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APA Format for Tables and Figures | Annotated Examples

Published on November 5, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 17, 2024.

A table concisely presents information (often numbers) in rows and columns. A figure is any other image or illustration you include in your text—anything from a bar chart to a photograph.

Tables and figures differ in terms of how they convey information, but APA Style presents them in a similar format—preceded by a number and title, and followed by explanatory notes (if necessary).

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Table of contents

Apa table format, apa figure format, numbering and titling tables and figures, formatting table and figure notes, where to place tables and figures, referring to tables and figures in the text, frequently asked questions about apa tables and figures.

Tables will vary in size and structure depending on the data you’re presenting, but APA gives some general guidelines for their design. To correctly format an APA table, follow these rules:

  • Table number in bold above the table.
  • Brief title, in italics and title case, below the table number.
  • No vertical lines.
  • Horizontal lines only where necessary for clarity.
  • Clear, concise labels for column and row headings.
  • Numbers consistently formatted (e.g. with the same number of decimal places).
  • Any relevant notes below the table.

An example of a table formatted according to APA guidelines is shown below.

Example of a table in APA format

The table above uses only four lines: Those at the top and bottom, and those separating the main data from the column heads and the totals.

Create your tables using the tools built into your word processor. In Word, you can use the “ Insert table ” tool.

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Any images used within your text are called figures. Figures include data visualization graphics—e.g. graphs, diagrams, flowcharts—as well as things like photographs and artworks.

To correctly format an APA figure, follow these rules:

  • Figure number in bold above the figure.
  • Brief title, in italics and title case, under the figure number.
  • If necessary, clear labels and legends integrated into the image.
  • Any relevant notes below the figure.

An example of a figure formatted according to APA guidelines is shown below.

Example of a figure in APA format

Keep the design of figures as simple as possible. Use colors only where necessary, not just to make the image look more appealing.

For text within the image itself, APA recommends using a sans serif font (e.g. Arial) with a size between 8 and 14 points.

For other figures, such as photographs, you won’t need a legend; the figure consists simply of the image itself, reproduced at an appropriate size and resolution.

Each table or figure is preceded by a number and title.

Tables and figures are each numbered separately, in the order they are referred to in your text. For example, the first table you refer to is Table 1; the fourth figure you refer to is Figure 4.

The title should clearly and straightforwardly describe the content of the table or figure. Omit articles to keep it concise.

The table or figure number appears on its own line, in bold, followed by the title on the following line, in italics and title case.

Where a table or figure needs further explanation, notes should be included immediately after it. These are not your analysis of the data presented; save that for the main text.

There are three kinds of notes: general , specific , and probability . Each type of note appears in a new paragraph, but multiple notes of the same kind all appear in one paragraph.

Only include the notes that are needed to understand the table or figure. It may be that it is clear in itself, and has no notes, or only probability notes; be as concise as possible.

General notes

General notes come first. They are preceded by the word “ Note ” in italics, followed by a period. They include any explanations that apply to the table or figure as a whole and a citation if it was adapted from another source, and they end with definitions of any abbreviations used.

Specific notes

Specific notes refer to specific points in the table or figure. Superscript letters (a, b, c …) appear at the relevant points in the table or figure and at the start of each note to indicate what they refer to. They are used when it’s necessary to comment on a specific data point or term.

Probability notes

Probability notes give p -values for the data in the table or figure. They correspond to asterisks (and/or other symbols) in the table or figure.

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table title in research paper

You have two options for the placement of tables and figures in APA Style:

  • Option 1: Place tables and figures throughout your text, shortly after the parts of the text that refer to them.
  • Option 2: Place them all together at the end of your text (after the reference list) to avoid breaking up the text.

If you place them throughout the text, note that each table or figure should only appear once. If you refer to the same table or figure more than once, don’t reproduce it each time—just place it after the paragraph in which it’s first discussed.

Align the table or figure with the text along the left margin. Leave a line break before and after the table or figure to clearly distinguish it from the main text, and place it on a new page if necessary to avoid splitting it across multiple pages.

Placement of tables in APA format

If you place all your tables and figures at the end, you should have one table or figure on each page. Begin with all your tables, then place all your figures afterwards.

Avoid making redundant statements about your tables and figures in your text. When you write about data from tables and figures, it should be to highlight or analyze a particular data point or trend, not simply to restate what is already clearly shown in the table or figure:

  • As Table 1 shows, there are 115 boys in Grade 4, 130 in Grade 5, and 117 in Grade 6 …
  • Table 1 indicates a notable preponderance of boys in Grade 5. It is important to take this into account because …

Additionally, even if you have embedded your tables and figures in your text, refer to them by their numbers, not by their position relative to the text or by description:

  • The table below shows…
  • Table 1 shows…
  • As can be seen in the image on page 4…
  • As can be seen in Figure 3…
  • The photograph of a bald eagle is an example of…
  • Figure 1 is an example of…

In an APA Style paper , use a table or figure when it’s a clearer way to present important data than describing it in your main text. This is often the case when you need to communicate a large amount of information.

Before including a table or figure in your text, always reflect on whether it’s useful to your readers’ understanding:

  • Could this information be quickly summarized in the text instead?
  • Is it important to your arguments?
  • Does the table or figure require too much explanation to be efficient?

If the data you need to present only contains a few relevant numbers, try summarizing it in the text (potentially including full data in an appendix ). If describing the data makes your text overly long and difficult to read, a table or figure may be the best option.

APA doesn’t require you to include a list of tables or a list of figures . However, it is advisable to do so if your text is long enough to feature a table of contents and it includes a lot of tables and/or figures.

A list of tables and list of figures appear (in that order) after your table of contents , and are presented in a similar way.

If you adapt or reproduce a table or figure from another source, you should include that source in your APA reference list . You should also acknowledge the original source in the note or caption for the table or figure.

Tables and figures you created yourself, based on your own data, are not included in the reference list.

In most styles, the title page is used purely to provide information and doesn’t include any images. Ask your supervisor if you are allowed to include an image on the title page before doing so. If you do decide to include one, make sure to check whether you need permission from the creator of the image.

Include a note directly beneath the image acknowledging where it comes from, beginning with the word “ Note .” (italicized and followed by a period). Include a citation and copyright attribution . Don’t title, number, or label the image as a figure , since it doesn’t appear in your main text.

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Tables and Figures

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This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resources for the older APA 6 style  can be found at this page  as well as at this page (our old resources covered the material on this page on two separate pages).

The purpose of tables and figures in documents is to enhance your readers' understanding of the information in the document; usually, large amounts of information can be communicated more efficiently in tables or figures. Tables are any graphic that uses a row and column structure to organize information, whereas figures include any illustration or image other than a table.

General guidelines

Visual material such as tables and figures can be used quickly and efficiently to present a large amount of information to an audience, but visuals must be used to assist communication, not to use up space, or disguise marginally significant results behind a screen of complicated statistics. Ask yourself this question first: Is the table or figure necessary? For example, it is better to present simple descriptive statistics in the text, not in a table.

Relation of Tables or Figures and Text

Because tables and figures supplement the text, refer in the text to all tables and figures used and explain what the reader should look for when using the table or figure. Focus only on the important point the reader should draw from them, and leave the details for the reader to examine on their own.


If you are using figures, tables and/or data from other sources, be sure to gather all the information you will need to properly document your sources.

Integrity and Independence

Each table and figure must be intelligible without reference to the text, so be sure to include an explanation of every abbreviation (except the standard statistical symbols and abbreviations).

Organization, Consistency, and Coherence

Number all tables sequentially as you refer to them in the text (Table 1, Table 2, etc.), likewise for figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Abbreviations, terminology, and probability level values must be consistent across tables and figures in the same article. Likewise, formats, titles, and headings must be consistent. Do not repeat the same data in different tables.

Data in a table that would require only two or fewer columns and rows should be presented in the text. More complex data is better presented in tabular format. In order for quantitative data to be presented clearly and efficiently, it must be arranged logically, e.g. data to be compared must be presented next to one another (before/after, young/old, male/female, etc.), and statistical information (means, standard deviations, N values) must be presented in separate parts of the table. If possible, use canonical forms (such as ANOVA, regression, or correlation) to communicate your data effectively.

This image shows a table with multiple notes formatted in APA 7 style.

A generic example of a table with multiple notes formatted in APA 7 style.

Elements of Tables

Number all tables with Arabic numerals sequentially. Do not use suffix letters (e.g. Table 3a, 3b, 3c); instead, combine the related tables. If the manuscript includes an appendix with tables, identify them with capital letters and Arabic numerals (e.g. Table A1, Table B2).

Like the title of the paper itself, each table must have a clear and concise title. Titles should be written in italicized title case below the table number, with a blank line between the number and the title. When appropriate, you may use the title to explain an abbreviation parenthetically.

Comparison of Median Income of Adopted Children (AC) v. Foster Children (FC)

Keep headings clear and brief. The heading should not be much wider than the widest entry in the column. Use of standard abbreviations can aid in achieving that goal. There are several types of headings:

  • Stub headings describe the lefthand column, or stub column , which usually lists major independent variables.
  • Column headings describe entries below them, applying to just one column.
  • Column spanners are headings that describe entries below them, applying to two or more columns which each have their own column heading. Column spanners are often stacked on top of column headings and together are called decked heads .
  • Table Spanners cover the entire width of the table, allowing for more divisions or combining tables with identical column headings. They are the only type of heading that may be plural.

All columns must have headings, written in sentence case and using singular language (Item rather than Items) unless referring to a group (Men, Women). Each column’s items should be parallel (i.e., every item in a column labeled “%” should be a percentage and does not require the % symbol, since it’s already indicated in the heading). Subsections within the stub column can be shown by indenting headings rather than creating new columns:

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The body is the main part of the table, which includes all the reported information organized in cells (intersections of rows and columns). Entries should be center aligned unless left aligning them would make them easier to read (longer entries, usually). Word entries in the body should use sentence case. Leave cells blank if the element is not applicable or if data were not obtained; use a dash in cells and a general note if it is necessary to explain why cells are blank.   In reporting the data, consistency is key: Numerals should be expressed to a consistent number of decimal places that is determined by the precision of measurement. Never change the unit of measurement or the number of decimal places in the same column.

There are three types of notes for tables: general, specific, and probability notes. All of them must be placed below the table in that order.

General  notes explain, qualify or provide information about the table as a whole. Put explanations of abbreviations, symbols, etc. here.

Example:  Note . The racial categories used by the US Census (African-American, Asian American, Latinos/-as, Native-American, and Pacific Islander) have been collapsed into the category “non-White.” E = excludes respondents who self-identified as “White” and at least one other “non-White” race.

Specific  notes explain, qualify or provide information about a particular column, row, or individual entry. To indicate specific notes, use superscript lowercase letters (e.g.  a ,  b ,  c ), and order the superscripts from left to right, top to bottom. Each table’s first footnote must be the superscript  a .

a  n = 823.  b  One participant in this group was diagnosed with schizophrenia during the survey.

Probability  notes provide the reader with the results of the tests for statistical significance. Asterisks indicate the values for which the null hypothesis is rejected, with the probability ( p value) specified in the probability note. Such notes are required only when relevant to the data in the table. Consistently use the same number of asterisks for a given alpha level throughout your paper.

* p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001

If you need to distinguish between two-tailed and one-tailed tests in the same table, use asterisks for two-tailed p values and an alternate symbol (such as daggers) for one-tailed p values.

* p < .05, two-tailed. ** p < .01, two-tailed. † p <.05, one-tailed. †† p < .01, one-tailed.


Tables should only include borders and lines that are needed for clarity (i.e., between elements of a decked head, above column spanners, separating total rows, etc.). Do not use vertical borders, and do not use borders around each cell. Spacing and strict alignment is typically enough to clarify relationships between elements.

This image shows an example of a table presented in the text of an APA 7 paper.

Example of a table in the text of an APA 7 paper. Note the lack of vertical borders.

Tables from Other Sources

If using tables from an external source, copy the structure of the original exactly, and cite the source in accordance with  APA style .

Table Checklist

(Taken from the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th ed., Section 7.20)

  • Is the table necessary?
  • Does it belong in the print and electronic versions of the article, or can it go in an online supplemental file?
  • Are all comparable tables presented consistently?
  • Are all tables numbered with Arabic numerals in the order they are mentioned in the text? Is the table number bold and left-aligned?
  • Are all tables referred to in the text?
  • Is the title brief but explanatory? Is it presented in italicized title case and left-aligned?
  • Does every column have a column heading? Are column headings centered?
  • Are all abbreviations; special use of italics, parentheses, and dashes; and special symbols explained?
  • Are the notes organized according to the convention of general, specific, probability?
  • Are table borders correctly used (top and bottom of table, beneath column headings, above table spanners)?
  • Does the table use correct line spacing (double for the table number, title, and notes; single, one and a half, or double for the body)?
  • Are entries in the left column left-aligned beneath the centered stub heading? Are all other column headings and cell entries centered?
  • Are confidence intervals reported for all major point estimates?
  • Are all probability level values correctly identified, and are asterisks attached to the appropriate table entries? Is a probability level assigned the same number of asterisks in all the tables in the same document?
  • If the table or its data are from another source, is the source properly cited? Is permission necessary to reproduce the table?

Figures include all graphical displays of information that are not tables. Common types include graphs, charts, drawings, maps, plots, and photos. Just like tables, figures should supplement the text and should be both understandable on their own and referenced fully in the text. This section details elements of formatting writers must use when including a figure in an APA document, gives an example of a figure formatted in APA style, and includes a checklist for formatting figures.

