MLA examples on a school website

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  • We are posting examples of MLA style citations on our school website for our students use. Some of the examples are very generic, ex. a book, magazine, newspaper, etc., and some are very specific for the databases that our students have access to, ex. SIRS Discoverer, World Book Online, etc.

    Although we see that many other schools, colleges, and universities have similar postings, we are wondering where is this type of posting allowed in the copyright law.
  • Hi, Swilmes.

    I am not a lawyer, but I can tell you this. Copyright law gives copyright holders certain exclusive rights. Only rights holders may do the following:

    1. reproduce a work
    2. make derivative versions of a work
    3. distribute a work
    4. publicly display or perform a work
    5. publicly perform the work via digital audio transmission (in the case of sound recordings)

    (In this forum we like to discuss the exceptions to these rights, but I don't think we don't need to rely on them in this situation.)

    A brief citation to an article or book does not violate any of the rights mentioned above; it simply states factual information about a work (author, title, publisher, etc.). Therefore, I don’t think you face any problems.


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