Citing Articles Found or Retrieved with InfoTrac (Revised 05/2004)

See also: Citing Articles Retrieved with Lexis-Nexis Universe and Citing Articles Found through FirstSearch  (neither of these revised yet)!

InfoTrac is the subscription database of periodical articles available through the CSBSJU libraries. We access it by using the World Wide Web browser, but it is NOT a web document or web site. Neither is it an online journal. It is an online subscription database, and should be cited as such. Through InfoTrac you will find three types of references: 1) extended citation and retrieval choices (reference only, no text), 2) abstract and retrieval choices, and 3) text and full content retrieval choices. Only the last type of reference, with full text and content retrieval, will entail significant differences in citation form, both on the Works Cited or Reference page(s) and perhaps for in-text citations. The first two types of references help locate a source, but the printed source will provide the final authority on citation information.

*The source for the formats given below is: Diana Hacker, A Writer's Reference. 3rd. ed. Boston: Bedford Books, 1995. The current printing of this edition contains a special new section on "Online Research and Documentation." The publisher maintains a web site with additional information:

**See also the MLA's guidelines (MLA Home, click on MLA Style, then "Frequently Asked Questions") and the APA Recommended Electronic Reference Formats.

1.Extended Citation and Retrieval Choices

This reference does not provide the text of the article, and therefore the final Works Cited form should be checked against the printed source you find. What is below are some hints for constructing a working bibliography entry from the data in the InfoTrac reference. The key is the page references. InfoTrac lists the beginning page number and the total number of pages: p.429(32). Calculate the ending page number from this information but check this calculation against the actual printed source when you retrieve it.

A review of the empirical literature on contemporary urban homeless families. Kay Young McChesney.
      Social Service Review Sept 1995 v69 n3 p429(32)
   View extended citation and retrieval choices In library holdings (click for details)

MLA Works Cited

McChesney, Kay Young. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on Contemporary Urban Homeless Families. " Social Service Review 69 (Sept. 1995): 429-460.

*Note: The ending page is calculated by adding the number in parentheses to the starting page number, then subtracting 1 -- but check this against the original. If you are not sure whether the journal is paginated by volume or by issue, you may add the issue number to the volume number in MLA form (69.3). Note also that although words in the title are not capitalized in the index listing, the Works Cited reference capitalizes according to standard rules.

APA References

McChesney, K. Y. (1995). A review of the empirical literature on contemporary urban homeless families. Social Service Review, 69, 429-460.

*Note: Thanks to Katie Jeffery for catching mistakes in the APA formats listed here!
See above for calculating page numbers. APA uses the full page number for both starting and ending pages, while MLA shortens it: MLA: 429-60; APA: 429-460. If you are not sure whether the journal is paginated by volume or by issue, you may add the issue number to the volume number in APA form: 69(3). Again, check this against the actual printed source.

2. Abstract with Retrieval Choices

References containing abstracts (without full text) are treated exactly as above. You should not cite an abstract, which is simply a condensed summary of the article written by the author to help researchers know if the information will be helpful. but if you decide it will be helpful, you have to go and get the whole thing and read it! Then cite it from the text you find. Below are again hints for the working bibliography entry. This may not need to be revised for the final Works Cited page, but check!

Homeless policy: the need to speak to families. (research on homeless families) Elaine A. Anderson, Sally A. Koblinsky.
      Family Relations Jan 1995 v44 n1 p13(6)
   View abstract and retrieval choices In library holdings (click for details)
(after you click on the abstract and retrieval choices link you'll find the citation repeated with the abstract):
Abstract: Homeless families form 43% of the total homeless population, and the government should develop a comprehensive social policy that eradicates the root-cause of homelessness. Most of the homeless families are minorities, have females who are in the late 20s as their heads, and are poor. The Clinton administration has a new homeless policy called 'continuum of care,' which is implemented by both federal and local governments with volunteer aid agencies. A well developed social policy that helps families to sustain their dignity and self-respect and which concentrates on social reasons for homelessness is essential.
    Article A16839796

MLA Works Cited

Anderson, Elaine A., and Sally A. Koblinsky. "Homeless Policy: The Need to Speak to Families." Family Relations 44.1 (Jan. 1995): 13-18.