Preparing Figures

In preparing figures, communication and readability must be the ultimate criteria. Avoid the temptation to use the special effects available in most advanced software packages. While three-dimensional effects, shading, and layered text may look interesting to the author, overuse, inconsistent use, and misuse may distort the data, and distract or even annoy readers. Design properly done is inconspicuous, almost invisible, because it supports communication. Design improperly, or amateurishly, done draws the reader’s attention from the data, and makes him or her question the author’s credibility. Line drawings are usually a good option for readability and simplicity; for photographs, high contrast between background and focal point is important, as well as cropping out extraneous detail to help the reader focus on the important aspects of the photo.

Parts of a Figure

All figures that are part of the main text require a number using Arabic numerals (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Numbers are assigned based on the order in which figures appear in the text and are bolded and left aligned.

Under the number, write the title of the figure in italicized title case. The title should be brief, clear, and explanatory, and both the title and number should be double spaced.

The image of the figure is the body, and it is positioned underneath the number and title. The image should be legible in both size and resolution; fonts should be sans serif, consistently sized, and between 8-14 pt. Title case should be used for axis labels and other headings; descriptions within figures should be in sentence case. Shading and color should be limited for clarity; use patterns along with color and check contrast between colors with free online checkers to ensure all users (people with color vision deficiencies or readers printing in grayscale, for instance) can access the content. Gridlines and 3-D effects should be avoided unless they are necessary for clarity or essential content information.

Legends, or keys, explain symbols, styles, patterns, shading, or colors in the image. Words in the legend should be in title case; legends should go within or underneath the image rather than to the side. Not all figures will require a legend.

Notes clarify the content of the figure; like tables, notes can be general, specific, or probability. General notes explain units of measurement, symbols, and abbreviations, or provide citation information. Specific notes identify specific elements using superscripts; probability notes explain statistical significance of certain values.

This image shows a generic example of a bar graph formatted as a figure in APA 7 style.

A generic example of a figure formatted in APA 7 style.

Figure Checklist 

(Taken from the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7 th ed., Section 7.35)

  • Is the figure necessary?
  • Does the figure belong in the print and electronic versions of the article, or is it supplemental?
  • Is the figure simple, clean, and free of extraneous detail?
  • Is the figure title descriptive of the content of the figure? Is it written in italic title case and left aligned?
  • Are all elements of the figure clearly labeled?
  • Are the magnitude, scale, and direction of grid elements clearly labeled?
  • Are parallel figures or equally important figures prepared according to the same scale?
  • Are the figures numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals? Is the figure number bold and left aligned?
  • Has the figure been formatted properly? Is the font sans serif in the image portion of the figure and between sizes 8 and 14?
  • Are all abbreviations and special symbols explained?
  • If the figure has a legend, does it appear within or below the image? Are the legend’s words written in title case?
  • Are the figure notes in general, specific, and probability order? Are they double-spaced, left aligned, and in the same font as the paper?
  • Are all figures mentioned in the text?
  • Has written permission for print and electronic reuse been obtained? Is proper credit given in the figure caption?
  • Have all substantive modifications to photographic images been disclosed?
  • Are the figures being submitted in a file format acceptable to the publisher?
  • Have the files been produced at a sufficiently high resolution to allow for accurate reproduction?
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How to Write Table Titles

By Erin Wright

A collection of tables and figures with overlay title "How to Write Table Titles"

  • The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago Style)
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style)
  • MLA style from the Modern Language Association 1

These three style guides do agree on two issues:

  • A label (the capitalized word table and a number) appears before the title
  • The label and title appear flush left above the table

Table 1, at the bottom of this post, summarizes the differences between these three styles—because what’s a post about table titles without a table?

If you don’t follow a specific style guide and are wondering which one you should use, see “ Which Style Guide Is Best for You? ” Spoiler alert: Chicago style is the best choice for general writing, business writing, and writing geared to traditional publishing.

Chicago-Style Table Titles

According to The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago style), the table number can be a regular numeral or can feature double numbering beginning with the chapter number (e.g., 12.5 for the fifth table in the twelfth chapter).

The number can be followed by a period (preferred) or by a “space and typographical distinction.” Whichever format you choose, be sure to use it consistently throughout your document.

Both the label and the title appear in regular font on the same line.

The title can be capitalized sentence-style or headline-style . But once again, be sure to use the same format throughout your document. Whether you choose sentence-style or headline-style capitalization, don’t end the title with a period. 2

Table 3. Nap lengths for cats in different countries

Style Guide Alert: The student version of Chicago style, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (commonly called Turabian after its author), only formats table titles with sentence-style capitalization. Turabian mirrors all of Chicago style’s other recommendations for table titles. 3

APA-Style Table Titles (and Figure Titles)

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style) recommends using bold font for the label and italic font for the title.

Although APA style doesn’t mention double numbering (where the table number begins with the chapter number), the Publication Manual itself uses double numbering, so we can safely assume this format is acceptable.

The table number isn’t followed by a period. Instead, the title is written in headline-style capitalization on the next double-spaced line, also without an ending period. 5

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MLA-Style Table Titles

MLA style from the Modern Language Association uses the same format for table titles as APA style except that MLA style formats the label and title with regular font. In addition, long titles that break to a second line are given a hanging indent . 6

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by Event and District

We will discuss table titles in appendixes in an upcoming post.

The title for Table 1 follows Chicago style. Click the table for a larger view in a separate browser tab.

Table 1. Summary of table title styles

Related Resources

How to Write Figure Captions

How to Reference Tables and Figures in Text

Three Ways to Insert Tables in Microsoft Word

How to Create and Customize Charts in Microsoft Word

How to Insert Figure Captions and Table Titles in Microsoft Word

How to Change the Style of Table Titles and Figure Captions in Microsoft Word

How to Update Table and Figure Numbers in Microsoft Word

How to Create and Update a List of Tables or Figures in Microsoft Word

How to Cross-Reference Tables and Figures in Microsoft Word

  • The MLA Handbook does not address table titles, so all MLA style information comes from the MLA Style Center website, which is the handbook’s official online extension.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style , 17th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017), 3.50, 3.54, 3.55.
  • Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations , 9th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018), 26.2.2, 26.2.21.
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th ed. (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2020), 7.23–7.25.
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th ed. (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2020), 7.9–7.11.
  • “ Tables and Illustrations ,” Formatting a Research Paper, The MLA Style Center, accessed October 24, 2019.
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Creating tables in scientific papers: row and column titles, units, error values and sample sizes

This is the second post in our series about creating and editing scientific tables. In the first post , we saw how basic table formatting and effective table titles could be used to improve an example of a poorly constructed table.

This post will deal with table row and column titles, units, error values and sample sizes. Let’s continue with the example table that we began to improve in the first post .

Fig. 1: Improved table after placing values in individual cells, formatting and double spacing, and adding an informative title.

Rule 4. Use short, descriptive row and column titles

The title of Table 1 (above) indicates the data in the table is about wheat plants exposed to salinity. Unfortunately, the row titles do not provide any useful information, except to show there were two groups in the experiment (control and test).

If this table was in a scientific paper, you could read the materials and methods section to find out how the control group and test groups were treated. However, every table should be understandable on its own, without having to look at other parts of the paper.

Therefore, the row titles in Table 1 should be the concentration of salt used in each group, perhaps Control (0 mM NaCl) and 50 mM NaCl (instead of control and test).

The column titles (light, 5 days and 10 days) in Table 1 are quite obvious: the researcher probably exposed the wheat plants to different periods of light each day, and then measured plant height after 5 and 10 days.

However, it is important to remember that simple titles such as “light” may be easily misunderstood by someone who is not familiar with your research.

Table 1 could be improved if the row titles provided a little more information, perhaps “Light exposure per day (hours)” or “Light/day (h)” instead of “light”. Similarly, “5 days exposure” and 10 days exposure” would be better than “5 days” and “10 days”.

If you need to use long or complicated titles that don’t easily fit in the column or row titles (for example, non-small cell lung carcinoma) then it is fine to use abbreviations (NSCLC), as long as you remember to define them in the table footnote.

Again, this makes the table easier to read and prevents your reader from having to look through the paper for the definitions for each abbreviation.

Rule 5. Always include the units, error values and number of samples

Although we have improved the content of Table 1 by changing the row and column titles, some very important information is still missing.

You could probably guess that the height of wheat plants is measured in centimeters, and the light exposure per day was measured in hours.

However, you may not be able to guess the correct units in every table (and your reader should never have to guess!!), so the units should be included in every table.

Additionally, it is not known what the numbers placed after the “±” represent in Table 1, as they could be the standard deviation or standard error of the mean. Therefore, every table should include the units (for example cm and hours) and define the error values (for example mean ± S.E.M.).

It is also important to show how many samples (or patients, cultivars, replicates) were in each group, especially if the sample sizes varied. You can choose where to include the units, error values and sample sizes, depending on the layout and information in your table.

For example, the units can be placed after every value, placed in a new row at the top of the table along with the type measurement as shown in Fig. 2 below or placed in a footnote, for example: “Values are mean centimeters ± SEM; ( n = 5 per group).”

Fig. 2: Examples of different ways to include the units, error values and sample size information in a scientific table.

The table is improved by including more information in the row and column titles (rule 4), and defining units, error values and sample sizes (rule 5).

However, there is still some information missing and a few minor mistakes. Can you see any?

In the final post of this series, I will discuss the final pieces of information that should be included in every scientific table.

table title in research paper

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Figures and tables

Figures and tables (display items) are often the quickest way to  communicate large amounts of complex information that would be complicated to explain in text.

Many readers will only look at your display items without reading the main text of your manuscript. Therefore, ensure your display items can stand alone from the text and communicate clearly your most significant results.

Display items are also important for  attracting readers  to your work. Well designed and attractive display items will hold the interest of readers, compel them to take time to understand a figure and can even entice them to read your full manuscript.

Finally, high-quality display items give your work a  professional appearance . Readers will assume that a professional-looking manuscript contains good quality science. Thus readers may be more likely to trust your results and your interpretation of those results.

When deciding which of your results to present as display items consider the following questions:

  • Are there any data that readers might rather see as a display item rather than text?
  • Do your figures supplement the text and not just repeat what you have already stated?
  • Have you put data into a table that could easily be explained in the text such as simple statistics or p values?

Tables are a concise and effective way to present large amounts of data. You should design them carefully so that you clearly communicate your results to busy researchers.

The following is an example of a well-designed table:

  • Clear and concise legend/caption
  • Data divided into categories for clarity
  • Sufficient spacing between columns and rows
  • Units are provided
  • Font type and size are legible

table title in research paper

  • Manuscript Preparation

How to Use Tables and Figures effectively in Research Papers

  • 3 minute read

Table of Contents

Data is the most important component of any research. It needs to be presented effectively in a paper to ensure that readers understand the key message in the paper. Figures and tables act as concise tools for clear presentation . Tables display information arranged in rows and columns in a grid-like format, while figures convey information visually, and take the form of a graph, diagram, chart, or image. Be it to compare the rise and fall of GDPs among countries over the years or to understand how COVID-19 has impacted incomes all over the world, tables and figures are imperative to convey vital findings accurately.

So, what are some of the best practices to follow when creating meaningful and attractive tables and figures? Here are some tips on how best to present tables and figures in a research paper.

Guidelines for including tables and figures meaningfully in a paper:

  • Self-explanatory display items: Sometimes, readers, reviewers and journal editors directly go to the tables and figures before reading the entire text. So, the tables need to be well organized and self-explanatory.
  • Avoidance of repetition: Tables and figures add clarity to the research. They complement the research text and draw attention to key points. They can be used to highlight the main points of the paper, but values should not be repeated as it defeats the very purpose of these elements.
  • Consistency: There should be consistency in the values and figures in the tables and figures and the main text of the research paper.
  • Informative titles: Titles should be concise and describe the purpose and content of the table. It should draw the reader’s attention towards the key findings of the research. Column heads, axis labels, figure labels, etc., should also be appropriately labelled.
  • Adherence to journal guidelines: It is important to follow the instructions given in the target journal regarding the preparation and presentation of figures and tables, style of numbering, titles, image resolution, file formats, etc.

Now that we know how to go about including tables and figures in the manuscript, let’s take a look at what makes tables and figures stand out and create impact.

How to present data in a table?

For effective and concise presentation of data in a table, make sure to:

  • Combine repetitive tables: If the tables have similar content, they should be organized into one.
  • Divide the data: If there are large amounts of information, the data should be divided into categories for more clarity and better presentation. It is necessary to clearly demarcate the categories into well-structured columns and sub-columns.
  • Keep only relevant data: The tables should not look cluttered. Ensure enough spacing.

Example of table presentation in a research paper

Example of table presentation in a research paper

For comprehensible and engaging presentation of figures:

  • Ensure clarity: All the parts of the figure should be clear. Ensure the use of a standard font, legible labels, and sharp images.
  • Use appropriate legends: They make figures effective and draw attention towards the key message.
  • Make it precise: There should be correct use of scale bars in images and maps, appropriate units wherever required, and adequate labels and legends.

It is important to get tables and figures correct and precise for your research paper to convey your findings accurately and clearly. If you are confused about how to suitably present your data through tables and figures, do not worry. Elsevier Author Services are well-equipped to guide you through every step to ensure that your manuscript is of top-notch quality.

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Figures and Charts

What this handout is about.

This handout will describe how to use figures and tables to present complicated information in a way that is accessible and understandable to your reader.

Do I need a figure/table?

When planning your writing, it is important to consider the best way to communicate information to your audience, especially if you plan to use data in the form of numbers, words, or images that will help you construct and support your argument.  Generally speaking, data summaries may take the form of text, tables or figures. Most writers are familiar with textual data summaries and this is often the best way to communicate simple results. A good rule of thumb is to see if you can present your results clearly in a sentence or two. If so, a table or figure is probably unnecessary. If your data are too numerous or complicated to be described adequately in this amount of space, figures and tables can be effective ways of conveying lots of information without cluttering up your text. Additionally, they serve as quick references for your reader and can reveal trends, patterns, or relationships that might otherwise be difficult to grasp.

