MLA or JSTOR?
Question: Which should you choose, MLA or JSTOR? And what's the difference?
Answer: It depends on what kind of research you need.
MLA is the research tool for literature because it most accurately reflects the state of literary studies in the United States and internationally. MLA includes listings of scholarly journal articles, books, book chapters, and dissertations, published from 1926 to the present. Abstracts are oftentimes not included, so you need to depend on subject headings to determine what the material is covering. Those subject headings are the key to organizing your search strategy.
MLA is excellent when you want to learn current research trends for an author or text.
JSTOR contains full-text articles published in scholarly journals from a wide range of disciplines, including language & literature. The most recently published articles (past 3-5 years) are not available, but much older ones are. Keyword searching can be tricky since JSTOR scans the entire article for your term(s). Choosing and combining your keywords is key.
JSTOR is excellent when you need more historical research on an author or text, as well as when you want to learn who else cited a particular article.
Find Articles & Criticism - Core Databases for Literary Studies
Need to find an article or criticism? These are good places to start.
JSTOR: Provides image and full-text online access of core academic journals in a variety of disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Literature Online (LION): Provides searchable full-text of more than 350,000 literary works in the English language-poetry, drama, and prose; 175 full-text literary journals; the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature; and reference sources including American Poetry and other bibliographies, biographies, and dictionaries.
MLA International Bibliography: The MLA International Bibliography provides a classified listing and subject index for books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. Coverage includes literature from all over the world--Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America.
Project Muse: A searchable database that provides online access to current issues of selected scholarly journals in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics.
Looking for more? Try searching in these sources.
- Archive of Celtic-Latin literature: ACLL
- Arts & Humanities Citation Index
- AustLit: the resource for Australian literature
- Columbia Granger's World of Poetry
- Early American imprints. Series 1, Evans, 1639-1800
- Early American imprints. Series 2, Shaw--Shoemaker, 1801-1819
- Early English books online (EEBO)
- Eighteenth Century collections online
- Johns Hopkins guide to literary theory & criticism
- Literature Resource Center
- Parker Library on the web
- Shakespeare Survey
- Victorian popular culture
- World Shakespeare Bibliography
- Wright American fiction, 1851-1875
Selected Online Journals