 2019

How do I cite a periodical that I am using over a range of dates?

How you cite a periodical that you are using over a range of dates depends on whether you are borrowing any material from it. If you quote or paraphrase passages, you must create an individual works-cited-list entry for each article you cite, as shown below: 

In The Edinburgh Review, Abraham Hayward notes that Thackeray’s “effects are uniformly the effects of sound wholesome legitimate art” (50). The writer of an unsigned review from a later issue of the same journal observes that Thackeray’s “powers” include “rare observation, an acute penetration of motives, an abhorrence of sham or pretence, and an entirely new and genuine humour” . . .

Published 11 December 2018

If I include my published article as a dissertation chapter, how should I handle the article’s references?

References in a dissertation should be in a consistent style (e.g., MLA) and location (at the end of each chapter or at the end of the work). If your published article uses a different reference style, convert the references. If your dissertation contains one reference list at the end, integrate the citations into that list.
  . . .

Published 27 August 2018

When an article is written by several authors and each section is individually authored, how do I cite a section?

Mention the author of the section you are citing in a signal phrase. For clarity, you might indicate the name of the section in your prose, especially if an author writes more than one section:  

In “Faculty Members, Accom­modation, and Access in Higher Education,” Rosemary Garland-Thomson writes, in the section The Changing Profession: “Accommodating disability in the workplace is an opportunity to define the essence of a job.” 

The parenthetical citation must key to the article as a whole, so provide the last name of the first author of the article and then et al.: 

In “Faculty Members, . . .

Published 30 April 2018

How do I cite a special issue of a journal?

Although it is not generally necessary to indicate that a work appears in a special issue of a journal, you can cite special issues by following the MLA format template. Include the same information you would for an article in a regular issue, adding the special issue’s title, a comma, and the phrase “special issue of” before the journal’s title in the “Title of Container” slot:

Charney, Michael W. “Literary Culture on the Burma-Manipur Frontier in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.” Literary Cultures at the Frontiers: Literature and Identity in the Early Modern World, special issue of The Medieval History Journal, . . .

Published 5 January 2018

Can I include the editor of a journal in a works-cited-list entry for a journal article?

The names of journal editors are generally only included in works-cited-list entries for special issues of journals:

Charney, Michael W. “Literary Culture on the Burma-Manipur Frontier in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.” Literary Cultures at the Frontiers: Literature and Identity in the Early Modern World, special issue of The Medieval History Journal, edited by Sumit Guha, vol. 14, no. 2, 2011, pp. 159-81.

Appiah, Kwame Anthony, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., editors. Identities. Special issue of Critical Inquiry, vol. 18, no. 4, 1992.  

Although it is not conventional to include the name of a journal editor for citations of articles in regular issues of journals and we do not recommend doing so,  . . .

Published 9 November 2017

I am citing a paginated journal article that appears online. Should I include the page range, the URL, or the DOI as the location element in the works-cited-list entry?

The location of an online work is typically indicated by a URL or DOI, one of which should be included. If the work is paginated and forms part of a larger work, such as an anthology or periodical, you may provide the page range in addition to the URL or DOI. You may elect to do so if it is useful for your reader to have more information about the work—for example, about its length, its sequence in the collection, or the fact that it can be navigated by pages. The entries below, for a work in a single container, show two acceptable ways to cite a paginated article in a journal that is published only online:

Berman, . . .

Published 11 August 2016

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