So what’s the difference between a table and a figure anyway?

Tables present lists of numbers or text in columns and can be used to synthesize existing literature, to explain variables, or to present the wording of survey questions. They are also used to make a paper or article more readable by removing numeric or listed data from the text. Tables are typically used to present raw data, not when you want to show a relationship between variables.

Figures are visual presentations of results. They come in the form of graphs, charts, drawings, photos, or maps.  Figures provide visual impact and can effectively communicate your primary finding. Traditionally, they are used to display trends and patterns of relationship, but they can also be used to communicate processes or display complicated data simply.  Figures should not duplicate the same information found in tables and vice versa.

Using tables

Tables are easily constructed using your word processor’s table function or a spread sheet program such as Excel. Elements of a table include the Legend or Title, Column Titles, and the Table Body (quantitative or qualitative data). They may also include subheadings and footnotes. Remember that it is just as important to think about the organization of tables as it is to think about the organization of paragraphs. A well-organized table allows readers to grasp the meaning of the data presented with ease, while a disorganized one will leave the reader confused about the data itself, or the significance of the data.

Title: Tables are headed by a number followed by a clear, descriptive title or caption. Conventions regarding title length and content vary by discipline. In the hard sciences, a lengthy explanation of table contents may be acceptable. In other disciplines, titles should be descriptive but short, and any explanation or interpretation of data should take place in the text. Be sure to look up examples from published papers within your discipline that you can use as a model. It may also help to think of the title as the “topic sentence” of the table—it tells the reader what the table is about and how it’s organized. Tables are read from the top down, so titles go above the body of the table and are left-justified.

Column titles: The goal of column headings is to simplify and clarify the table, allowing the reader to understand the components of the table quickly. Therefore, column titles should be brief and descriptive and should include units of analysis.

Table body: This is where your data are located, whether they are numerical or textual. Again, organize your table in a way that helps the reader understand the significance of the data. Be sure to think about what you want your readers to compare, and put that information in the column (up and down) rather than in the row (across). In other words, construct your table so that like elements read down, not across. When using numerical data with decimals, make sure that the decimal points line up. Whole numbers should line up on the right.

Other table elements

Tables should be labeled with a number preceding the table title; tables and figures are labeled independently of one another. Tables should also have lines demarcating different parts of the table (title, column headers, data, and footnotes if present). Gridlines or boxes should not be included in printed versions. Tables may or may not include other elements, such as subheadings or footnotes.

Quick reference for tables

Tables should be:

  • Centered on the page.
  • Numbered in the order they appear in the text.
  • Referenced in the order they appear in the text.
  • Labeled with the table number and descriptive title above the table.
  • Labeled with column and/or row labels that describe the data, including units of measurement.
  • Set apart from the text itself; text does not flow around the table.

Table 1. Physical characteristics of the Doctor in the new series of Doctor Who

Table 2. Physical characteristics of the Doctor in the new series of Doctor Who

Using figures

Figures can take many forms. They may be graphs, diagrams, photos, drawings, or maps. Think deliberately about your purpose and use common sense to choose the most effective figure for communicating the main point. If you want your reader to understand spatial relationships, a map or photograph may be the best choice. If you want to illustrate proportions, experiment with a pie chart or bar graph. If you want to illustrate the relationship between two variables, try a line graph or a scatterplot (more on various types of graphs below). Although there are many types of figures, like tables, they share some typical features: captions, the image itself, and any necessary contextual information (which will vary depending on the type of figure you use).

Figure captions

Figures should be labeled with a number followed by a descriptive caption or title. Captions should be concise but comprehensive. They should describe the data shown, draw attention to important features contained within the figure, and may sometimes also include interpretations of the data. Figures are typically read from the bottom up, so captions go below the figure and are left-justified.

The most important consideration for figures is simplicity. Choose images the viewer can grasp and interpret clearly and quickly. Consider size, resolution, color, and prominence of important features. Figures should be large enough and of sufficient resolution for the viewer to make out details without straining their eyes. Also consider the format your paper will ultimately take. Journals typically publish figures in black and white, so any information coded by color will be lost to the reader.  On the other hand, color might be a good choice for papers published to the web or for PowerPoint presentations. In any case, use figure elements like color, line, and pattern for effect, not for flash.

Additional information

Figures should be labeled with a number preceding the table title; tables and figures are numbered independently of one another. Also be sure to include any additional contextual information your viewer needs to understand the figure. For graphs, this may include labels, a legend explaining symbols, and vertical or horizontal tick marks. For maps, you’ll need to include a scale and north arrow. If you’re unsure about contextual information, check out several types of figures that are commonly used in your discipline.

Quick reference for figures

Figures should be:

  • Labeled (under the figure) with the figure number and appropriate descriptive title (“Figure” can be spelled out [“Figure 1.”] or abbreviated [“Fig. 1.”] as long as you are consistent).
  • Referenced in the order they appear in the text (i.e. Figure 1 is referenced in the text before Figure 2 and so forth).
  • Set apart from the text; text should not flow around figures.

Every graph is a figure but not every figure is a graph. Graphs are a particular set of figures that display quantitative relationships between variables. Some of the most common graphs include bar charts, frequency histograms, pie charts, scatter plots, and line graphs, each of which displays trends or relationships within and among datasets in a different way. You’ll need to carefully choose the best graph for your data and the relationship that you want to show. More details about some common graph types are provided below. Some good advice regarding the construction of graphs is to keep it simple. Remember that the main objective of your graph is communication. If your viewer is unable to visually decode your graph, then you have failed to communicate the information contained within it.

Pie charts are used to show relative proportions, specifically the relationship of a number of parts to the whole. Use pie charts only when the parts of the pie are mutually exclusive categories and the sum of parts adds up to a meaningful whole (100% of something). Pie charts are good at showing “big picture” relationships (i.e. some categories make up “a lot” or “a little” of the whole thing). However, if you want your reader to discern fine distinctions within your data, the pie chart is not for you. Humans are not very good at making comparisons based on angles. We are much better at comparing length, so try a bar chart as an alternative way to show relative proportions. Additionally, pie charts with lots of little slices or slices of very different sizes are difficult to read, so limit yours to 5-7 categories.

first bad pie chart

The chart shows the relative proportion of fifteen elements in Martian soil, listed in order from “most” to “least”: oxygen, silicon, iron, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, aluminum, sodium, potassium, chlorine, helium, nitrogen, phosphorus, beryllium, and other. Oxygen makes up about ⅓ of the composition, while silicon and iron together make up about ¼. The remaining slices make up smaller proportions, but the percentages aren’t listed in the key and are difficult to estimate. It is also hard to distinguish fifteen colors when comparing the pie chart to the color coded key.

second bad pie chart

The chart shows the relative proportion of five leisure activities of Venusian teenagers (tanning, trips to Mars, reading, messing with satellites, and stealing Earth cable). Although each of the five slices are about the same size (roughly 20% of the total), the percentage of Venusian teenagers engaging in each activity varies widely (tanning: 80%, trips to Mars: 40%, reading: 12%, messing with satellites: 30%, stealing Earth cable: 77%). Therefore, there is a mismatch between the labels and the actual proportion represented by each activity (in other words, if reading represents 12% of the total, its slice should take up 12% of the pie chart area), which makes the representation inaccurate. In addition, the labels for the five slices add up to 239% (rather than 100%), which makes it impossible to accurately represent this dataset using a pie chart.

Bar graphs are also used to display proportions. In particular, they are useful for showing the relationship between independent and dependent variables, where the independent variables are discrete (often nominal) categories. Some examples are occupation, gender, and species. Bar graphs can be vertical or horizontal. In a vertical bar graph the independent variable is shown on the x axis (left to right) and the dependent variable on the y axis (up and down). In a horizontal one, the dependent variable will be shown on the horizontal (x) axis, the independent on the vertical (y) axis. The scale and origin of the graph should be meaningful. If the dependent (numeric) variable has a natural zero point, it is commonly used as a point of origin for the bar chart. However, zero is not always the best choice. You should experiment with both origin and scale to best show the relevant trends in your data without misleading the viewer in terms of the strength or extent of those trends.

bar graph

The graph shows the number of male and female spaceship crew members for five different popular television series: Star Trek (1965), Battlestar (1978), Star Trek: TNG (1987), Stargate SG-1 (1997), and Firefly (2002). Because the television series are arranged chronologically on the x-axis, the graph can also be used to look for trends in these numbers over time.

Although the number of crew members for each show is similar (ranging from 9 to 11), the proportion of female and male crew members varies. Star Trek has half as many female crew members as male crew members (3 and 6, respectively), Battlestar has fewer than one-fourth as many female crew members as male crew members (2 and 9, respectively), Star Trek: TNG has four female crew members and six male crew members, Stargate SG-1 has less than one-half as many female crew members as male crew members (3 and 7, respectively), and Firefly has four female and five male crew members.

Frequency histograms/distributions

Frequency histograms are a special type of bar graph that show the relationship between independent and dependent variables, where the independent variable is continuous, rather than discrete. This means that each bar represents a range of values, rather than a single observation. The dependent variables in a histogram are always numeric, but may be absolute (counts) or relative (percentages). Frequency histograms are good for describing populations—examples include the distribution of exam scores for students in a class or the age distribution of the people living in Chapel Hill. You can experiment with bar ranges (also known as “bins”) to achieve the best level of detail, but each range or bin should be of uniform width and clearly labeled.

XY scatter plots

Scatter plots are another way to illustrate the relationship between two variables. In this case, data are displayed as points in an x,y coordinate system, where each point represents one observation along two axes of variation. Often, scatter plots are used to illustrate correlation between two variables—as one variable increases, the other increases (positive correlation) or decreases (negative correlation). However, correlation does not necessarily imply that changes in one variable cause changes in the other. For instance, a third, unplotted variable may be causing both. In other words, scatter plots can be used to graph one independent and one dependent variable, or they can be used to plot two independent variables. In cases where one variable is dependent on another (for example, height depends partly on age), plot the independent variable on the horizontal (x) axis, and the dependent variable on the vertical (y) axis. In addition to correlation (a linear relationship), scatter plots can be used to plot non-linear relationships between variables.

scatter plot

The scatter plot shows the relationship between temperature (x-axis, independent variable) and the number of UFO sightings (y-axis, dependent variable) for 53 separate data points. The temperature ranges from about 0°F and 120°F, and the number of UFO sightings ranges from 1 to 10. The plot shows a low number of UFO sightings (ranging from 1 to 4) at temperatures below 80°F and a much wider range of the number of sightings (from 1 to 10) at temperatures above 80°F. It appears that the number of sightings tends to increase as temperature increases, though there are many cases where only a few sightings occur at high temperatures.

XY line graphs

Line graphs are similar to scatter plots in that they display data along two axes of variation. Line graphs, however, plot a series of related values that depict a change in one variable as a function of another, for example, world population (dependent) over time (independent). Individual data points are joined by a line, drawing the viewer’s attention to local change between adjacent points, as well as to larger trends in the data. Line graphs are similar to bar graphs, but are better at showing the rate of change between two points. Line graphs can also be used to compare multiple dependent variables by plotting multiple lines on the same graph.

Example of an XY line graph:

XY line graph

The line graph shows the age (in years) of the actor of each Doctor Who regeneration for the first through the eleventh regeneration. The ages range from a maximum of about 55 in the first regeneration to a minimum of about 25 in the eleventh regeneration. There is a downward trend in the age of the actors over the course of the eleven regenerations.

General tips for graphs

Strive for simplicity. Your data will be complex. Don’t be tempted to convey the complexity of your data in graphical form. Your job (and the job of your graph) is to communicate the most important thing about the data. Think of graphs like you think of paragraphs—if you have several important things to say about your data, make several graphs, each of which highlights one important point you want to make.

Strive for clarity. Make sure that your data are portrayed in a way that is visually clear. Make sure that you have explained the elements of the graph clearly. Consider your audience. Will your reader be familiar with the type of figure you are using (such as a boxplot)? If not, or if you’re not sure, you may need to explain boxplot conventions in the text. Avoid “chartjunk.” Superfluous elements just make graphs visually confusing. Your reader does not want to spend 15 minutes figuring out the point of your graph.

Strive for accuracy. Carefully check your graph for errors. Even a simple graphical error can change the meaning and interpretation of the data. Use graphs responsibly. Don’t manipulate the data so that it looks like it’s saying something it’s not—savvy viewers will see through this ruse, and you will come off as incompetent at best and dishonest at worst.

How should tables and figures interact with text?

Placement of figures and tables within the text is discipline-specific. In manuscripts (such as lab reports and drafts) it is conventional to put tables and figures on separate pages from the text, as near as possible to the place where you first refer to it. You can also put all the figures and tables at the end of the paper to avoid breaking up the text. Figures and tables may also be embedded in the text, as long as the text itself isn’t broken up into small chunks. Complex raw data is conventionally presented in an appendix. Be sure to check on conventions for the placement of figures and tables in your discipline.

You can use text to guide the reader in interpreting the information included in a figure, table, or graph—tell the reader what the figure or table conveys and why it was important to include it.

When referring to tables and graphs from within the text, you can use:

  • Clauses beginning with “as”: “As shown in Table 1, …”
  • Passive voice: “Results are shown in Table 1.”
  • Active voice (if appropriate for your discipline): “Table 1 shows that …”
  • Parentheses: “Each sample tested positive for three nutrients (Table 1).”

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

American Psychological Association. 2010. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bates College. 2012. “ Almost everything you wanted to know about making tables and figures.” How to Write a Paper in Scientific Journal Style and Format , January 11, 2012.

Cleveland, William S. 1994. The Elements of Graphing Data , 2nd ed. Summit, NJ: Hobart Press..

Council of Science Editors. 2014. Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers , 8th ed. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.