*Note: Here is a situation, since this is a January issue, where it is unclear whether this journal is paginated by volume or issue. It is best to put all the information (volume and number) in your working bibliography, and check this against the print source.

APA References

Anderson, E. A., and S. A. Koblinsky. (1995). Homeless policy: The need to speak to families. Family Relations, 44(1), 13-18. (N.B. italicize volume,  not issue.)

3. Text and Full Content Retrieval Choices

For many articles, the full text can be retrieved online, often in more than one format.  The most common is simply to retrieve the article into the browser, which is easy, but which also takes the most paper for printouts, and lacks any standard page numbering. One alternative, once you have retrieved the text, is to scroll to the bottom of the article, and choose the "Browser Print" option, which reduces the pages needed to print. An even better option is to scroll to the bottom and retrieve the article with Acrobat Reader. In any case, there are several elements to add to the standard reference, depending on whether you use MLA or APA form:

Works Cited and Reference Principles for Full-text Online Articles

MLA: See fuller guidelines at MLA Home, Path: MLA Style; Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. The name of the particular database you used. This will show in the pale purple bar at the top of the screen. Most commonly it will be "Expanded Academic ASAP Plus." There are other possibilities such as: "General Reference Center Gold," "Contemporary Authors," etc. Click here for CSBSJU InfoTrac Databases.
  2. The name of the Service: InfoTrac.
  3. The library from which you accessed the database (CSBSJU Libraries will do, since we have one subscription fo the libraries together), and the location of the library (St. Joseph, MN or Collegeville, MN):
  4. The date you accessed the database.
  5. The URL of the database, placed between angle brackets.
    Note 1: You may have to retype angle brackets if your word processor swallows these into a live URL. For printed papers, it is best to remove the live URL link by right clicking on it and selecting "remove hyperlink."
    Note 2: Only a core URL is used; Bedford's site recommends <> for InfoTrac; and <> for ProQuest.

APA: See the APA Recommended Electronic Reference Formats at the APA website.

  1. A "basic retrieval statement": Retrieved [month day, year,] from [source] on-line database ([name of database], [item no.--if applicable]). The nameof the database should show in the pale purple bar at the top of the screen. Most commonly it will be "Expanded Academic ASAP Plus." Other possibilities are: "General Reference Center Gold," click here for CSBSJU InfoTrac Databases.
  2. Use the Article Number at the end of the on-line text for the item number, not the "Mag. Coll. Number."  InfoTrac databases can be searched using the Advanced Search page for the Article/Record Number (select that with the drop-box selector).

There's no place like home: an analysis of homeless testimonial narratives. Niki L. Young.
      The Midwest Quarterly Spring 1996 v37 n3 p328(13)
   View text and retrieval choices
Abstract: The testimony before Congress of a number of homeless individuals suggests certain verbal and philosophical strategies the homeless use to claim their place in a larger community. The testimonies have in common many community-centered narrative strategies employed by individuals, including a claim to uniqueness, the loss of hope, the quiet plea, the failure of the larger community, a catalog of difficulties and a challenge to others to speak about the homeless problem.

Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1996 Pittsburg State University

A SENSE OF COMMUNITY, writes A. Hartley, "is one of the most widely used contemporary phrases, but also one of the least well-defined" (74). Community can refer to a specific location in the material world, a locus of common activity, or a sense of connectedness and belonging. Community membership is desirable precisely because that membership generates a sense of belonging. G.H. Lewis states that "community" is characterized by the "gemeinschaften spirit of communal and primary relationships in which intimacy, sentiment, and a sense of belonging exist among individuals" (122-23). Belonging to a community is a privilege, for "community is a moral ideal that expresses one valued mode of social participation," contends J.P. Hewitt (129). Because belonging to a community is a valued privilege, community membership is contested. Conflict is inherent to community.

This conflict is expressed in language. Language communicates membership and status. The words individuals use to describe others often reveal the status of others. The names people use to refer to others affix certain social status upon them. Labeling a person or action deviant, for example, communicates separation, marginalizing that person or action. Identifying individuals as homeless is a way of defining them by their difference or deviance, which effectively excludes them from the community. Victims of a special sort, the homeless hold no power, have no legitimate authority, and possess little ability to enact social change....

