Figures and tables




Before you submit any figures, please check this list to ensure your files meet our criteria:

  • Files are provided in our required file formats, .jpg, .tif or .pdf (see the ‘Preparation’ section below)
  • If your figure is not in .jpg, .tif or .pdf, please convert to the accepted file type that allows the highest quality
  • Artwork is of high quality (correct resolution, not blurred, stretched or pixelated)
  • One file provided per figure
  • All figures have white space and unnecessary elements removed
  • All text is in English and contains no spelling or grammar errors
  • All fonts used are embedded and are the journal’s standard font style - Arial or Symbol
  • Font size is consistent
  • Lines are a minimum of 0.3pt
  • Images do not contain any layers, or transparent objects
  • Files are named using the naming convention ([manuscript ID] Figure [number])
  • Figures are provided separate from the manuscript
  • All multi-panel figure parts are labelled (eg, A, B, C, D)
  • All copyrights and permissions for use of third-party content have been obtained. Graphics downloaded from web pages are not acceptable.


Preparation and Submission
Recommended image resolutions:

  • Colour photographic images: minimum 300 dpi
  • Grayscale photographic images: minimum 600 dpi
  • Line art or monochrome images: minimum 1200 dpi
  • Combination images (photographs and labelling): minimum 600 dpi

The manuscript should not contain any pasted figures. Please provide figures as high quality .jpg, .tif or .pdf files separate from the manuscript. Please ensure that any files in .pdf format are not ‘locked’ files, as these are incompatible with our workflow software. Image colour should be RGB.

File naming conventions
Name figure files as Figure 1, 2, 3... etc. according to the order they appear in the text. In multi-part figures, each part should be labelled (eg Figure 1a, Figure 1b). Check and ensure all figures have been cited in the text of the manuscript.


Figures should be supplied in the highest resolution (highest quality) possible. Files should not exceed 50MB. Remove any elements that are not intended for publication, including any excess space around the image. Make sure that the image files do not contain any layers, or transparent objects. 

Use the journals standard font, Arial, and Symbol (Roman). If providing a .pdf file, ensure your fonts are embedded. Keep the font size consistent throughout your work. Do not use effects such as outlining and shadows on any lettering.

Figure legends
Figure legends must begin with the number of the figure being described (eg ‘Figure 1: ‘). If subfigures are present, each subfigure must be labelled and described in the figure legend.

Captions should be succinct but descriptive. Explanatory notes or a key should be present if the figure contains patterns, colours, symbols, or other formatting that indicates significant data. If symbol or alphabetical indicators have been used (e.g. *, **, #, ##, a, b, etc) a key should be included in the figure legend.

If the figure, or a subfigure, is copyrighted and you have obtained permission for use, please ensure that the necessary credit line or acknowledgments are included in the figure legend. If the image is the property of the author, then this should be acknowledged in the caption. A copy of the permission to reuse must be provided to the journal. 

*Please read and follow the section ‘Images and figures’ under Editorial Policies. Please note that there are specific instructions and considerations for research images.


Tables should present new information rather than duplicating what is in the text. Readers should be able to interpret the table even if presented separately from the text. Ensure that each table is cited within the text of the manuscript.

  • Provide tables in their original, editable format (eg in Microsoft Word or Excel). Our production team cannot accept tables as images (eg tables in .jpg, .tif or other image format).
  • Tables may be provided within the manuscript, or as separate files (one file per table).
  • Present table legends above each table, rather than including these as the first row of the table. Table footnotes should be separate from the titles, and included beneath the table to which they apply.
  • Explanatory notes or a key should be present if the table includes indicators, symbols, abbreviations, bolding or other formatting that indicates significant data.
  • If using indicators for footnotes, please use superscript letters (a, b, c). These letters should follow alphabetical order from the top left of the table to the bottom right.
  • All reference citations included in a table must have the relevant reference list number included (in superscript Arabic numeral). Please ensure these numbers align with the reference list included in the manuscript.
  • When submitting multiple tables, consistency in presentation is advised.
  • When representing information numerically, use as many decimal places as is appropriate for your purposes. This number should be consistent throughout the column, or table, if possible.
  • All text in the tables should be in English.
  • Tables must not contain images.

Consider the size of each table and whether it will fit on a single journal page. If the table is cramped in a Microsoft Word document, where the default setting represents an A4 page (210 x 297 mm), it will be difficult to represent it clearly on a B5 journal page (176 x 250 mm). If this is the case, please consider splitting the data into two or more tables.


Updated 14 June 2022