Citing and referencing: Images, graphs, tables, data sets

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

Images, graphs, tables, data sets

Images, graphs, tables, data sets

The Style Manual includes information related to formatting and captions for figures and graphs. A summary of this information is:

Images and graphs are often referred to as figures when included as part of a text. If you use images, graphs or tables from other sources, you need to provide information about the source. This is usually done in a caption below the figure. If you create your own image, graph or table, you also need to include a caption.

Refer to figures within the body of your text, using a locator (e.g. Figure 1). Use the same locator at the start of the caption for the figure. Place the image close to where you mention it in the text. If you include graphs and tables, use the body text to comment on or interpret the content of the graphs, rather than just repeating the data.

 
Captions

Begin your caption with the same locator you used in the body of your text, to link the text to the figure. Include some brief explanatory information for the figure, and include creator and date details if your figure is from another creator (e.g. a graph from another source, an artwork or photograph). Include copyright and permission information for artworks if possible. If you have created a graph using published data, include the details of the data source in your caption. Some example captions are:

 

For a figure that you have created yourself, e.g. a graph of your own data, include a brief description.

Rule: Figure number: Brief explanation.

Example: Figure 1: Changes in workplace productivity due to COVID-19.

 

For a figure of an artwork from another creator:   

Rule: Figure number: Creator Full Name (Year) Title or description of work [medium], Website, Exhibition or Gallery, Location of Gallery, © Creator, courtesy: Creator or Gallery, accessed Date Month Year. URL

Example: Figure 1: Eugene von Guérard (1884) A panoramic view of the Ballarat diggings [oil on canvas], Art Gallery of Ballarat, Australia, © Eugene von Guérard, courtesy: Art Gallery of Ballarat, accessed 29 January 2019. https://artgalleryofballarat.com.au/learn_events/a-panoramic-view-of-the-ballarat-diggings/ 

 

For a graph or table that you have created using published data from another source:

If you’re using data from a PDF or spreadsheet, avoid linking directly to the document. Instead link to the webpage that hosts the document. 

Rule: Figure number: Brief explanation of the graph or table, data obtained from Author A or Name of Agency (Year) Title of data set [data set], Name of Website, accessed DD Month YYYY. URL

Example: Figure 1: AUD/USD exchange rates from 1970 to 2000. Data sourced from RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) (n.d.) Exchange rates: monthly: July 1969 to December 2009 [data set], accessed 4 December 2019. https://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/historical-data.html

 

For a graph or table that you have reproduced from a published source:

Rule: Figure number: Description of figure. From Author A or Organisation (Year) Title, Publisher, accessed Day Month Year. URL

Example: Figure 1: The pyramid of evidence. Source: Ho PM, Peterson PN and Masoudi FA (2008) The pyramid of evidence, AHA Journals, accessed 9 June 2018. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.721357

 

Example figure and caption:

image of a pyramid of evidence

Figure 1: The pyramid of evidence. Source: Ho PM, Peterson PN and Masoudi FA (2008) The pyramid of evidence, AHA Journals, accessed 9 June 2018. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.721357

 

The Style Manual contains more information about captions for images and figures, as well as legends for graphs. 

 

Legends

All graphs, charts and maps should have a legend that tells people the meaning of lines, colours and symbols.

 

Reference list entries

Referencing requirements for figures vary between disciplines, and you may not always need to include artworks and figures within your reference list. It is important to check with your unit coordinator or supervisor if you are unsure, and you should always acknowledge your sources, whether it is in the caption or in both the caption and the reference list. 

 
Artworks and photographs:

You may or may not need to include artworks and photographs within your reference list.  If your caption includes all of the artwork/photograph details, you may not need to also include a reference list entry.  If you do need to include reference list entries for artworks and photographs, use the following rule:

Rule: Creator Full Name (Year) Title or description of work [medium], Webpage, Name of Website website, Exhibition or Gallery, Location of Gallery, © Creator, courtesy: Creator or Gallery, accessed Date Month Year. URL

 

If you are using an artwork or image from a published source, for example a book, you may need to include the full bibliographic details in the caption and/or in the reference list.  Use the referencing rules for books to create these. 

 

Data sets

To include a data set in your reference list, use the following guidelines.

For online data sets, include the accessed date and the URL. If you’re citing a PDF or spreadsheet, avoid linking directly to the document. Instead link to the webpage that hosts the document. 

Rule: Author A or Name of Agency (Year) Title of data set [data set], Name of Website, accessed DD Month YYYY. URL

Example: National Native Title Tribunal (2014) Native Title determination outcomes [data set], accessed 4 January 2020, data.gov.au/data/dataset/native-title-determination-outcomes

Example: RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) (n.d.) Exchange rates: monthly: July 1969 to December 2009 [data set], accessed 4 December 2019. https://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/historical-data.html