University of Chicago Press. 2017. The Chicago Manual of Style , 17th ed. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Your Guide to Creating Effective Tables and Figures in Research Papers


Research papers are full of data and other information that needs to be effectively illustrated and organized. Without a clear presentation of a study's data, the information will not reach the intended audience and could easily be misunderstood. Clarity of thought and purpose is essential for any kind of research. Using tables and figures to present findings and other data in a research paper can be effective ways to communicate that information to the chosen audience.

When manuscripts are screened, tables and figures can give reviewers and publication editors a quick overview of the findings and key information. After the research paper is published or accepted as a final dissertation, tables and figures will offer the same opportunity for other interested readers. While some readers may not read the entire paper, the tables and figures have the chance to still get the most important parts of your research across to those readers.

However, tables and figures are only valuable within a research paper if they are succinct and informative. Just about any audience—from scientists to the general public—should be able to identify key pieces of information in well-placed and well-organized tables. Figures can help to illustrate ideas and data visually. It is important to remember that tables and figures should not simply be repetitions of data presented in the text. They are not a vehicle for superfluous or repetitious information. Stay focused, stay organized, and you will be able to use tables and figures effectively in your research papers. The following key rules for using tables and figures in research papers will help you do just that.

Check style guides and journal requirements

The first step in deciding how you want to use tables and figures in your research paper is to review the requirements outlined by your chosen style guide or the submission requirements for the journal or publication you will be submitting to. For example, JMIR Publications states that for readability purposes, we encourage authors to include no more than 5 tables and no more than 8 figures per article. They continue to outline that tables should not go beyond the 1-inch margin of a portrait-orientation 8.5"x11" page using 12pt font or they may not be able to be included in your main manuscript because of our PDF sizing.

Consider the reviewers that will be examining your research paper for consistency, clarity, and applicability to a specific publication. If your chosen publication usually has shorter articles with supplemental information provided elsewhere, then you will want to keep the number of tables and figures to a minimum.

According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL), the American Psychological Association (APA) states that Data in a table that would require only two or fewer columns and rows should be presented in the text. More complex data is better presented in tabular format. You can avoid unnecessary tables by reviewing the data and deciding if it is simple enough to be included in the text. There is a balance, and the APA guideline above gives a good standard cutoff point for text versus table. Finally, when deciding if you should include a table or a figure, ask yourself is it necessary. Are you including it because you think you should or because you think it will look more professional, or are you including it because it is necessary to articulate the data? Only include tables or figures if they are necessary to articulate the data.

Table formatting

Creating tables is not as difficult as it once was. Most word processing programs have functions that allow you to simply select how many rows and columns you want, and then it builds the structure for you. Whether you create a table in LaTeX , Microsoft Word , Microsoft Excel , or Google Sheets , there are some key features that you will want to include. Tables generally include a legend, title, column titles, and the body of the table.

When deciding what the title of the table should be, think about how you would describe the table's contents in one sentence. There isn't a set length for table titles, and it varies depending on the discipline of the research, but it does need to be specific and clear what the table is presenting. Think of this as a concise topic sentence of the table.

Column titles should be designed in such a way that they simplify the contents of the table. Readers will generally skim the column titles first before getting into the data to prepare their minds for what they are about to see. While the text introducing the table will give a brief overview of what data is being presented, the column titles break that information down into easier-to-understand parts. The Purdue OWL gives a good example of what a table format could look like:

Table Formatting

When deciding what your column titles should be, consider the width of the column itself when the data is entered. The heading should be as close to the length of the data as possible. This can be accomplished using standard abbreviations. When using symbols for the data, such as the percentage "%" symbol, place the symbol in the heading, and then you will not use the symbol in each entry, because it is already indicated in the column title.

For the body of the table, consistency is key. Use the same number of decimal places for numbers, keep the alignment the same throughout the table data, and maintain the same unit of measurement throughout each column. When information is changed within the same column, the reader can become confused, and your data may be considered inaccurate.

Figures in research papers

Figures can be of many different graphical types, including bar graphs, scatterplots, maps, photos, and more. Compared to tables, figures have a lot more variation and personalization. Depending on the discipline, figures take different forms. Sometimes a photograph is the best choice if you're illustrating spatial relationships or data hiding techniques in images. Sometimes a map is best to illustrate locations that have specific characteristics in an economic study. Carefully consider your reader's perspective and what detail you want them to see.

As with tables, your figures should be numbered sequentially and follow the same guidelines for titles and labels. Depending on your chosen style guide, keep the figure or figure placeholder as close to the text introducing it as possible. Similar to the figure title, any captions should be succinct and clear, and they should be placed directly under the figure.

Using the wrong kind of figure is a common mistake that can affect a reader's experience with your research paper. Carefully consider what type of figure will best describe your point. For example, if you are describing levels of decomposition of different kinds of paper at a certain point in time, then a scatter plot would not be the appropriate depiction of that data; a bar graph would allow you to accurately show decomposition levels of each kind of paper at time "t." The Writing Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a good example of a bar graph offering easy-to-understand information:

Bar Graph Formatting

If you have taken a figure from another source, such as from a presentation available online, then you will need to make sure to always cite the source. If you've modified the figure in any way, then you will need to say that you adapted the figure from that source. Plagiarism can still happen with figures – and even tables – so be sure to include a citation if needed.

Using the tips above, you can take your research data and give your reader or reviewer a clear perspective on your findings. As The Writing Center recommends, Consider the best way to communicate information to your audience, especially if you plan to use data in the form of numbers, words, or images that will help you construct and support your argument. If you can summarize the data in a couple of sentences, then don't try and expand that information into an unnecessary table or figure. Trying to use a table or figure in such cases only lengthens the paper and can make the tables and figures meaningless instead of informative.

Carefully choose your table and figure style so that they will serve as quick and clear references for your reader to see patterns, relationships, and trends you have discovered in your research. For additional assistance with formatting and requirements, be sure to review your publication or style guide's instructions to ensure success in the review and submission process.

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Scientific Writing for Health Research

Chapter 4 tables and figures.

So far, we have looked at the components of the introduction and the methods sections of a scientific research paper. Before looking at all the components of the results section, we will discuss the most crucial elements of the results section, and perhaps of the entire research paper, the tables and figures. Tables and figures are an integral part of a scientific article as they give an overview of the results obtained from the analyses. For many readers, reviewers and editors, these are the first elements they will look at when reading a paper. Therefore, well designed tables and figures are an effective tool to convey findings and can make a great impression on the readers even before they dive into the paper.

It is widely known that tables and figures are an efficient way to present the key study findings ( Kotz and Cals 2013c ) . Kotz and Cals ( Kotz and Cals 2013c ) suggest planning on which findings to portray in the tables and figures early in the writing process. Once this is determined, the most important aspect when designing the tables and figures is that they should be ‘standalone,’ or self-explanatory. The readers should gain a complete understanding of the message you are trying to convey just by looking at the table or the figure. To help with this, there are a few recommended guidelines for designing tables and figures.

Below we discuss the components that can optimize the tables and figures in a scientific research article in the field of population and public health.

4.1 Designing a table

As discussed, tables in a scientific paper should be concise, but standalone. Tables must be accompanied with an informative title, descriptive column headers and descriptive row labels. A footnote should also be included that explains any abbreviations used and the analyses that were applied to produce the results in the table.

  • Titles: titles should be self-contained and informative. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, titles should include details on the location of the study, the time period over which the study was conducted and the study population ( American Journal of Epidemiology Editorial Office 2021 ) . Even if including these details lengthens the title, it is important to include all the necessary information so that readers don’t have to go back to the manuscript to find the information they need to understand the table.
  • Column headers: column headers should be succinct but descriptive as these introduce the table to the readers, along with the title.
  • Row labels: when variables have multiple categories consider using a hierarchical representation (i.e., via indenting) and specify which category was used as the reference.
  • Footnote: footnotes should include the definitions of the abbreviations and details on the statistical tests and analyses used.

Furthermore, rather than duplicating information in the main text, the tables should be used to complement it, and vice versa.

You should try to organize the tables in a way that ensures the reader can easily and quickly digest and comprehend the information within. Some formatting tips include:

  • Designing the table layout with three horizontal lines in total: a line at the top of the table, a line below the column headers and a line at the bottom of the table. If the table is particularly large, shading can be used to demarcate the rows. Drawing horizontal and vertical lines inside the table is highly discouraged.
  • The number of columns should be kept to a minimum. For example, instead of having a column for the p-values, you should consider using significance codes to indicate the level of statistical significance. For example, different numbers of asterisks can be used (*P<0.05, **P<0.01, ***P<0.001) ( Kotz and Cals 2013c ) .
  • Whether the p-values are one-sided or two-sided should be specified. Some journals suggest only reporting two-sided p-values unless a one-sided test is required by the study design. As for decimal places for the p-values, the NEJM recommends reporting p-values larger than 0.01 with two decimal places, those between 0.01 and 0.001 with three decimal places, and those smaller than 0.001 as P<0.001 ( NEJM Editorial Board 2021 ) .
  • When reporting p-values or confidence intervals, the statistical test used to obtain the values needs to be described.
  • For decimal points, do not report numbers with too many decimal places.
  • The units of measurement for the study variables should be reported. For example, age in years or increments of 10 years, BMI in kg/m2, physical activity (min/day), etc.
  • When displaying data in a table, do not include too many significant figures.
  • Do not over-stylize the data using the bold, italic, and underline options ( Franzblau and Chung 2012 ) .

4.2 Designing a figure

A figure can be useful when you have a lot of data that you’d like to describe or when you’d like to convey a key message. Deciding between a table or a figure depends on what kind of information you’re looking to present. If your data is representing a trend, pattern or association (in particular, if there is a non-linear trend), a figure may be able to convey the information more efficiently than a table. However, if it is important to present the exact numbers for the results, consider using a table rather than a figure.

Similar to the tables, figures must be accompanied with a detailed title, descriptive labels for the y- and x-axes, a legend explaining any symbols, colours and line types, and a footnote. Generally, the title for a figure generally is placed under the image, and the footnote is placed under the title.

Keep in mind the main message you are aiming to convey with the figure. It can take some time to design a figure that meets your needs. Some general guidelines include:

Some journals may charge additional fees to print coloured figures. Therefore, it will be likely be less costly to design the initial figure in black and white.

If you decide to make figures with colours, you should consider colour combinations and palettes that are accessible or colour-blind friendly. For example, the R ‘ggplot2’ package offers some colour-blind friendly palettes ( Chang 2018 ) . You can access the chapter here .

Avoid using unnecessary grid lines inside the graph or plot, except for a reference line when necessary (e.g., a line indicating a Hazard Ratio (HR) or Odds Ratio (OR) of 1.0 in a forest plot).

When placing graphs and plots side-by-side, be mindful of the scale of the graphs to avoid misleading the readers. It’s always a good idea to use the same scale across the graphs and figures.

Avoid complicated, confusing figures such as 3-dimensional graphs ( Franzblau and Chung 2012 ) .

4.3 Tables and figures in population and public health research papers

In research articles in epidemiology or in population and public health, generally, table 1 presents the sociodemographic and/or clinical characteristics of the study population stratified by the levels of the explanatory variable. For research papers based on a large survey datasets, table 1 includes descriptive statistics such as counts (number of people in the study sample in each category), proportions (accounting for the survey design), as well as means and standard deviations (also accounting for the survey design). Table 1 allows readers to compare the variables of interest across the levels of the explanatory/exposure variable of interest and may help them to gain an understanding of the research question. Sometimes, the authors test for differences and include a column for the p-values to indicate whether the variables presented are distributed differentially across the levels of the exposure.

Table 2 usually presents the results of the primary inferential analysis assessing the research question, i.e., the association between the main explanatory and outcome variables under investigation. If there are multiple models used or additional outcomes considered, multiple columns can be included in this table. The footnote for the table usually includes information on the analytical model, the variable selection approach and the relevant tests of significance. This table generally reports the effect of the exposure or the specific level of the explanatory variable on the outcome after adjustment for potential confounders.

Additional tables can be included that present the results of the effect modification analyses or any other sensitivity analyses that provide additional clarity to the study.

Figure 1 is most often a flowchart showing how the authors obtained the final study sample after going through the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The inclusion and exclusion criteria should be detailed and the exact number of people excluded at each step should be provided. Other figures in epidemiological studies or studies in population and public health can include: directed acyclic graphs, survival curves, forest plots, histograms, boxplots and maps.

Figures and tables are useful tools for highlighting the important findings of the study. Designing great tables and figures during the manuscript preparation phase can also be helpful for other knowledge translation activities For example, when making conference posters or oral presentations. Finally, there should be coherence between the text in the manuscript and the tables and figures. That is, the tables and figures should have a meaningful connection to the text in the results section and the story you are trying to tell in your manuscript.

4.4 Common pitfalls

  • Having too many tables and figures: Many journals usually restrict the number of tables and figures that can be includes in the main article. Having too many figures and tables can be distracting. In addition, each table or figure needs to be explained in the text of the manuscript. Even when you have opted to include some tables and figures in the supplementary materials, they need to be explained in the main text. As for the other sections, you need to find a balance between too much and too little information.
  • Avoid duplication. Sometimes the authors present the same data in a table and a figure. Tables and figures should be supplementary to each other and the text in the article to emphasize the key findings and convey a continuous story.
  • When describing concepts in your article, be consistent in your use of keywords throughout the text, tables and figures in the article. This is particularly important if there are many terms used in the literature to describe a concept.
  • All tables and figures must be referenced in the text and should follow a chronological order. There shouldn’t be a table or a figure that is not cited in the text.
  • Sometimes, you may have too much information in the manuscript which causes it to exceed the word limit. This information may be essential for the manuscript. In some instances, you may be able to create a table to describe some of the details in the methods rather than having to describe them all in the manuscript. In addition, some tables can include both the text descriptions and the results.
  • If you have a target journal in mind, review the journal instructions. Formatting requirements figures and tables may differ by journal.
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How to Make a Research Paper Title with Examples

table title in research paper

What is a research paper title and why does it matter?