Article A18290970

Cite as follows:

MLA Works Cited

Young, Niki L. "There's No Place like Home: An Analysis of Homeless Testimonial Narratives." The Midwest Quarterly 37 (Spring 1996): 328-40. Expanded Academic ASAP. InfoTrac. CSBSJU Libraries, Collegeville, MN. 2 March 1998. <http://infotrac/>.
*[Could also use St. Joseph, MN for place of library.]

APA References

Young, N. L. (1996). There's no place like home: An analysis of homeless testimonial narratives. The Midwest Quarterly 37, (328-340). Retrieved March 2, 1998 from Expanded Academic ASAP, A18290970.

MLA and APA In-text Citations for full-text articles

In most cases, whether the article is retrieved directly with the browser or through Adobe Acrobat™, it does not reproduce original page numbers. The Adobe Acrobat version reformats the pages to save space, which can be an advantage, and it also produces the same page numbers for everyone who retrieves the article, unlike browser printing, where page numbers depend on individual computers, printers, browser settings, etc. MLA recommends that since the reformatted Acrobat™ source (pdf file) establishes standard page numbers these should be used.

Some manuals, including Hacker's, have suggested using paragraph numbers as a substitute for page numbers, using "par." or "pars." as an abbreviation: e.g.: (Young, par. 3). However, neither major style manual suggests that researchers count and number paragraphs themselves, and if you attempt to do so, you will likely find ambiguity about what constitutes a paragraph or section. Therefore, I no longer am following Hacker's previous recommendation that paragraphs be counted by students. The MLA says page, paragraph or section numbers should be used, "if they are numbered." The APA suggests that electronic search techniques eliminate the need for page or paragraph numbers, stipulating that the paragraph symbol (�) or an abbreviation (para.) can be used in in-text citations, but only if the page or paragraph numbers are "visible to every reader."  Since Adobe Acrobat-retrieved  articles have page numbers (MLA criterion) and these numbers are "visible to every reader" via the freely-available Acrobat version, one can make a rational case for using these page numbers. Thus, according to the current MLA and APA guidelines, here are a few principles to follow (including both the Adobe option and what to do if no page numbers are deemed standard).

  1. You should not cite page or paragraph numbers unless these page numbers are standard and thus apply to every reader who might retrieve or look up the article. That means you should not cite page numbers from browser-printed journal articles, as they are no guarantee that a subsequent reader will find the text.
  2. If you retrieve the article using something like Adobe Acrobat™ that puts standard but non-original page numbers on the article, you may cite these page numbers.
    Both style manuals allow explanatory footnotes. You need do this only once in the paper, as the initial note, if worded like the sample here, covers future citations.
  3. Some Adobe-retrieved articles reproduce the exact image of the original, with original page numbers. Thus, there is no problem citing these.
  4. If you do not have standard page or paragraph page numbers to cite, and the author and/or source is named in the text of your paper, no parenthetical citation at all is necessary. Of course, if you have more than one source from this author, the specific title of the work cited must be named either in your text or in a parenthesis.

  5. If you really prefer having standard page numbers, and the library owns the journal, go to the stacks and photocopy it.  As time goes on and more subscriptions become electronic, this may become impractical, but more and more are making PDF versions of articles available.

MLA Example

Niki L. Young points out that the "simplicity and understatement" 
that are present when people who are homeless tell their own 
stories "are powerful and sophisticated tools for confronting and 
overcoming the dehumanizing side of rhetoric" (6-7).


The research found that, when homeless people tell their own stories,
the "simplicity and understatement" these stories convey "are 
powerful and sophisticated tools for confronting and overcoming 
the dehumanizing side of rhetoric" (Young 6-7).


Young (1996) pointed out that the label "homeless" names

individuals by what separates them from the norm, and "effectively

excludes them from the community" (p. 1).


The use of the label "homeless" stigmatizes these persons and

"effectively excludes them from the community" (Young, 1996, p. 1).

Citing Electronic Resources @ CSBSJU Libraries

Comments to Dennis Beach, OSB [].

Revised: 05/28/2004.