Q: Can you help me with the formatting of tables in my paper?
Do I have to use double space in tables? Also, do I have to use 12-point font size in tables? My target journal requires the table to be placed in the space immediately below the citation in the body text. However, my table has a lot of text. So, continuing text starts on the next line at an unnatural position. Accordingly, the table is ending up looking odd. How do I improve this?
There are several points in your question. Let me respond to them one by one.
- Space and font: It seems the journal specifies that you use double space and 12-point font size for the text. However, doing this for the tables would make them look very big and also take up a lot of space. Perhaps the journal has different guidelines for the space and font of tables. Do check the guidelines to know if this is so and proceed accordingly.
- Journal guidelines: As with the rest of the manuscript, journals have specific requirements for tables and figures in the manuscript. They would be especially particular about the presentation of tables because tables depict key data in short and are therefore among the first elements readers go through in a manuscript. So, you will indeed need to follow the journal guidelines for these. If you haven’t already, you could look at recently published papers in the journal having tables to see how tables look in the final version of the paper.
- Amount of text: Ideally, a table should not have a lot of text or data, although there can be situations when a table needs to include a lot of text or data. See if you can reduce the text or data in some way, without compromising the intent of the table, of course. If needed, you could consider presenting the data across two or more tables or presenting some data in an appendix.
- Formatting tables: For more help with formatting tables, view the first part of this video: A step-by-step guide to formatting tables and figures in your manuscript
- Editage artwork preparation service: If needed, you may also utilize our artwork preparation service here.
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