A research paper title summarizes the aim and purpose of your research study. Making a title for your research is one of the most important decisions when writing an article to publish in journals. The research title is the first thing that journal editors and reviewers see when they look at your paper and the only piece of information that fellow researchers will see in a database or search engine query. Good titles that are concise and contain all the relevant terms have been shown to increase citation counts and Altmetric scores .

Therefore, when you title research work, make sure it captures all of the relevant aspects of your study, including the specific topic and problem being investigated. It also should present these elements in a way that is accessible and will captivate readers. Follow these steps to learn how to make a good research title for your work.

How to Make a Research Paper Title in 5 Steps

You might wonder how you are supposed to pick a title from all the content that your manuscript contains—how are you supposed to choose? What will make your research paper title come up in search engines and what will make the people in your field read it? 

In a nutshell, your research title should accurately capture what you have done, it should sound interesting to the people who work on the same or a similar topic, and it should contain the important title keywords that other researchers use when looking for literature in databases. To make the title writing process as simple as possible, we have broken it down into 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Answer some key questions about your research paper

What does your paper seek to answer and what does it accomplish? Try to answer these questions as briefly as possible. You can create these questions by going through each section of your paper and finding the MOST relevant information to make a research title.

Step 2: Identify research study keywords

Now that you have answers to your research questions, find the most important parts of these responses and make these your study keywords. Note that you should only choose the most important terms for your keywords–journals usually request anywhere from 3 to 8 keywords maximum.

Step 3: Research title writing: use these keywords

“We employed a case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years to assess how waiting list volume affects the outcomes of liver transplantation in patients; results indicate a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and negative prognosis after the transplant procedure.”

The sentence above is clearly much too long for a research paper title. This is why you will trim and polish your title in the next two steps.

Step 4: Create a working research paper title

To create a working title, remove elements that make it a complete “sentence” but keep everything that is important to what the study is about. Delete all unnecessary and redundant words that are not central to the study or that researchers would most likely not use in a database search.

“ We employed a case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years to assess how the waiting list volume affects the outcome of liver transplantation in patients ; results indicate a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis after transplant procedure ”

Now shift some words around for proper syntax and rephrase it a bit to shorten the length and make it leaner and more natural. What you are left with is:

“A case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcome of transplantation and showing a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis” (Word Count: 38)

This text is getting closer to what we want in a research title, which is just the most important information. But note that the word count for this working title is still 38 words, whereas the average length of published journal article titles is 16 words or fewer. Therefore, we should eliminate some words and phrases that are not essential to this title.

Step 5: Remove any nonessential words and phrases from your title

Because the number of patients studied and the exact outcome are not the most essential parts of this paper, remove these elements first:

 “A case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcomes of transplantation and showing a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis” (Word Count: 19)

In addition, the methods used in a study are not usually the most searched-for keywords in databases and represent additional details that you may want to remove to make your title leaner. So what is left is:

“Assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcome and prognosis in liver transplantation patients” (Word Count: 15)

In this final version of the title, one can immediately recognize the subject and what objectives the study aims to achieve. Note that the most important terms appear at the beginning and end of the title: “Assessing,” which is the main action of the study, is placed at the beginning; and “liver transplantation patients,” the specific subject of the study, is placed at the end.

This will aid significantly in your research paper title being found in search engines and database queries, which means that a lot more researchers will be able to locate your article once it is published. In fact, a 2014 review of more than 150,000 papers submitted to the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) database found the style of a paper’s title impacted the number of citations it would typically receive. In most disciplines, articles with shorter, more concise titles yielded more citations.

Adding a Research Paper Subtitle

If your title might require a subtitle to provide more immediate details about your methodology or sample, you can do this by adding this information after a colon:

“ : a case study of US adult patients ages 20-25”

If we abide strictly by our word count rule this may not be necessary or recommended. But every journal has its own standard formatting and style guidelines for research paper titles, so it is a good idea to be aware of the specific journal author instructions , not just when you write the manuscript but also to decide how to create a good title for it.

Research Paper Title Examples

The title examples in the following table illustrate how a title can be interesting but incomplete, complete by uninteresting, complete and interesting but too informal in tone, or some other combination of these. A good research paper title should meet all the requirements in the four columns below.

Tips on Formulating a Good Research Paper Title

In addition to the steps given above, there are a few other important things you want to keep in mind when it comes to how to write a research paper title, regarding formatting, word count, and content:

  • Write the title after you’ve written your paper and abstract
  • Include all of the essential terms in your paper
  • Keep it short and to the point (~16 words or fewer)
  • Avoid unnecessary jargon and abbreviations
  • Use keywords that capture the content of your paper
  • Never include a period at the end—your title is NOT a sentence

Research Paper Writing Resources

We hope this article has been helpful in teaching you how to craft your research paper title. But you might still want to dig deeper into different journal title formats and categories that might be more suitable for specific article types or need help with writing a cover letter for your manuscript submission.

In addition to getting English proofreading services , including paper editing services , before submission to journals, be sure to visit our academic resources papers. Here you can find dozens of articles on manuscript writing, from drafting an outline to finding a target journal to submit to.

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Home » Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

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Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title is the name or heading that summarizes the main theme or topic of a research paper . It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the paper, providing an initial impression of the content, purpose, and scope of the research . A well-crafted research paper title should be concise, informative, and engaging, accurately reflecting the key elements of the study while also capturing the reader’s attention and interest. The title should be clear and easy to understand, and it should accurately convey the main focus and scope of the research paper.

Examples of Research Paper Title

Here are some Good Examples of Research Paper Title:

  • “Investigating the Relationship Between Sleep Duration and Academic Performance Among College Students”
  • “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment: A Systematic Review”
  • “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Exploring the Effects of Social Support on Mental Health in Patients with Chronic Illness”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behavior: A Systematic Review”
  • “Investigating the Link Between Personality Traits and Leadership Effectiveness”
  • “The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Child Development: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Cultural Intelligence and Cross-Cultural Adaptation: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Chronic Pain Management”.
  • “The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Global Crop Yields: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship between Parental Involvement and Academic Achievement in Elementary School Students”
  • “The Ethics of Genetic Editing: A Review of Current Research and Implications for Society”
  • “Understanding the Role of Gender in Leadership: A Comparative Study of Male and Female CEOs”
  • “The Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Comparison”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Online Learning Platforms: A Case Study of Coursera”
  • “Exploring the Link between Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance”
  • “The Effects of Income Inequality on Social Mobility: A Comparative Analysis of OECD Countries”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Health in Adolescents”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yield: A Case Study of Maize Production in Sub-Saharan Africa”
  • “Examining the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “An Analysis of the Relationship Between Employee Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment”
  • “Assessing the Impacts of Wilderness Areas on Local Economies: A Case Study of Yellowstone National Park”
  • “The Role of Parental Involvement in Early Childhood Education: A Review of the Literature”
  • “Investigating the Effects of Technology on Learning in Higher Education”
  • “The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges”
  • “A Study of the Relationship Between Personality Traits and Leadership Styles in Business Organizations”.

How to choose Research Paper Title

Choosing a research paper title is an important step in the research process. A good title can attract readers and convey the essence of your research in a concise and clear manner. Here are some tips on how to choose a research paper title:

  • Be clear and concise: A good title should convey the main idea of your research in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be confusing to readers.
  • Use keywords: Including keywords in your title can help readers find your paper when searching for related topics. Use specific, descriptive terms that accurately describe your research.
  • Be descriptive: A descriptive title can help readers understand what your research is about. Use adjectives and adverbs to convey the main ideas of your research.
  • Consider the audience : Think about the audience for your paper and choose a title that will appeal to them. If your paper is aimed at a specialized audience, you may want to use technical terms or jargon in your title.
  • Avoid being too general or too specific : A title that is too general may not convey the specific focus of your research, while a title that is too specific may not be of interest to a broader audience. Strive for a title that accurately reflects the focus of your research without being too narrow or too broad.
  • Make it interesting : A title that is interesting or provocative can capture the attention of readers and draw them into your research. Use humor, wordplay, or other creative techniques to make your title stand out.
  • Seek feedback: Ask colleagues or advisors for feedback on your title. They may be able to offer suggestions or identify potential problems that you hadn’t considered.

Purpose of Research Paper Title

The research paper title serves several important purposes, including:

  • Identifying the subject matter : The title of a research paper should clearly and accurately identify the topic or subject matter that the paper addresses. This helps readers quickly understand what the paper is about.
  • Catching the reader’s attention : A well-crafted title can grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the paper. This is particularly important in academic settings where there may be many papers on the same topic.
  • Providing context: The title can provide important context for the research paper by indicating the specific area of study, the research methods used, or the key findings.
  • Communicating the scope of the paper: A good title can give readers an idea of the scope and depth of the research paper. This can help them decide if the paper is relevant to their interests or research.
  • Indicating the research question or hypothesis : The title can often indicate the research question or hypothesis that the paper addresses, which can help readers understand the focus of the research and the main argument or conclusion of the paper.

Advantages of Research Paper Title

The title of a research paper is an important component that can have several advantages, including:

  • Capturing the reader’s attention : A well-crafted research paper title can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to read further. A captivating title can also increase the visibility of the paper and attract more readers.
  • Providing a clear indication of the paper’s focus: A well-written research paper title should clearly convey the main focus and purpose of the study. This helps potential readers quickly determine whether the paper is relevant to their interests.
  • Improving discoverability: A descriptive title that includes relevant keywords can improve the discoverability of the research paper in search engines and academic databases, making it easier for other researchers to find and cite.
  • Enhancing credibility : A clear and concise title can enhance the credibility of the research and the author. A title that accurately reflects the content of the paper can increase the confidence readers have in the research findings.
  • Facilitating communication: A well-written research paper title can facilitate communication among researchers, enabling them to quickly and easily identify relevant studies and engage in discussions related to the topic.
  • Making the paper easier to remember : An engaging and memorable research paper title can help readers remember the paper and its findings. This can be especially important in fields where researchers are constantly inundated with new information and need to quickly recall important studies.
  • Setting expectations: A good research paper title can set expectations for the reader and help them understand what the paper will cover. This can be especially important for readers who are unfamiliar with the topic or the research area.
  • Guiding research: A well-crafted research paper title can also guide future research by highlighting gaps in the current literature or suggesting new areas for investigation.
  • Demonstrating creativity: A creative research paper title can demonstrate the author’s creativity and originality, which can be appealing to readers and other researchers.

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6 Important Tips on Writing a Research Paper Title

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When you are searching for a research study on a particular topic, you probably notice that articles with interesting, descriptive research titles draw you in. By contrast, research paper titles that are not descriptive are usually passed over, even though you may write a good research paper with interesting contents. This shows the importance of coming up with a good title for your research paper when drafting your own manuscript.

Importance of a Research Title

The research title plays a crucial role in the research process, and its importance can be summarized as follows:

Importance of a Research Title

Why do Research Titles Matter?

Before we look at how to title a research paper, let’s look at a research title example that illustrates why a good research paper should have a strong title.

Imagine that you are researching meditation and nursing, and you want to find out if any studies have shown that meditation makes nurses better communicators.  You conduct a keyword search using the keywords “nursing”, “communication”, and “meditation.” You come up with results that have the following titles:

  • Benefits of Meditation for the Nursing Profession: A Quantitative Investigation
  • Why Mindful Nurses Make the Best Communicators
  • Meditation Gurus
  • Nurses on the Move: A Quantitative Report on How Meditation Can Improve Nurse Performance

All four of these research paper titles may describe very similar studies—they could even be titles for the same study! As you can see, they give very different impressions.

  • Title 1 describes the topic and the method of the study but is not particularly catchy.
  • Title 2 partly describes the topic, but does not give any information about the method of the study—it could simply be a theoretical or opinion piece.
  • Title 3 is somewhat catchier but gives almost no information at all about the article.
  • Title 4 begins with a catchy main title and is followed by a subtitle that gives information about the content and method of the study.

As we will see, Title 4 has all the characteristics of a good research title.

Characteristics of a Good Research Title

According to rhetoric scholars Hairston and Keene, making a good title for a paper involves ensuring that the title of the research accomplishes four goals as mentioned below:

  • It should predict the content of the research paper .
  • It should be interesting to the reader .
  • It should reflect the tone of the writing .
  • It should contain important keywords that will make it easier to be located during a keyword search.

Let’s return to the examples in the previous section to see how to make a research title.

As you can see in the table above, only one of the four example titles fulfills all of the criteria of a suitable research paper title.

Related: You’ve chosen your study topic, but having trouble deciding where to publish it? Here’s a comprehensive course to help you identify the right journal .

Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper Title

When writing a research title, you can use the four criteria listed above as a guide. Here are a few other tips you can use to make sure your title will be part of the recipe for an effective research paper :

  • Make sure your research title describes (a) the topic, (b) the method, (c) the sample, and (d) the results of your study. You can use the following formula:
[ Result ]: A [ method ] study of [ topic ] among [ sample ] Example : Meditation makes nurses perform better: a qualitative study of mindfulness meditation among German nursing students
  • Avoid unnecessary words and jargons. Keep the title statement as concise as possible. You want a title that will be comprehensible even to people who are not experts in your field. Check our article for a detailed list of things to avoid when writing an effective research title .
  • Make sure your title is between 5 and 15 words in length.
  • If you are writing a title for a university assignment or for a particular academic journal, verify that your title conforms to the standards and requirements for that outlet. For example, many journals require that titles fall under a character limit, including spaces. Many universities require that titles take a very specific form, limiting your creativity.
  • Use a descriptive phrase to convey the purpose of your research efficiently.
  • Most importantly, use critical keywords in the title to increase the discoverability of your article.

table title in research paper

Resources for Further Reading

In addition to the tips above, there are many resources online that you can use to help write your research title. Here is a list of links that you may find useful as you work on creating an excellent research title:

  • The University of Southern California has a guide specific to social science research papers:
  • The Journal of European Psychology Students has a blog article focusing on APA-compliant research paper titles:
  • This article by Kristen Hamlin contains a step-by-step approach to writing titles:

Are there any tips or tricks you find useful in crafting research titles? Which tip did you find most useful in this article? Leave a comment to let us know!

