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Citing and referencing: Encyclopedias

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

Warning

Warning symbolThis guide is no longer being maintained as the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook has been replaced by the 8th edition. Only use the 7th edition under direction of your lecturer or tutor. Please click here to go to the MLA 8th library guide.

Tips from the MLA Handbook

See the handbook for further examples: p. 160 (5.5.7) An Article in a Reference Book. If the article is signed, give the author’s name first (often articles in reference books are signed with initials identified elsewhere in the work); if it is unsigned, give the title first.

Encyclopedias

When using two or more volumes of a multivolume work, cite the total number of volumes. This information comes after the title—or after any editor’s name or identification of edition—and before the publication information. Give volume number in the in-text citation followed by page number.

Encyclopedia (whole work)

Lastname, Firstname. Title of work. Edition. Number of volumes. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Example

Terrace, Vincent. Encyclopedia of Television Shows 1925 through 2010. 2nd ed. 3 vols. North Carolina: McFarland, 2011. Print

In text citation

The revised edition includes more than 10,567 numbered entries (Terrace 1: 1).
or
In his preface Terrace explains that the revised edition includes more than 10,567 numbered entries (1: 1).

Encyclopedia (article entry)

Lastname, Firstname. "Article title." Title of work. Edition. Volume number. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Example

Terrace, Vincent. “The Wire.” Encyclopedia of Television Shows 1925 through 2010. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. North Carolina: McFarland, 2011. Print.

In text citation

Terrace gives background information on all the main characters (3: 1184-5).
or
Background information is given on all the main characters (Terrace 3: 1184-5).

Encyclopedia (article entry) online

Lastname, Firstname. "Article title." Title of work. Edition. Volume number. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium. Date of access.

Example

Terrace, Vincent. “The Wire.” Encyclopedia of Television Shows 1925 through 2010. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. North Carolina: McFarland, 2011. Web. 9 July 2012

In text citation

Terrace gives background information on all the main characters (3: 1184-5).
or
Background information is given on all the main characters (Terrace 3: 1184-5).

Edited encyclopedia (article entry)

Lastname, Firstname. "Article title." Title of work. Ed. Editor's Firstname Lastname. Edition. Volume number. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of publication.

Examples

Kaemmer, John E. "Music of the Shona of Zimbabwe." Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Ed. Ruth M. Stone. Vol. 1. New York: Routledge, 1997. Print.

Collins, Kathleen. “Sesame Street.” Encyclopedia of Television. Ed. Horace Newcomb. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. New York: Fitzroy, 2004. Print.

In text citation

According to Collins, Sesame Street is the most researched show in television history (4: 2057)
or
Sesame Street is the most researched show in television history (Collins 4: 2057)


Edited encyclopedia (article entry) online

Lastname, Firstname. "Article title." Title of work. Ed. Editor's Firstname Lastname. Edition. Volume number. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium. Date accessed.

Example

Kaemmer, John E. "Music of the Shona of Zimbabwe." Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Ed. Ruth M. Stone. Vol. 1. New York: Routledge, 1997. Alexander Street Press. 744-757.Web. 16 Aug. 2013.

Where there are no page numbers in an online source use the author's name or the title alone, with no page number.

Lastname, Firstname. "Article title." Title of work. Ed. Editor's Firstname Lastname. Edition. Volume number. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium. Date accessed.

Anderson, Christopher.  “I Love Lucy.” Encyclopedia of Television. Ed. Horace Newcomb. 2nd ed. Chicago: Museum of Broadcast Television. 2012. Web. 19 June 2012.

In text citation

Freund used a technique running three cameras simultaneously (Anderson).
or
Anderson describes how Freund used a technique running three cameras simultaneously.


Dictionary definitions under construction (examples are not completed yet)

(i) Widely used reference books
For widely used reference books full publication details are not required. Give the edition, the year of publication, and the medium consulted.

"Word defined." Title of work. Edition. Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Examples

“Sitcom.” Collins Dictionary and Thesaurus of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Print.

“Dramality.” Macquarie Dictionary Online. 2013. Web. 9 Sep. 2013.

In text citation

The Macquarie Dictionary Online (2013) defines the term dramality as “a television show or series that combines elements of scripted drama with the unscripted actuality of a reality show”.

Specific entries

Cite a specific entry by adding Entry and the appropriate number.

"Word defined." Entry number. Title of work. Edition. Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Examples

"Pastoral." Entry 5. Macquarie Dictionary. 4th ed.  2005. Print.

"Pastoral." Entry 5. Macquarie Dictionary Online. 2013. Web. 10 Sep. 2013.

Specific definitions

Cite a specific definition by adding the abbreviation Def. and the appropriate designation (e.g., number, letter).

"Word defined." Def. number/letter. Title of work. Edition. Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Examples

"Serial." Def. B1b. Shorter Oxford Dictionary on Historical Pinciples. 6th ed. 2007. Print.

"Pastorale." Def. 1a. Merriam-Webster.com. n.d. Web. 9 Sep. 2013.

(ii) Specialized reference works
Specialized reference works require full publication information. You may omit inclusive page numbers if the reference work is arranged alphabetically.

Lastname, Firstname/s. "Term defined." Title of Work. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Example

Blandford, Steve, Barry Keith Grant and Jim Hillier. "French New Wave." The Film Studies Dictionary. London: Oxford UP, 2001. Print.

Lastname, Firstname/s of author of article. "Entry title." Title of Work. Ed. Firstname Lastname/s of editor/s. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Example

Sathiyanarayana, Arulprakasam Hari. "Sri Lankan traditions." Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia. Ed. John Whiteoak and Aline Scott-Maxwell. Sydney: Currency Press, 2003. Print.

Lastname, Firstname/s. "Term defined." Title of Work. Ed. Firstname Lastname/s. Edition. Volume number. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Example

Heartz, Daniel, and Bruce Alan Brown. "Galant." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online.  ed. New York: Grove, 2001. Web. 10 Sep. 2003.