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Citations, Tables, And Figures

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Citations, Tables, And Figures
  Introduction   The intricate matter of referencing past work is one of the key distinguishing features of research writing or academic writing from other kinds of writing. Referring to past work is important to...    give credit to others for their work    add credibility to your work by showing that you used valid information sources    help show how your work is related to previous work    help readers find further information    avoid plagiarism and write ethically Presentation   Consider this sentence: When it comes to scientific measures, the journal impact factor wins both in terms of broadest use and as the most loathed metric 1,2 . Source: Beware the impact factor. Nat. Mater 12.89.10 (2013): 1038. The numbers 1 and 2 at the end of the sentence are citations. These numbers correspond to the first and second entries in the reference list of the above article (screenshot below): The words citation and reference are sometimes used interchangeably. Nevertheless, in a research paper, both in-text citations and a list of references corresponding to those citations are required. Citing abstracts?   Consider this scenario: Pedra is a researcher who is aware of the importance of including references in her paper. During her research project, she referred to a lot of published papers. However, in many cases, she read only the abstract of papers because she found what she needed in the abstract itself. Can she cite a paper based on just the abstract?  Answers Option 1 Yes Option 2  No Feedback That's correct. It's inappropriate to cite a paper based on the abstract alone. The abstract may not convey the intricacies or caveats of the work. Pedra should cite only those papers she has fully read. Some researchers in developing countries face difficulties in accessing the full text of papers, and they may be tempted to cite a pay-walled paper based on the abstract alone. But that's not a good idea. Revisit the lesson on accessing research publications if you're ever in doubt about what you can do in this situation.  Placement of citations   Which of the following is a better way of citing references?  Answers Option 1 This disease has been reported in humans (Tuda and Appiah, 2006), dogs (Xie and Lozano, 2008), and rabbits and squirrels (Flores, 2012). Option 2 This disease has been reported in humans, dogs, rabbits, and squirrels (Tuda and Appiah, 2006; Xie and Lozano, 2008; Flores, 2012). Feedback That's correct. If you're citing multiple references for a statement, it's best to indicate which part of your statement is supported by which reference.   Reference management software   Organising and formatting references can be a time-consuming task. To make things easier, look into using reference management software such as Mendeley and Zotero. Both these applications are available free of cost. With such software, you can maintain a database of references, and you can include citations and references in the proper format for your target journal. For more information, see this Wikipedia page.  Tables and figures   A table or figure in a scientific research paper is different from a table or figure you might see in an educational textbook or a document meant for the general public. In a textbook, a table or figure may be used to clarify or summarize something presented in the text. On the other hand, in a research paper, every table or figure must present something new. Also, textbooks or other documents meant for the general public may contain simple-looking tables and figures. In a research paper, the design of a table or figure can be somewhat intricate. Tables   First, let's look at the key characteristics of tables. Try selecting the true statements in the list  below.  Answers Option 1 1. Tables should be used to present data in a structured format Correct  Option 2 2. Tables should be used to emphasize data, even if there is only a little data to presented Incorrect Option 3   3. Every table must be numbered Correct  Option 4 4. The information in every table should be repeated in the text of the paper Incorrect Option 5 5. Every table must be referred to in the text of the paper Correct  Option 6 6. Columns within a table must have headings, preferably with units if there is scientific data in those columns Correct  Option 7 7. Footnotes may be used to explain information in the table Correct  Option 8 8. Phrases such as as shown in the table above are appropriate to use in the text of the paper Incorrect Feedback Statements 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 are true. However, an exception for statement 3 is when there is only one table in the paper. In this case, some journals refer to it just as Table, without a number. Statement 2 is false: If a table can be explained in a single sentence, the table is probably not necessary. Do not present very small tables. Use text instead. 
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