  • Hairston, M., & Keene, M. 2003. Successful writing . 5th ed. New York: Norton.
  • University of Southern California. 2017. Organizing your social sciences research paper: choosing a title . [Online] Available at:

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Thank you so much:) Have a nice day!

Thank you so much, it helped me.. God bless..

Thank you for the excellent article and tips for creating a research work, because I always forget about such an essential element as the keywords when forming topics. In particular, I have found a rapid help with the formation of informative and sound titles that also conforms to the standards and requirements.

I am doing a research work on sales girls or shop girls using qualititative method. Basicly I am from Pakistan and writing on the scenario of mycountry. I am really confused about my research title can you kindly give some suggestions and give me an approperaite tilte

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Hi Zubair, Thank you for your question. However, the information you have provided is insufficient for drafting an appropriate title. Information on what exactly you intend to study would be needed in order to draft a meaningful title. Meanwhile, you can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles our website: , , We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter .

thanks for helping me like this!!

Thank you for this. It helped me improve my research title. I just want to verify to you the title I have just made. “Ensuring the safety: A Quantitative Study of Radio Frequency Identification system among the selected students of ( school’s name ).

(I need your reply asap coz we will be doing the chap. 1 tomorrow. Thank u in advance. 🙂 )

I am actually doing a research paper title. I want to know more further in doing research title. Can you give me some tips on doing a research paper?

Hi Joan, Thank you for your question. We are glad to know that you found our resources useful. Your feedback is very valuable to us. You can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles on our website: , ,

We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter .

That really helpful. Thanks alot

Thank you so much. It’s really help me.

Thanks for sharing this tips. Title matters a lot for any article because it contents Keywords of article. It should be eye-catchy. Your article is helpful to select title of any article.

nice blog that you have shared

This blog is very informative for me. Thanks for sharing.

nice information that you have shared

i’m found in selecting my ma thesis title ,so i’m going to do my final research after the proposal approved. Your post help me find good title.

I need help. I need a research title for my study about early mobilization of the mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Thank you for posting your query on the website. When writing manuscripts, too many scholars neglect the research title. This phrase, along with the abstract, is what people will mostly see and read online. Title research of publications shows that the research paper title does matter a lot. Both bibliometrics and altmetrics tracking of citations are now, for better or worse, used to gauge a paper’s “success” for its author(s) and the journal publishing it. Interesting research topics coupled with good or clever yet accurate research titles can draw more attention to your work from peers and the public alike. You can check through the following search results for titles on similar topics: .

We hope this would be helpful in drafting an attractive title for your research paper.

Please let us know in case of any other queries.

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Creating effective titles for your scientific publications

Associated data.

You work for months, maybe years, to plan and conduct your study. You write it up carefully, reporting every piece of data accurately. You get the approval of your co-authors and double-check everyone’s conflicts of interest for the disclosure form. You are ready to submit it when you remember that your work needs a title. “No problem,” you say. “I’ll just throw something together.”

Hold on—that’s not a good idea. The title of a scholarly article really does matter, for several reasons ( Video 1 , available online at ). It is the first thing a reader will see, so it helps him or her decide whether to read the rest of the article ( Fig. 1 ). 1 If you are publishing in a subscription model, it helps the reader decide whether to buy the whole article. Later, when the reader is writing his own article and wants to cite yours, he can find it more easily if you have given it an effective title. If the article is cited more, it will help your H-Index and G-Index, building your reputation and credibility. Furthermore, if your article is highly cited, it helps the publishing journal’s Impact Factor. Journal editors know which authors’ articles are highly cited and will react with interest when they see another article submitted by that author in the future.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is gr1.jpg

Example of a poor title. It has a problem with grammar (“Are” instead of “Is”), it attempts to be funny, it is in the form of a question, uses abbreviations, does not have clear keywords, and does not make the point of the article clear.

Several elements make up an effective title ( Table 1 ). Studies have shown that shorter titles receive more citations; most recommend 10 to 15 words or between 31 and 40 characters. 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 Punctuation is important: commas and colons have been shown to increase citations, but articles with question marks or exclamation points are cited less frequently. 7 Keywords that help researchers find your article when they use search algorithms are critical, so make sure that your title accurately reflects the key concepts of your article. 4 , 8 , 9

Table 1

Elements of a good title for a scholarly publication

Avoid abbreviations or jargon in your title. 3 , 4 , 9 People from other fields whose research intersects with yours might cite you if they can find your article, but if you use abbreviations or jargon specific to your field, their searches won’t uncover your article.

Some authors think attracting attention with humor or puns is a good idea, but that practice is actually counterproductive. 3 , 4 , 5 , 9 Your title should reflect the tone of the article and of the journal, and because we are dealing with scholarly publications, that means the title should be formal as well. If you are writing an editorial or opinion piece, you might get away with a less-formal title, but for the most part, making your readers laugh should not be a priority.

Poor grammar and incorrect spelling are jarring and irritating to many readers as well as to editors and reviewers, so check and double check that the title is grammatical and everything is spelled and punctuated correctly. If you are using an editing or translation service to assist you with the composition of your article, be sure to include the title in the content submitted for review to catch errors you may have overlooked.

Above all, remember that your title is a reader’s first impression of your article, so make sure that impression is effective. Do all you can to create a title that is professional and does justice to the article you have worked so hard to create.

All authors disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this publication.

Supplementary data

Creating effective titles for scientific articles takes planning and knowledge. In this video, we discuss the elements of a good title.

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Volume 626 Issue 8000, 22 February 2024

Smoke alarm.

Everyone’s immune system responds to challenges differently. A lot of this is a result of age, sex and genetics, but environmental factors such as lifestyle could also contribute. In this week’s issue, Darragh Duffy, Violaine Saint-André and colleagues explore the effects of 136 environmental factors on the immune responses of 1,000 individuals. Of all the factors studied, smoking had a significant influence, affecting both innate (general) and adaptive (pathogen-specific) immunity. Although the effects on innate immunity disappeared after the smokers stopped smoking, the effects on adaptive immunity continued for many years after quitting, altering the levels of cytokine released after infection, for example.

Cover image: Wirestock, Inc./Alamy

It’s time for countries to honour their million-dollar biodiversity pledges

Promises to safeguard biodiversity need to be translated into money in the bank.



Science can drive development and unity in Africa — as it does in the US and Europe

A plan to establish Africa’s first continent-wide science fund should not be delayed any longer.

Generative AI’s environmental costs are soaring — and mostly secret

First-of-its-kind US bill would address the environmental costs of the technology, but there’s a long way to go.

  • Kate Crawford

How to boost your research: take a sabbatical in policy

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A dna clutch controls a golden nanomachine.

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The immune markers that predict who can keep SARS-CoV-2 in check

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The animals’ shenanigans hint that mischievous play evolved well before Homo sapiens did.

News in Focus

How journals are fighting back against a wave of questionable images.

Publishers are deploying AI-based tools to detect suspicious images, but generative AI threatens their efforts.

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Jury awards Mann more than US$1 million — raising hopes for scientists who are attacked politically because of their work.

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China conducts first nationwide review of retractions and research misconduct

Universities must declare all their retractions and launch investigations into misconduct cases; a Nature analysis reveals that since 2021 there have been more than 17,000 retractions with Chinese co-authors.

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Glow way! Bioluminescent houseplant hits US market for first time

Engineered petunia emits a continuous green glow thanks to genes from a light-up mushroom.

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Introducing meat–rice: grain with added muscles beefs up protein

The laboratory-grown food uses rice as a scaffold for cultured meat.

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Largest post-pandemic survey finds trust in scientists is high

Study of more than 70,000 people suggests that trust levels vary among countries and are linked to political orientation.

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Mind-reading devices are revealing the brain’s secrets

Implants and other technologies that decode neural activity can restore people’s abilities to move and speak — and help researchers to understand how the brain works.

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Fed up with a lack of political progress in solving the climate problem, some researchers are becoming activists to slow global warming.

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Book review, greener cities: a necessity or a luxury.

Are urban trees and parks essential to improving the environment and human health — or just a sop to middle-class ideals of gentrification? Two books debate these opposing views.

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Andrew Robinson reviews five of the best science picks.

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Triple win: solar farms in deserts can boost power, incomes and ecosystems.

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  • Jianguo Liu

Stockholm declaration on AI ethics: why others should sign

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  • Teresa Scassa
  • Hiroaki Kitano

Pay rises for Serbia’s top 10% of research scientists

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New Chinese databases are a boost for rare-disease science

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Technology Feature

Super-speedy sequencing puts genomic diagnosis in the fast lane.

Streamlined workflows for DNA and RNA sequencing are helping clinicians to deliver prompt, targeted care to people in days — or even hours.

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Building precision instruments to explore the cosmos.

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News & Views

Rare isotopes formed in prelude to γ-ray burst.

The afterglow of a long burst of γ-rays suggests that the events leading to these explosions can be sizeable sources of some of the Universe’s rare isotopes — and that classifications of γ-ray bursts are too simplistic.

  • Daniel Kasen

A neural circuit for navigation keeps flies on target

Studies reveal how neuronal populations in the fruit fly brain work together to compare the direction of a goal with the direction that the fly is facing, and convert this into a signal that steers the fly towards its target.

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Energetic laser pulses alter outcomes of X-ray studies of proteins

Cutting-edge X-ray sources have enabled the structural dynamics of proteins to be tracked during biochemical processes, but the findings have been questioned. Two experts discuss the implications of a study that digs into this issue.

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Nanotraps boost light intensity for future optical devices

A method for configuring light-trapping devices promises better optical nanodevices by amplifying light and enhancing the emission efficiency of luminescent nanomaterials — without the need for complex technology upgrades.

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From the archive: Tutankhamun’s coffin, and Darwin shares a letter

Snippets from Nature ’s past.

Smoking’s lasting effect on the immune system

It emerges from a study of human cells that smoking can influence certain immune responses to the same extent as can age or genetics. Smoking can alter the immune system in ways that persist long after quitting the habit.

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How population size shapes the evolution of guppy fish

A long-term fish experiment reveals how a mechanism called density dependence, in which the population growth rate slows as the number of individuals rises, affects population dynamics on time scales relevant for ecology and evolution.

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Natural killer cell therapies

This Review explores in detail the complexity of NK cell biology in humans and highlights the role of these cells in cancer immunity.

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Heavy-element production in a compact object merger observed by JWST

Observations from the JWST of the second brightest GRB ever detected, GRB 230307A, indicate that it belongs to the class of long-duration GRBs resulting from compact object mergers, with the decay of lanthanides powering the longlasting optical and infrared emission.

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A lanthanide-rich kilonova in the aftermath of a long gamma-ray burst

A modelling analysis shows that an unusually long gamma-ray burst gave rise to a lanthanide-rich kilonova following the merger of a neutron star–neutron star or of a neutron star–black hole.

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Avoiding fusion plasma tearing instability with deep reinforcement learning

Artificial intelligence control is used to avoid the emergence of disruptive tearing instabilities in the magnetically confined fusion plasma in the DIII-D tokamak reactor.

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Signatures of a surface spin–orbital chiral metal

A spin–orbital- and angular-momentum-sensitive methodology used to study Sr 2 RuO 4 reveals subtle spectroscopic signatures that are consistent with the formation of spin–orbital chiral currents at the surface of the material.

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Fractional quantum anomalous Hall effect in multilayer graphene

Integer and fractional quantum anomalous Hall effects in a rhombohedral pentalayer graphene–hBN moiré superlattice are observed, providing an ideal platform for exploring charge fractionalization and (non-Abelian) anyonic braiding at zero magnetic field.

  • Zhengguang Lu
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Directive giant upconversion by supercritical bound states in the continuum

An experimental design consisting of a photonic-crystal nanoslab covered with upconversion nanoparticles demonstrates the phenomenon of supercritical coupling, resulting in giant enhancement of upconversion by photonic bound states in the continuum.

  • Chiara Schiattarella
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  • Gianluigi Zito

A 3D nanoscale optical disk memory with petabit capacity

Optical nanoscale disk memory with petabit-level capacity is developed by extending the recording architecture to three dimensions with hundreds of layers, and exabit-level storage can be achieved by stacking the disks into arrays.

Twisted-layer boron nitride ceramic with high deformability and strength

A bulk ceramic composed of interlocked boron nitride nanoplates with a laminated structure of twist-stacked nanoslices is created using hot-pressing and spark plasma sintering, which exhibits large elastic and plastic deformability and high strength at room temperature.

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Progressive unanchoring of Antarctic ice shelves since 1973

Pinning-point changes over three epochs spanning the periods 1973–1989, 1989–2000 and 2000−2022 were measured, and by proxy the changes to ice-shelf thickness back to 1973–1989 were inferred.

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A machine learning model for generating crop-specific and spatially explicit NH 3 emission factors globally shows that global NH 3 emissions in 2018 were lower than previous estimates that did not fully consider fertilizer management practices.

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Converting an allocentric goal into an egocentric steering signal

In  Drosophila , FC2 neurons signal a navigational goal, which is compared with the fly’s heading by PFL3 neurons to guide moment-to-moment steering.

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Here we show how PFL2 and PFL3 neurons in the Drosophila brain compare a representation of direction with internal spatial goals, both anchored in world-centric coordinates, and produce body-centric steering commands that act to correct deviations from the goal direction. 

