Draft concise table titles

Unlike figure legends, which usually are listed together on a separate page from the text in a typescript, table titles often are placed directly above each table. An effective table title should include both the general subject and enough detail to make sense without the text.

Too vague: Deer deaths in Wisconsin

Better: Incidence of white-tailed deer fatalities in Wisconsin, 1995-2000

Some journals allow or require brief descriptions of methods, experimental design, or statistical analysis after the table title; others treat such information as a footnote below the table. In either case, keep them brief. They are generally printed in smaller text and when lengthy are difficult to read.

When including a number of tables in one document, use the same terminology and similar titles and headings. Sometimes, as in many clinical papers, the title of the first table can be used to identify the main component of the results for the sequence of tables, with shorter titles for the tables that follow. For example, the first table in your review of 25 cases of puncture wounds might be titled "Puncture Wounds of the Canine Abdomen: Clinical Features." The second table could be titled simply "Operative Findings and Postoperative Course."

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