MLA Versus JSTOR

So, this week we have to compare the MLA database with another one. I decided to compare it to JSTOR, because it’s one that I use pretty often.  I chose a search term that I could use identically in both databases, and compared the results that I got from each database. My search term was “doctor who”, because I never get to use the show for school projects.  The first articles that showed up under the search in the MLA database actually looked really interesting. There were ones like, ‘Maybe That’s What Happens If You Touch the Doctor, Even for a Second’:Trauma in Doctor Who. The quote is from a very weird episode that most fans of the show either love or hate with a passion. And anybody who watches the show can tell you that there is no shortage of trauma in the program.

This article really grabbed my attention, along with a book called, “Tardisbound: Navigating the Universes of Doctor Who”. To me, this book sounds fantastic because there are a lot of universes that the Doctor travels through on the show, and over the past 50 years, the show’s writers have come up with pretty interesting details about them all. Overall, I was really pleased with the results from the MLA database.

JSTOR on the other hand, was kind of disappointing. Actually, really disappointing. The first article that came up was called Doctor Who? which seemed promising at first. But then I clicked on it, and found out that it was just a letter from a person complaining about how messy doctor’s signatures are. The following articles were equally disappointing; Doctors Who Smoke and Doctors Who Might.

I suppose the difference between the two databases could easily be explained by the fact that the MLA one is for English things, and JSTOR is more for science. It provided an interesting lesson though, and showed me how important it is to pick a good database to get relevant information.

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