Thursday, October 26, 2006

InfoTrac DBs - "How to Cite" Feature

InfoTrac databases have a "how to cite" function of magazines, newspapers, ebooks and other sources for the Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) style guide. This note is intended to point out where the function is and that InfoTrac generated APA or MLA style citations may differ from the actual acceptable scholarly standards. The infotrac "how to cite" function is still a work in progress.

The "how to cite" feature tends to add extraneous items to the citation or lacks a key element such as the document is an abstract. What follows is side-by-side comparison of database and human generated citations in the MLA format.

Thomson Gale "how to cite" feature in (MLA) Format
Gray, Robert S., and Gisli Hjalmtysson. "Dynamic C++ Classes.(Technology Tutorial)(Tutorial)." C/C++ Users Journal 17.10 (Oct 1999): 50. InfoTrac OneFile. Thomson Gale. Charleston County Library. 7 Nov. 2006

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers - based on Page 230 or 5.9.7.a. (Many teachers may have variations in what is required so this may not be applicable for all individuals and I also drew upon Page 223 or 5.7.8.e. for dealing with abstracts):

Gray, Robert S., & Hjalmtysson, Gisli. "Dynamic C++ Classes." In C/C++ Users Journal 17 Oct 1999 p50. Abstract. Thomson Gale Power Search: InfoTrac OneFile. Gale. Charleston County Public Lib., SC. 7 Nov. 2006,

Bottom line, this is just an example that "how to cite" feature may include extraneous material or info such as "Abstract" may be left out in a citation. As a Gale rep said at a training class this past Spring, this feature is still a work in progress.

Steven S.