Skip to main content

MLA Citations (8th ed.): Publisher

This guide will help you format your paper and cite resources according to MLA citation style.

Publisher Basics

The publisher is the organization primarily responsible for producing the source or making it available to the public.

If two or more organizations are named in the source and they seem equally responsible for the work, cite each of them, separating the names with a forward slash (/). But if one of the organizations had primary responsibility for the work, cite it alone. (pp. 40-41)

Publishers' Names

Omit business words when you give publishers' names in the list of works cited, including Company (Co.), Corporation (Corp.), Incorporated (Inc.), Limited (Ltd.), etc.

In the names of academic presses, replace University Press with UP (or, if the words are separated by other words or appear alone, replace them with and P: "U of Chicago P").

In all other cases, write publishers' names in full. (p. 97)

Omitting Publisher

A publisher's name may be omitted in the following kinds of publications:

  • A periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper)
  • A work published by its author or editor
  • A web site whose title is essentially the same as the name of its publisher
  • A web site not involved in producing the works it makes available (i.e. YouTube, WordPress.com, JSTOR, etc.). These sites may be named as containers if the contexts are organized into a whole, but the site still does not qualify as a publisher of the source.

Books

To determine the publisher of a book, look first on the title page. If no publisher's name appears there, look on the copyright page (usually the reverse of the title page). (p. 41)

Here are some examples of books properly cited with the publisher highlighted:

     Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of
               Distraction
. Oxford UP, 2011.

     Lessig, Lawrence. Remix: Making Art and Commerce
               Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
Penguin Press,
               2008.

Film and Television

Films and television series are often produced and distributed by several companies performing different tasks. You should generally cite the organization that had the primary overall responsibility for it. (p. 41)

For example:

     Kuzui, Fran Rubel, director. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
               Twentieth Century Fox, 1992.

Web Sites

Web sites are published by various kinds of organizations, such as museums, libraries, and universities and their departments.

The publisher's name can often be found in a copyright notice at the bottom of the home page or on a page that gives information about the site.

Here are two examples:

     Harris, Charles. "Teenie." Woman in Paisley Shirt behind
               Counter in Record Store
Teenie Harris Archive,
               Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, teenie.cmoa.
               org/interactive/index.html#date08.

     Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King
               James Bible
. Folger Shakespeare Library / Bodleian
               Libraries, U of Oxford / Harry Ransom Center, U of
               Texas, Austin, manifoldgreatness.org.

Blog Networks

blog network may be considered the publisher of the blogs it hosts.

Here is an example:

     Clancy, Kate. "Defensive Scholarly Writing and Science
               Communication." Context and Variation, Scientific
               American Blogs, 24 Apr. 2013,
               blogs.scientificamerican.com/context-and-variation/
               2013/04/24/defensive-scholarly-writing-and-
               science-communication/.