Manuscript Preparation - Tables
MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION - TABLES
Use your programs table-creation tool for all tables. Do not use tabs and spaces. Do not break contents of a cell across multiple cells.
Cell entries should clearly belong to a specific row and column.
Tables should be prepared using a roman font; italic and bold should not be used for emphasis.
Except for basic horizontal lines (see " Lines
" below), tables should be free of lines, boxes, arrows, or other devices unless they indicate the structure of the data.
Tables are numbered using arabic numerals, and they are cited in numerical order in the text.
Appendix tables are generally numbered as follows: if there is only one appendix in the article, tables in the appendix are numbered A1, A2, A3, etc. If there are more appendixes, tables are numbered to correspond to the appendix in which they occur; that is, Appendix B would contain tables B1, B2, etc.; Appendix C would contain tables C1, C2, and so on.
Titles should identify the table as briefly as possible.
In an article that contains more than one table, each title should be unique.
Titles should not contain explanatory material; this should be placed in a "note" at the bottom of the table.
Headings should identify the column as briefly as possible.
Headings should contain any necessary symbols (%, $, etc.) or measurement abbreviations (cm, kg, etc.) that apply to the data in the column below. Any measurement abbreviations should conform to the style of the journal.
Headings may have several levels, with horizontal rules separating the levels (see example A below).
If column numbers are mentioned in text, table columns should be numbered accordingly. Numbering should begin with the first column to the right of the stub column.
Only horizontal lines are allowed; no vertical lines, boxes, or other lines may be used unless they indicate the structure of the data.
All tables should have the following three horizontal lines:
One under the title, above the column headings
One between the column headings and the body of the table
One at the bottom of the table.
In addition, tables MAY have the following horizontal lines, as needed:
- To separate levels when there is more than one level of column heading
- To separate a column of numbers that is being added from its total (see example B below)
- To delineate "cut-in" heads in the body of a table (see "cut-in heads" below).
Stub Column (The Left-most Column in the Table)
Entries should be as brief as possible.
Stub column entries are often layered (see example A
). Note the use of colons and indentations to differentiate the various layers.
Stub column entries and subentries should be confined to one column.
Data in columns to the right of the stub column should be in the same row as the stub column entry.
Stub column entries should not run across into the body of the table. If necessary, the entries are broken and runover lines are indented.
Cut-in heads are used when the contents of columns change-that is, when new labels are needed for the data in the columns. This is the only circumstance in which headings should appear in the body of the table. See example C below for the correct use of cut-in heads.
Rules are used above and below cut-in heads. Note that these rules cover only the columns that change. They do NOT extend into the stub column.
As with headings at the top of a table, cut-in heads may have more than one level.
A total rule is to be used only when there is a total that is actually the SUM of the numbers in a column. It is not to be used for averages, means, or other numbers that may summarize the data in a column, but that are not totals. See example B
The total rule extends only across columns with totals. It should not extend into other columns that do not have totals. Missing data: Three centered ellipses may be used in blank cells; it is also acceptable to leave these cells empty.
Body of the Table
Wherever possible, the body of the table should be free of symbols (%, $, etc.) or measurement abbreviations (cm, kg, etc.). Symbols should appear in the column head when they apply to all values in the column, or in the stub column when they apply to all values in the row. Sometimes they can even be placed at the end of the table title, if they apply to all of the data within the table.
Footnotes to Tables
All notes end with a period, even if they are not complete sentences.
Table note callouts should be arranged in the body of the table from left to right, top to bottom, as if reading a text. Every callout in the table should have a corresponding footnote.
The type of footnote symbols used (numbers, letters, symbols) depends on the style of the journal. See individual journals' "Information for Contributors" for specific instructions.
Many tables will have a general explanatory "note" containing useful information about the table (definitions of abbreviations used, etc.). This note is not numbered. It is simply labeled "note" and appears at the bottom of the table before any other specific, numbered notes. The word "note" is singular, even when there are multiple pieces of information in the same note. See example D below.
Some tables also have an unnumbered note labeled "sources" (or "source" if only one source is cited). This is used to list the sources that were used in constructing the table. If such a note is used, it should precede all other footnotes, including the "general" note. See example D above.
Footnotes indicating standard levels of significance in statistical tables usually use asterisks. These footnotes should follow all other footnotes at the bottom of the table. See example D.