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Smoking changes adaptive immunity with persistent effects

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The HIV capsid mimics karyopherin engagement of FG-nucleoporins

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HIV-1 capsids enter the FG phase of nuclear pores like a transport receptor

The HIV-1 capsid behaves like a nuclear transport receptor entering and traversing an FG phase, with its interior serving as a cargo container, bypassing an otherwise effective barrier to viral infection.

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Ultrafast time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography is used to investigate a photodissociation reaction in a protein, revealing the strong impact of the pump laser fluence on the structural changes  and the reaction mechanism.

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Amendments & Corrections

Author correction: satellite mapping reveals extensive industrial activity at sea.

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Publisher Correction: Revising the global biogeography of annual and perennial plants

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Publisher Correction: Developmental dynamics of two bipotent thymic epithelial progenitor types

  • Anja Nusser
  • Thomas Boehm


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table title in research paper

  • Systematic review
  • Open access
  • Published: 19 February 2024

‘It depends’: what 86 systematic reviews tell us about what strategies to use to support the use of research in clinical practice

  • Annette Boaz   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Juan Baeza 2 ,
  • Alec Fraser   ORCID: 2 &
  • Erik Persson 3  

Implementation Science volume  19 , Article number:  15 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

1381 Accesses

61 Altmetric

Metrics details

The gap between research findings and clinical practice is well documented and a range of strategies have been developed to support the implementation of research into clinical practice. The objective of this study was to update and extend two previous reviews of systematic reviews of strategies designed to implement research evidence into clinical practice.

We developed a comprehensive systematic literature search strategy based on the terms used in the previous reviews to identify studies that looked explicitly at interventions designed to turn research evidence into practice. The search was performed in June 2022 in four electronic databases: Medline, Embase, Cochrane and Epistemonikos. We searched from January 2010 up to June 2022 and applied no language restrictions. Two independent reviewers appraised the quality of included studies using a quality assessment checklist. To reduce the risk of bias, papers were excluded following discussion between all members of the team. Data were synthesised using descriptive and narrative techniques to identify themes and patterns linked to intervention strategies, targeted behaviours, study settings and study outcomes.

We identified 32 reviews conducted between 2010 and 2022. The reviews are mainly of multi-faceted interventions ( n  = 20) although there are reviews focusing on single strategies (ICT, educational, reminders, local opinion leaders, audit and feedback, social media and toolkits). The majority of reviews report strategies achieving small impacts (normally on processes of care). There is much less evidence that these strategies have shifted patient outcomes. Furthermore, a lot of nuance lies behind these headline findings, and this is increasingly commented upon in the reviews themselves.

Combined with the two previous reviews, 86 systematic reviews of strategies to increase the implementation of research into clinical practice have been identified. We need to shift the emphasis away from isolating individual and multi-faceted interventions to better understanding and building more situated, relational and organisational capability to support the use of research in clinical practice. This will involve drawing on a wider range of research perspectives (including social science) in primary studies and diversifying the types of synthesis undertaken to include approaches such as realist synthesis which facilitate exploration of the context in which strategies are employed.

Peer Review reports

Contribution to the literature

Considerable time and money is invested in implementing and evaluating strategies to increase the implementation of research into clinical practice.

The growing body of evidence is not providing the anticipated clear lessons to support improved implementation.

Instead what is needed is better understanding and building more situated, relational and organisational capability to support the use of research in clinical practice.

This would involve a more central role in implementation science for a wider range of perspectives, especially from the social, economic, political and behavioural sciences and for greater use of different types of synthesis, such as realist synthesis.


The gap between research findings and clinical practice is well documented and a range of interventions has been developed to increase the implementation of research into clinical practice [ 1 , 2 ]. In recent years researchers have worked to improve the consistency in the ways in which these interventions (often called strategies) are described to support their evaluation. One notable development has been the emergence of Implementation Science as a field focusing explicitly on “the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice” ([ 3 ] p. 1). The work of implementation science focuses on closing, or at least narrowing, the gap between research and practice. One contribution has been to map existing interventions, identifying 73 discreet strategies to support research implementation [ 4 ] which have been grouped into 9 clusters [ 5 ]. The authors note that they have not considered the evidence of effectiveness of the individual strategies and that a next step is to understand better which strategies perform best in which combinations and for what purposes [ 4 ]. Other authors have noted that there is also scope to learn more from other related fields of study such as policy implementation [ 6 ] and to draw on methods designed to support the evaluation of complex interventions [ 7 ].

The increase in activity designed to support the implementation of research into practice and improvements in reporting provided the impetus for an update of a review of systematic reviews of the effectiveness of interventions designed to support the use of research in clinical practice [ 8 ] which was itself an update of the review conducted by Grimshaw and colleagues in 2001. The 2001 review [ 9 ] identified 41 reviews considering a range of strategies including educational interventions, audit and feedback, computerised decision support to financial incentives and combined interventions. The authors concluded that all the interventions had the potential to promote the uptake of evidence in practice, although no one intervention seemed to be more effective than the others in all settings. They concluded that combined interventions were more likely to be effective than single interventions. The 2011 review identified a further 13 systematic reviews containing 313 discrete primary studies. Consistent with the previous review, four main strategy types were identified: audit and feedback; computerised decision support; opinion leaders; and multi-faceted interventions (MFIs). Nine of the reviews reported on MFIs. The review highlighted the small effects of single interventions such as audit and feedback, computerised decision support and opinion leaders. MFIs claimed an improvement in effectiveness over single interventions, although effect sizes remained small to moderate and this improvement in effectiveness relating to MFIs has been questioned in a subsequent review [ 10 ]. In updating the review, we anticipated a larger pool of reviews and an opportunity to consolidate learning from more recent systematic reviews of interventions.

This review updates and extends our previous review of systematic reviews of interventions designed to implement research evidence into clinical practice. To identify potentially relevant peer-reviewed research papers, we developed a comprehensive systematic literature search strategy based on the terms used in the Grimshaw et al. [ 9 ] and Boaz, Baeza and Fraser [ 8 ] overview articles. To ensure optimal retrieval, our search strategy was refined with support from an expert university librarian, considering the ongoing improvements in the development of search filters for systematic reviews since our first review [ 11 ]. We also wanted to include technology-related terms (e.g. apps, algorithms, machine learning, artificial intelligence) to find studies that explored interventions based on the use of technological innovations as mechanistic tools for increasing the use of evidence into practice (see Additional file 1 : Appendix A for full search strategy).

The search was performed in June 2022 in the following electronic databases: Medline, Embase, Cochrane and Epistemonikos. We searched for articles published since the 2011 review. We searched from January 2010 up to June 2022 and applied no language restrictions. Reference lists of relevant papers were also examined.

We uploaded the results using EPPI-Reviewer, a web-based tool that facilitated semi-automation of the screening process and removal of duplicate studies. We made particular use of a priority screening function to reduce screening workload and avoid ‘data deluge’ [ 12 ]. Through machine learning, one reviewer screened a smaller number of records ( n  = 1200) to train the software to predict whether a given record was more likely to be relevant or irrelevant, thus pulling the relevant studies towards the beginning of the screening process. This automation did not replace manual work but helped the reviewer to identify eligible studies more quickly. During the selection process, we included studies that looked explicitly at interventions designed to turn research evidence into practice. Studies were included if they met the following pre-determined inclusion criteria:

The study was a systematic review

Search terms were included

Focused on the implementation of research evidence into practice

The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed as part of the review

Study populations included healthcare providers and patients. The EPOC taxonomy [ 13 ] was used to categorise the strategies. The EPOC taxonomy has four domains: delivery arrangements, financial arrangements, governance arrangements and implementation strategies. The implementation strategies domain includes 20 strategies targeted at healthcare workers. Numerous EPOC strategies were assessed in the review including educational strategies, local opinion leaders, reminders, ICT-focused approaches and audit and feedback. Some strategies that did not fit easily within the EPOC categories were also included. These were social media strategies and toolkits, and multi-faceted interventions (MFIs) (see Table  2 ). Some systematic reviews included comparisons of different interventions while other reviews compared one type of intervention against a control group. Outcomes related to improvements in health care processes or patient well-being. Numerous individual study types (RCT, CCT, BA, ITS) were included within the systematic reviews.

We excluded papers that:

Focused on changing patient rather than provider behaviour

Had no demonstrable outcomes

Made unclear or no reference to research evidence

The last of these criteria was sometimes difficult to judge, and there was considerable discussion amongst the research team as to whether the link between research evidence and practice was sufficiently explicit in the interventions analysed. As we discussed in the previous review [ 8 ] in the field of healthcare, the principle of evidence-based practice is widely acknowledged and tools to change behaviour such as guidelines are often seen to be an implicit codification of evidence, despite the fact that this is not always the case.

Reviewers employed a two-stage process to select papers for inclusion. First, all titles and abstracts were screened by one reviewer to determine whether the study met the inclusion criteria. Two papers [ 14 , 15 ] were identified that fell just before the 2010 cut-off. As they were not identified in the searches for the first review [ 8 ] they were included and progressed to assessment. Each paper was rated as include, exclude or maybe. The full texts of 111 relevant papers were assessed independently by at least two authors. To reduce the risk of bias, papers were excluded following discussion between all members of the team. 32 papers met the inclusion criteria and proceeded to data extraction. The study selection procedure is documented in a PRISMA literature flow diagram (see Fig.  1 ). We were able to include French, Spanish and Portuguese papers in the selection reflecting the language skills in the study team, but none of the papers identified met the inclusion criteria. Other non- English language papers were excluded.

figure 1

PRISMA flow diagram. Source: authors

One reviewer extracted data on strategy type, number of included studies, local, target population, effectiveness and scope of impact from the included studies. Two reviewers then independently read each paper and noted key findings and broad themes of interest which were then discussed amongst the wider authorial team. Two independent reviewers appraised the quality of included studies using a Quality Assessment Checklist based on Oxman and Guyatt [ 16 ] and Francke et al. [ 17 ]. Each study was rated a quality score ranging from 1 (extensive flaws) to 7 (minimal flaws) (see Additional file 2 : Appendix B). All disagreements were resolved through discussion. Studies were not excluded in this updated overview based on methodological quality as we aimed to reflect the full extent of current research into this topic.

The extracted data were synthesised using descriptive and narrative techniques to identify themes and patterns in the data linked to intervention strategies, targeted behaviours, study settings and study outcomes.

Thirty-two studies were included in the systematic review. Table 1. provides a detailed overview of the included systematic reviews comprising reference, strategy type, quality score, number of included studies, local, target population, effectiveness and scope of impact (see Table  1. at the end of the manuscript). Overall, the quality of the studies was high. Twenty-three studies scored 7, six studies scored 6, one study scored 5, one study scored 4 and one study scored 3. The primary focus of the review was on reviews of effectiveness studies, but a small number of reviews did include data from a wider range of methods including qualitative studies which added to the analysis in the papers [ 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 ]. The majority of reviews report strategies achieving small impacts (normally on processes of care). There is much less evidence that these strategies have shifted patient outcomes. In this section, we discuss the different EPOC-defined implementation strategies in turn. Interestingly, we found only two ‘new’ approaches in this review that did not fit into the existing EPOC approaches. These are a review focused on the use of social media and a review considering toolkits. In addition to single interventions, we also discuss multi-faceted interventions. These were the most common intervention approach overall. A summary is provided in Table  2 .

Educational strategies

The overview identified three systematic reviews focusing on educational strategies. Grudniewicz et al. [ 22 ] explored the effectiveness of printed educational materials on primary care physician knowledge, behaviour and patient outcomes and concluded they were not effective in any of these aspects. Koota, Kääriäinen and Melender [ 23 ] focused on educational interventions promoting evidence-based practice among emergency room/accident and emergency nurses and found that interventions involving face-to-face contact led to significant or highly significant effects on patient benefits and emergency nurses’ knowledge, skills and behaviour. Interventions using written self-directed learning materials also led to significant improvements in nurses’ knowledge of evidence-based practice. Although the quality of the studies was high, the review primarily included small studies with low response rates, and many of them relied on self-assessed outcomes; consequently, the strength of the evidence for these outcomes is modest. Wu et al. [ 20 ] questioned if educational interventions aimed at nurses to support the implementation of evidence-based practice improve patient outcomes. Although based on evaluation projects and qualitative data, their results also suggest that positive changes on patient outcomes can be made following the implementation of specific evidence-based approaches (or projects). The differing positive outcomes for educational strategies aimed at nurses might indicate that the target audience is important.

Local opinion leaders

Flodgren et al. [ 24 ] was the only systemic review focusing solely on opinion leaders. The review found that local opinion leaders alone, or in combination with other interventions, can be effective in promoting evidence‐based practice, but this varies both within and between studies and the effect on patient outcomes is uncertain. The review found that, overall, any intervention involving opinion leaders probably improves healthcare professionals’ compliance with evidence-based practice but varies within and across studies. However, how opinion leaders had an impact could not be determined because of insufficient details were provided, illustrating that reporting specific details in published studies is important if diffusion of effective methods of increasing evidence-based practice is to be spread across a system. The usefulness of this review is questionable because it cannot provide evidence of what is an effective opinion leader, whether teams of opinion leaders or a single opinion leader are most effective, or the most effective methods used by opinion leaders.

Pantoja et al. [ 26 ] was the only systemic review focusing solely on manually generated reminders delivered on paper included in the overview. The review explored how these affected professional practice and patient outcomes. The review concluded that manually generated reminders delivered on paper as a single intervention probably led to small to moderate increases in adherence to clinical recommendations, and they could be used as a single quality improvement intervention. However, the authors indicated that this intervention would make little or no difference to patient outcomes. The authors state that such a low-tech intervention may be useful in low- and middle-income countries where paper records are more likely to be the norm.

