161app4_figs - A4-1 Appendix IVHow to Create Figures and...

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Unformatted text preview: A4-1 Appendix IVHow to Create Figures and Tables Biologists spend their professional lives collecting biological observations which can be presented as numerical facts called data(singular = datum). Scientific publications are invariably supplied with graphic representations of data. Those arranged in columns and rows of text are known astables. Illustrations consisting of photographs, line drawings or graphs of mathematical functions are known asfigures. Each of these types of illustrations is presented, labeled and named following a fixed format. Tables and figures are numbered separately: if there are three tables and three figures in a report, they are numbered Tables 1, 2 and 3 and Figures 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Every scientific journal has its own requirements for figures and tables, and UM Publications(that's us) is no exception. We put forth for you here some guidelines for preparing figures and tables for your own lab reports. Learn these lessons well, and you will have a sound foundation for publishing your own data in the future. I. TablesIf your data consist of a series of numbers and/or names and could best be summarized in a series of labeled columns, you should create a tableto list them. Each column of a table should be clearly labeled, not only with the type of data included, but also with the units of measure, where appropriate. For example, if you have measured the average tail length of five species of lizard, and wish to list the data in a table, it might look something like Table A4-1. The legend for a table should go above the table itself, as shown. Table A4-1.Average snout to vent length (SVL) and tail length of five species of lizards collected in Miami, Florida from June 2000 through June 2001. species SVL (mm) tail length (mm) sample size Anolis carolinensis 87.1 98.2 126 Anolis equestris 126.4 165.5 75 Anolis sagrei 75.1 91.2 212 Basiliscus basiliscus 185.2 207.3 87 Iguana iguana 212.1 237.4 27 Notice that the initial column is alphabetical. You need not organize your table in exactly the same way, but it is wise to follow some sort of organization. A table must always be accompanied by a descriptive legend, located at the topof the table, which allows the table to stand on its own. Notice that the legend of Table A4-1 offers more information than that plainly visible in the table. Although you mustrefer to the table in your text, the reader should not have to refer to the text in order to understand the information presented in the table. In several lab chapters you are provided with tables in which to list your "raw" data. Because these data can be presented as either a table or a graph, you need not do both. The purpose of a scientific report is to elucidate research. It should notconsist of many complicated-looking pages of redundant data presentation. A4-2 II. FiguresA photograph, line drawing or graph appearing in a scientific paper is called a figure, and should be labeled as such. and should be labeled as such....
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This lab report was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course BIL 161 taught by Professor Krempels during the Spring '08 term at University of Miami.

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161app4_figs - A4-1 Appendix IVHow to Create Figures and...

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