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MLA Style: When to Include a Database Name

Always include the database name (e.g., Academic Search Complete) or platform name (e.g., EBSCOhost). The database or platform is considered a "container" of the source.

"When the source being documented forms a part of a larger whole, the larger whole can be thought of as a container that holds the source. The container is crucial to the identification of the source. . . . Documenting the containers in which sources are found is increasingly important, as more and more works are retrieved through databases."

(MLA Handbook 30-31).

"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."

"In the Database Example in 'Works Cited: A Quick Guide,' Why is Container 2 Specified as EBSCOHost, not as the Database Searched on EBSCOHost (e.g., Academic Search Premier)?" MLA Style Center, 26 May 2016,