Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Notre Dame 5 Star University
University Library




AMA Referencing (Vancouver)


Tables and figures demonstrate relationships among data and other types of information. A well-structured table is perhaps the most efficient way to convey a large amount of data in a scientific manuscript. Consider: as text, the same information may take considerably more space; if presented in a figure, key details and precise values may be less apparent.

  • Table is used for any data arranged in tabular format.
  • Figure is used for graphs, diagrams and images (like illustrations or photographs).
  • Box is used for textual information like lists, dot-points, side-bars and the like.

A textual table or box contains words, phrases, or sentences, often in list form. Boxes are used to emphasise key points, summarise information, and/or reduce the narrative text.

See the AMA Manual on Tables, Figures and Multimedia for more information.

Referencing tables & figures

Basic components of tables and figures

AMA Manual cover [4.1.4]

Object identifier: Each table should have an object identifier in bold (eg, Table, Figure, Box).

Number: Figures, tables and boxes are given a number in bold. Number them sequentially, according to their order of appearance in the text and the type of figure (e.g. Box 1, Box 2, Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2...). Please note papers that contain a single figure or table use the designator "Table" or "Figure" (not "Table 1" or "Figure 1"). 

Title: Provide a brief descriptive title as a phrase rather than a sentence. The title should be capitalised (e.g. The Six-Stage Model of Public Health Planning).

Citations: Use superscript numericals to indicate citations and cite the source in your reference list ( e.g. 12.6% overall population.10 ).

Footnotes/ Legends: Use a footnote or legend to expand on information and abbreviations contained in the table/figure. Use sentence format. The order of the footnotes will follow the positioning of the information in the table. Footnotes are indicated with superscript lowercase letters in alphabetical order (a-z). 
When using previously published table, figure or  photograph, the original source should be cited in the legend using terminology that applies to weather you copied, modified or performed a calculation ( e.g. Adapted from..., Data derived from... etc.). Examples:
From Australian Medical Association, copyright 2020 7
Reprinted with permission from the by Australian Academy of Science10


AMA Manual cover[4.1.4]
Displaying tables in a written work (essay, report etc) : Use footnotes that contain lower case letters to describe the entire table or portions of the table. The order of the footnotes is determined by the placement in the table of the item to which the footnote refers. When setting out tables, figures and boxes in your document, position them as close to the referring text as possible and place a line above the title. See example below.



Downloaded from AMA Manual of Style. © American Medical Association

AMA Manual cover[] Displaying figures in a written work (essay, report etc)When setting out figures in your document, position them as close to the referring text as possible and place a line above the title. The figure legend is written in sentence format and printed below or next to the figure. It will also contain citations if you reproduced any information from another source. See example below.


Downloaded from AMA Manual of Style. © American Medical Association

In-text referencing

Referencing within tables, figures and boxes

Continue numbering based on what has been used in the main text. If the last number used in the text was 3, then the first citation in your table/figure/box will be 4 (unless it is the same source just used, in which case it will be 3 again). The sequence of  superscript numericals within a table should be logical and consistent.

If the entire table, figure or box has been taken from (or represents information taken from) the same source, place the superscript number at the end of the title (see Table 1 below)

When both a footnote letter and reference number follow data within a table, set the reference number first, followed by a comma and the footnote letter (e.g. population.10, c  see Table 2 below):


Table 1. Leading Causes of Mortality in Australia in 2018.4

Males Heart disease
Females Alzheimer disease


If the information has been taken from various sources, place the superscript number after the relevant piece of information


Table 2. Incidence of Asthma in Queensland and Tasmania 2018

Queensland Tasmania
11% of children 0-4 years.7 12.2% of children and young people.8, 
10.6% overall population.9 12.6% overall population.10, c

Tables and images from books and journals

If the table or image was found in a book, journal article or entry in a database: Do not cite the table/mage individually but give the citation details for the book/article/etc.

Web images

The way you reference an image depends on where the image was found. For example, if the image was found online, as part of a website, treat it like web content.


  • If there is a credit for the image, use this as your author.  If there is no credit for the image, use the authors of the web site if you believe they are responsible for the image.
  • If you are not sure who is responsible for the image, omit the authors and begin with the title of the image.
  • If the image does not have a title, give a description of the image (e.g.: Boy holding a fish [image]).


Reference list

  1. ISTOCKPHOTO. Asthma inhaler. ABC Health & Wellbeing. Updated March 3, 2014. Accessed July 8, 2020.
  2. Baby with microcephaly. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated February 18, 2020. Accessed July 8, 2020.