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MLA 9 Style Guide: Publisher

Updated for the 2021 9th edition

What It Is

MLA works cited entry core elements template with Publisher field highlightedThe Publisher is the organization or company that paid for the creation or publication of the source.

Publishers might be:

  • book publishers
  • film or television studios, companies, distributors, or networks
  • organizations or institutions
  • government agencies or departments 

Where to Find It

How to Style It

List the publisher's full name name, including its punctuation.

Leave Out

When styling the Publisher's name, omit these words:

  • Company or Co.
  • Corporation or Corp.
  • Incorporated or Inc.
  • Limited or Ltd.
  • The (at the beginning of the name)

Government Agencies or Departments

Government agencies are often under larger departments. List the largest department as the publisher. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. So when citing the FDA website, you would list the Department as the publisher. Standard abbreviations are acceptable.

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
U.S. Dept. of Labor


When to Omit the Publisher

Leave out the Publisher when it is repetitive or one is not named. Here are some cases when the Publisher is omitted.

  • ongoing publications such as journals, magazines, and newspaper
  • self-published works
  • websites whose titles are the same or nearly the same as the Publisher
  • websites not involved in content creation, such as YouTube


These examples show where the Publisher fits inside the bigger works cited entry:

Author. "Title of Source." Title of Container, contributor, numbers, Publisher, date, location. Second Container, location.
"Stress in Childhood." MedlinePlus, updated by Neil K. Kaneshiro, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 27 May 2020,
Taia, Abdellah. A Country for Dying, translated by Emma Ramadan, Seven Stories Press.
Greenblatt, Stephen. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, the Major Authors. 10th ed., vol. 1, Norton, 2018.

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