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APA – Citing Sources

Tables and figures

What are tables and figures?

  • A table is a clear presentation of facts, usually in the form of numbers, in rows and columns.
  • According to APA, a figure is any image that is not a table, such as diagrams, illustrations, drawings, photographs, maps and infographics.

Citing tables and figures

Sometimes you may want to refer to a specific figure, table or image in a book without including the image itself in your text. You can add information that makes it easier for the reader to find the specific image, for example, the page number.

In-text citation:

  • (American Psychological Association, 2020, Figure 2.3)
  • The American Psychological Association illustrates what an author note can look like (2020, Figure 2.3) and...

Reference example:

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). 

Reproducing a table or figure in your text

Please note! If you want to use a table or figure in a text that will be published in DiVA, you need to ask permission from the publisher to use the image in your text. Read about how to apply for permission on the Frequently asked questions about copyright for students page.

Tables and figures have the same overall setup, according to the 7th edition of APA. Follow these steps:

  • The tables and figures should be numbered in bold. This is placed above the title.
  • Tables and figures should have headings in italics, placed below the number.
  • Tables and figures may have an explanatory note to describe the content in the table/figure which needs clarification (e.g. explanations of abbreviations or asterisks). Start the note with the word Comment in italics.
  • Tables and figures should have a note below, with a complete source citation if the table/figure is taken from another source. Copyright attribution should also be included. Copyright could for example be owned by the publishing company. 
  • Tables and figures should also have complete references in the reference list.

You can find templates for what should be written about the source under the table or figure on APA Style Blog: Navigating Copyright for Reproduced Images: Part 4. Writing the Copyright Statement

Example of a table from a publication or web page

Table 1

Average values and (standard deviations) in test A and B

Age Points
7-12 (n=25) 157 (4,2) 129 (3,6)
13-18 (n=25) 172 (5,1) 131 (3,9)
19-25 (n=25) 182 (5,6) 142 (4,5)

Note. Age cohorts are defined based on the classification of Statistics Sweden. Adapted from "Reading and understanding," by A. Andersen and B. Bailey, 2019, Journal of Reading, 5, p.39. Copyright 2019 by Literature publishers. Used with permission.

In-text citation:

  • (See Table 1)
  • In Table 1...

In the reference list: 

Andersson, A., & Bailey, B. (2019). Reading and understanding. Journal of Reading, (5), 29.

Example of a figure from a publication or web page

Figure 1

Narrower and broader search terms

Note. From "How to search - step by step", by Jönköping University Library, n.d., ( Used with permission.

In-text citation:

  • (See Figure 1)
  • In Figure 1...

In the reference list:

Jönköping University Library. (n.d.). How to search - step by step.

Example of your own figure


In-text citation:

  • (See Figure 1)
  • In Figure 1...