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BITC Publication Class 6: Tables

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So now let's talk a little bit about tables. My general feeling about tables is that I don't like them. I prefer figures because they are more visual for the reader, for the user of your paper ... a good, well-designed figure generally can express the same information more vividly to your reader. I do accept that there are times when a table is necessary, so let's talk a bit about how you should design your tables. So again, try not to ... think about every table you do include, and think about "could I possibly present this more effectively as a figure?" So, minimum use of tables is best. Most of the information in tables can be expressed in a good, eyecatching figure. I find that readers tend not to pay very much attention to what's in tables, and they take up a lot of space, and thereby cost money in the publishing process. I personally would urge you to simply consider posting the whole data set at some openly accessible site, and to put the interpreted information not in tables but in figures as much as possible. So, how should you present tables? Well, here are some basic rules ... Each table goes on a separate page, by the way. No boldface ... that's why I edited this table with the heading in bold. Try to have the headers down, against the line And try to be very consistent about the presentation; for example, here there is a decimal place, and here there is not. So, look at your tables very carefully, and ask ... am I being absolutely consistent throughout the table. So, very generically, this is what your table should look like. The caption goes right above the table; again, this is one table per sheet of paper, at the end of your manuscript. The caption goes above the table; then you have one horizontal line, and the header; another horizontal line, and then the body; and then a final horizontal line. In some more complex tables, you may be able to add some horizontal lines to demonstrate hierarchical relationships among header levels. But in general, you should have no vertical lines, no boxes, and no horizontal lines internal to the table. That is basically how the journal can best and most easily process your table into a piece of a published manuscript. And so, just to reiterate, your tables go at the end of the manuscript, after the figures, on non-numbered pages, one table per page, and again you should have the caption and then the body, and the only lines should be horizontal lines in the header and at the very end.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 28 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: A. Townsend Peterson
Director: A. Townsend Peterson
Views: 40
Posted by: townpeterson on Dec 27, 2012

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