February, 1999 . The electronic newsletter of the University Library, University of South Alabama, published irregularly as a service to the University Community.

The University Library has subscribed to the MLA Bibliography through FirstSearch, the OCLC collection of databases. It was previously accessible through Paclink on the SOUTHcat Information System. This new incarnation of MLA offers a better search engine at a cheaper rate. As before, any USA faculty, staff or student can access the database from any computer connected to the Web after entering SS# without the hyphens.

The following information and instructions are taken directly from the MLA HELP pages from FirstSearch.

Description Literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore from over journals and series published worldwide.
Records 1308 K
Dates Covered 1963 ...
Updated 10 times per year.
Full Text No
Periodicals Covered 6000+ ( Title List )
Producer Modern Language Association of America
Date Added 1992-06-19
Optional Features Document Delivery, Interlibrary Loan
Terms & Conditions © 1999 The Modern Language Association of America


Why select this database?
Subjects included
Coverage/update frequency
Indexes and Labels
Basic searches
Exact-phrase searches
Searching tips
More Online help

Why select this database?

Subjects included





Coverage/update frequency

Indexes and Labels

The following indexes and labels are available for use in this database. The labels are not needed if you select the index in the Keyword Index box of a Basic Search or the Index box of an Advanced Search. There is more information about searching in FirstSearch Web's Online Help.

Basic searches

Search                   Search example

Subject*                  su:baby talk

Author                      au:p g naiditch

Source*                   so:jornal de letras

Descriptor*            de:childhood

Number                  no:90-3-2244 

                                 no:(90 and 37797)

Series*                   se:poetry

Standard number (ISSN)   sn:0090-3779         

Standard number (ISBN)   sn:0-13-684143-0 

Title*                        ti:economy of pain

Update code          uc:8901 and de:water

Year of degree       yd:1992

*Type + at the end of a word to search for the word and its plural (s or es only) and possessive forms.

Exact-phrase searches

Exact-phrase Searches         Searches for

Author            au=         Subject headings, author, etc., 

Language     ln=         to appear EXACTLY as you type    

Series            se=         it.  We recommend that you find  

Source           so=         your term in the Wordlist first. 

                                        Then follow the HINTS on that    

                                         screen to search it.

Searching tips

Subject (su:) search. The su: label is not required for a Subject search. FirstSearch uses su: if you type a search with no label. The Subject search finds information in these fields: titles and descriptors.

Author. To search for compound author names, omit all punctuation except hyphens. For example, for d'Adamo, type au:dadamo. For El-Gabalawy, type au:el-gabalawy.

Title. Titles are indexed in the original language of the item (transliterated, if necessary, using the Library of Congress system of transliteration). See Work as Subject later in these tips for information about searching by a title that is the subject of an item.

Source. Use this information in the Source (so:) search:

Publication type      Used in the Source keyword search

Journal article       Journal name, place of publication, volume number, issue 

                      number, and date; an acronym for the journal name can 

                      also be included if the journal is regularly indexed in 

                      the MLA Bibliography

Book article*         The collection's author, editor, compiler, title, 

                      publisher, place of publication, and publication year


Book                  The book's publisher, place of publication, and 

                      publication year


Collection            The collection's publisher, place of publication, 

                      and publication year

Dissertation          Place of publication and date; journal name, volume 

                      number, and issue number, if applicable; the Dissertation 

                      Abstracts International (DAI) number and the name of the 

                      degree-granting institution have been included since 1991

* A chapter or essay in a collection, such as for a festschrift

The publisher's name is often abbreviated; so, look it up in the Source (so:) keyword wordlist to determine the exact name before searching. Searching by an acronym of a journal name is often the most efficient way to find journals for post-1981 data. For example, for articles by David Turner published in the Modern Language Review, type au:turner david and so:mlr

Source phrase search. The Source exact-phrase (so=) search includes journal titles and acronyms for the journal names, but does not include initial articles (the, der, le, etc.). Look up the exact title or acronym in the Wordlist before searching.

Series. The Series keyword (se:) and phrase (se=) searches include the series title when a book or collection is part of a series. The keyword search also includes the following information, if available: an acronym for the series title, the place of publication, and the number of the item in the series. Exclude initial articles (the, der, le, etc.) when doing a Series phrase search. Series titles are sometimes abbreviated. Look up a series title before searching. Exclude the label Series No when searching for a series number.

Descriptors. Classifying descriptors identify broad topical areas (e.g. American Literature and Criticism) or a time period (e.g. 1900-1999). Subject descriptors describe what the document is about (e.g. narrative frame or literacy). For example, the keyword search, de:narrative, retrieves records with narrative in the DESCRIPTORS field, including descriptors such as narrative frame, folk narrative, and conversion narrative. The phrase search, de=narrative frame, only finds records containing the descriptor phrase narrative frame. Look up phrases in the Wordlist before searching.

Role Indicators. The role indicators display in the DESCRIPTORS field and describe relationships between descriptors. These indicators can be included in the Descriptor keyword search--but not in the Descriptor phrase search.

and                        	for                		role of 

application in       	for audience       	sources in 

application of      	 from               	study example  

applied to            	 in                		theories of  

as                          	includes           	to   

at                            	influence on       	to and from 

by                           	into               		treatment in  

compared to        	of                 		treatment of 

date                       	on                 		use in

discusses           	relationship to    	use of 

especially           		role in            		with 

Work as Subject. To retrieve articles and other items about literary works published since 1981, search using the original-language title of the work. If you know a work only by its translated title, complete a Title search. Once you find records about the work, check the records' DESCRIPTOR field for the original-language title. Then, use the original title in a Subject or Descriptor search.

For example, to find items about Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, type ti:magic mountain. You will find The Lord of Small Counterpositions: Mann's The Magic Mountain. One of the descriptors in this record is Der Zauberberg, the original German title. To find other items about the work, search for zauberberg (the initial article, der, should not be included). So, type su:zauberberg

Numbers. The NUMBER field contains accession numbers and record numbers; use the Number (no:) search to find both types of numbers. Exclude the labels Accession or Record when using the Number search. Accession numbers specify the year, volume, and entry number of the corresponding citation in the printed MLA Bibliography. They are in the format YY-V-NNNN; for example, 87-4-1234 represents item number 1234 in volume 4 of the 1987 MLA Bibliography. In records added before 1969, accession numbers have only the year and entry number (for example, 67-12345). Use the accession number to search for a citation that you previously located in the printed bibliography. For example, type no:90-3-2244. You can also limit another term using the two-digit year portion of the number. For example, type de:women writers and no:90 to find items containing the term women writers cited in the 1990 printed bibliography.

Record numbers identify each record added to the database for a particular year. Use the record number and the two-digit year portion of the accession number to retrieve a record you previously found in the database. For example, type no:(90 and 37797)

Update code. The four-digit update code identifies the year and the number of the update in which a record was added to the database. There are 10 updates of the database per year. For example, type de:literacy and uc:9108 to retrieve records added during the eighth update of the 1991 MLA Bibliography. Note that the year (the first two digits of the code) is the year of the MLA Bibliography volume, which may not correspond to the current calendar year. For example, the 1992 MLA Bibliography contains documents indexed between June 1992 and June 1993, with publication dates of 1992 or earlier.



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