ICT-focused approaches

The three ICT-focused reviews [ 14 , 27 , 28 ] showed mixed results. Jamal, McKenzie and Clark [ 14 ] explored the impact of health information technology on the quality of medical and health care. They examined the impact of electronic health record, computerised provider order-entry, or decision support system. This showed a positive improvement in adherence to evidence-based guidelines but not to patient outcomes. The number of studies included in the review was low and so a conclusive recommendation could not be reached based on this review. Similarly, Brown et al. [ 28 ] found that technology-enabled knowledge translation interventions may improve knowledge of health professionals, but all eight studies raised concerns of bias. The De Angelis et al. [ 27 ] review was more promising, reporting that ICT can be a good way of disseminating clinical practice guidelines but conclude that it is unclear which type of ICT method is the most effective.

Audit and feedback

Sykes, McAnuff and Kolehmainen [ 29 ] examined whether audit and feedback were effective in dementia care and concluded that it remains unclear which ingredients of audit and feedback are successful as the reviewed papers illustrated large variations in the effectiveness of interventions using audit and feedback.

Non-EPOC listed strategies: social media, toolkits

There were two new (non-EPOC listed) intervention types identified in this review compared to the 2011 review — fewer than anticipated. We categorised a third — ‘care bundles’ [ 36 ] as a multi-faceted intervention due to its description in practice and a fourth — ‘Technology Enhanced Knowledge Transfer’ [ 28 ] was classified as an ICT-focused approach. The first new strategy was identified in Bhatt et al.’s [ 30 ] systematic review of the use of social media for the dissemination of clinical practice guidelines. They reported that the use of social media resulted in a significant improvement in knowledge and compliance with evidence-based guidelines compared with more traditional methods. They noted that a wide selection of different healthcare professionals and patients engaged with this type of social media and its global reach may be significant for low- and middle-income countries. This review was also noteworthy for developing a simple stepwise method for using social media for the dissemination of clinical practice guidelines. However, it is debatable whether social media can be classified as an intervention or just a different way of delivering an intervention. For example, the review discussed involving opinion leaders and patient advocates through social media. However, this was a small review that included only five studies, so further research in this new area is needed. Yamada et al. [ 31 ] draw on 39 studies to explore the application of toolkits, 18 of which had toolkits embedded within larger KT interventions, and 21 of which evaluated toolkits as standalone interventions. The individual component strategies of the toolkits were highly variable though the authors suggest that they align most closely with educational strategies. The authors conclude that toolkits as either standalone strategies or as part of MFIs hold some promise for facilitating evidence use in practice but caution that the quality of many of the primary studies included is considered weak limiting these findings.

Multi-faceted interventions

The majority of the systematic reviews ( n  = 20) reported on more than one intervention type. Some of these systematic reviews focus exclusively on multi-faceted interventions, whilst others compare different single or combined interventions aimed at achieving similar outcomes in particular settings. While these two approaches are often described in a similar way, they are actually quite distinct from each other as the former report how multiple strategies may be strategically combined in pursuance of an agreed goal, whilst the latter report how different strategies may be incidentally used in sometimes contrasting settings in the pursuance of similar goals. Ariyo et al. [ 35 ] helpfully summarise five key elements often found in effective MFI strategies in LMICs — but which may also be transferrable to HICs. First, effective MFIs encourage a multi-disciplinary approach acknowledging the roles played by different professional groups to collectively incorporate evidence-informed practice. Second, they utilise leadership drawing on a wide set of clinical and non-clinical actors including managers and even government officials. Third, multiple types of educational practices are utilised — including input from patients as stakeholders in some cases. Fourth, protocols, checklists and bundles are used — most effectively when local ownership is encouraged. Finally, most MFIs included an emphasis on monitoring and evaluation [ 35 ]. In contrast, other studies offer little information about the nature of the different MFI components of included studies which makes it difficult to extrapolate much learning from them in relation to why or how MFIs might affect practice (e.g. [ 28 , 38 ]). Ultimately, context matters, which some review authors argue makes it difficult to say with real certainty whether single or MFI strategies are superior (e.g. [ 21 , 27 ]). Taking all the systematic reviews together we may conclude that MFIs appear to be more likely to generate positive results than single interventions (e.g. [ 34 , 45 ]) though other reviews should make us cautious (e.g. [ 32 , 43 ]).

While multi-faceted interventions still seem to be more effective than single-strategy interventions, there were important distinctions between how the results of reviews of MFIs are interpreted in this review as compared to the previous reviews [ 8 , 9 ], reflecting greater nuance and debate in the literature. This was particularly noticeable where the effectiveness of MFIs was compared to single strategies, reflecting developments widely discussed in previous studies [ 10 ]. We found that most systematic reviews are bounded by their clinical, professional, spatial, system, or setting criteria and often seek to draw out implications for the implementation of evidence in their areas of specific interest (such as nursing or acute care). Frequently this means combining all relevant studies to explore the respective foci of each systematic review. Therefore, most reviews we categorised as MFIs actually include highly variable numbers and combinations of intervention strategies and highly heterogeneous original study designs. This makes statistical analyses of the type used by Squires et al. [ 10 ] on the three reviews in their paper not possible. Further, it also makes extrapolating findings and commenting on broad themes complex and difficult. This may suggest that future research should shift its focus from merely examining ‘what works’ to ‘what works where and what works for whom’ — perhaps pointing to the value of realist approaches to these complex review topics [ 48 , 49 ] and other more theory-informed approaches [ 50 ].

Some reviews have a relatively small number of studies (i.e. fewer than 10) and the authors are often understandably reluctant to engage with wider debates about the implications of their findings. Other larger studies do engage in deeper discussions about internal comparisons of findings across included studies and also contextualise these in wider debates. Some of the most informative studies (e.g. [ 35 , 40 ]) move beyond EPOC categories and contextualise MFIs within wider systems thinking and implementation theory. This distinction between MFIs and single interventions can actually be very useful as it offers lessons about the contexts in which individual interventions might have bounded effectiveness (i.e. educational interventions for individual change). Taken as a whole, this may also then help in terms of how and when to conjoin single interventions into effective MFIs.

In the two previous reviews, a consistent finding was that MFIs were more effective than single interventions [ 8 , 9 ]. However, like Squires et al. [ 10 ] this overview is more equivocal on this important issue. There are four points which may help account for the differences in findings in this regard. Firstly, the diversity of the systematic reviews in terms of clinical topic or setting is an important factor. Secondly, there is heterogeneity of the studies within the included systematic reviews themselves. Thirdly, there is a lack of consistency with regards to the definition and strategies included within of MFIs. Finally, there are epistemological differences across the papers and the reviews. This means that the results that are presented depend on the methods used to measure, report, and synthesise them. For instance, some reviews highlight that education strategies can be useful to improve provider understanding — but without wider organisational or system-level change, they may struggle to deliver sustained transformation [ 19 , 44 ].

It is also worth highlighting the importance of the theory of change underlying the different interventions. Where authors of the systematic reviews draw on theory, there is space to discuss/explain findings. We note a distinction between theoretical and atheoretical systematic review discussion sections. Atheoretical reviews tend to present acontextual findings (for instance, one study found very positive results for one intervention, and this gets highlighted in the abstract) whilst theoretically informed reviews attempt to contextualise and explain patterns within the included studies. Theory-informed systematic reviews seem more likely to offer more profound and useful insights (see [ 19 , 35 , 40 , 43 , 45 ]). We find that the most insightful systematic reviews of MFIs engage in theoretical generalisation — they attempt to go beyond the data of individual studies and discuss the wider implications of the findings of the studies within their reviews drawing on implementation theory. At the same time, they highlight the active role of context and the wider relational and system-wide issues linked to implementation. It is these types of investigations that can help providers further develop evidence-based practice.

This overview has identified a small, but insightful set of papers that interrogate and help theorise why, how, for whom, and in which circumstances it might be the case that MFIs are superior (see [ 19 , 35 , 40 ] once more). At the level of this overview — and in most of the systematic reviews included — it appears to be the case that MFIs struggle with the question of attribution. In addition, there are other important elements that are often unmeasured, or unreported (e.g. costs of the intervention — see [ 40 ]). Finally, the stronger systematic reviews [ 19 , 35 , 40 , 43 , 45 ] engage with systems issues, human agency and context [ 18 ] in a way that was not evident in the systematic reviews identified in the previous reviews [ 8 , 9 ]. The earlier reviews lacked any theory of change that might explain why MFIs might be more effective than single ones — whereas now some systematic reviews do this, which enables them to conclude that sometimes single interventions can still be more effective.

As Nilsen et al. ([ 6 ] p. 7) note ‘Study findings concerning the effectiveness of various approaches are continuously synthesized and assembled in systematic reviews’. We may have gone as far as we can in understanding the implementation of evidence through systematic reviews of single and multi-faceted interventions and the next step would be to conduct more research exploring the complex and situated nature of evidence used in clinical practice and by particular professional groups. This would further build on the nuanced discussion and conclusion sections in a subset of the papers we reviewed. This might also support the field to move away from isolating individual implementation strategies [ 6 ] to explore the complex processes involving a range of actors with differing capacities [ 51 ] working in diverse organisational cultures. Taxonomies of implementation strategies do not fully account for the complex process of implementation, which involves a range of different actors with different capacities and skills across multiple system levels. There is plenty of work to build on, particularly in the social sciences, which currently sits at the margins of debates about evidence implementation (see for example, Normalisation Process Theory [ 52 ]).

There are several changes that we have identified in this overview of systematic reviews in comparison to the review we published in 2011 [ 8 ]. A consistent and welcome finding is that the overall quality of the systematic reviews themselves appears to have improved between the two reviews, although this is not reflected upon in the papers. This is exhibited through better, clearer reporting mechanisms in relation to the mechanics of the reviews, alongside a greater attention to, and deeper description of, how potential biases in included papers are discussed. Additionally, there is an increased, but still limited, inclusion of original studies conducted in low- and middle-income countries as opposed to just high-income countries. Importantly, we found that many of these systematic reviews are attuned to, and comment upon the contextual distinctions of pursuing evidence-informed interventions in health care settings in different economic settings. Furthermore, systematic reviews included in this updated article cover a wider set of clinical specialities (both within and beyond hospital settings) and have a focus on a wider set of healthcare professions — discussing both similarities, differences and inter-professional challenges faced therein, compared to the earlier reviews. These wider ranges of studies highlight that a particular intervention or group of interventions may work well for one professional group but be ineffective for another. This diversity of study settings allows us to consider the important role context (in its many forms) plays on implementing evidence into practice. Examining the complex and varied context of health care will help us address what Nilsen et al. ([ 6 ] p. 1) described as, ‘society’s health problems [that] require research-based knowledge acted on by healthcare practitioners together with implementation of political measures from governmental agencies’. This will help us shift implementation science to move, ‘beyond a success or failure perspective towards improved analysis of variables that could explain the impact of the implementation process’ ([ 6 ] p. 2).

This review brings together 32 papers considering individual and multi-faceted interventions designed to support the use of evidence in clinical practice. The majority of reviews report strategies achieving small impacts (normally on processes of care). There is much less evidence that these strategies have shifted patient outcomes. Combined with the two previous reviews, 86 systematic reviews of strategies to increase the implementation of research into clinical practice have been conducted. As a whole, this substantial body of knowledge struggles to tell us more about the use of individual and MFIs than: ‘it depends’. To really move forwards in addressing the gap between research evidence and practice, we may need to shift the emphasis away from isolating individual and multi-faceted interventions to better understanding and building more situated, relational and organisational capability to support the use of research in clinical practice. This will involve drawing on a wider range of perspectives, especially from the social, economic, political and behavioural sciences in primary studies and diversifying the types of synthesis undertaken to include approaches such as realist synthesis which facilitate exploration of the context in which strategies are employed. Harvey et al. [ 53 ] suggest that when context is likely to be critical to implementation success there are a range of primary research approaches (participatory research, realist evaluation, developmental evaluation, ethnography, quality/ rapid cycle improvement) that are likely to be appropriate and insightful. While these approaches often form part of implementation studies in the form of process evaluations, they are usually relatively small scale in relation to implementation research as a whole. As a result, the findings often do not make it into the subsequent systematic reviews. This review provides further evidence that we need to bring qualitative approaches in from the periphery to play a central role in many implementation studies and subsequent evidence syntheses. It would be helpful for systematic reviews, at the very least, to include more detail about the interventions and their implementation in terms of how and why they worked.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


Before and after study

Controlled clinical trial

Effective Practice and Organisation of Care

High-income countries

Information and Communications Technology

Interrupted time series

Knowledge translation

Low- and middle-income countries

Randomised controlled trial

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The authors would like to thank Professor Kathryn Oliver for her support in the planning the review, Professor Steve Hanney for reading and commenting on the final manuscript and the staff at LSHTM library for their support in planning and conducting the literature search.

This study was supported by LSHTM’s Research England QR strategic priorities funding allocation and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration South London (NIHR ARC South London) at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Grant number NIHR200152. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care or Research England.

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AB led the conceptual development and structure of the manuscript. EP conducted the searches and data extraction. All authors contributed to screening and quality appraisal. EP and AF wrote the first draft of the methods section. AB, JB and AF performed result synthesis and contributed to the analyses. AB wrote the first draft of the manuscript and incorporated feedback and revisions from all other authors. All authors revised and approved the final manuscript.

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Boaz, A., Baeza, J., Fraser, A. et al. ‘It depends’: what 86 systematic reviews tell us about what strategies to use to support the use of research in clinical practice. Implementation Sci 19 , 15 (2024).

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Received : 01 November 2023

Accepted : 05 January 2024

Published : 19 February 2024


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EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence in the EU will be regulated by the AI Act, the world’s first comprehensive AI law. Find out how it will protect you.

A man faces a computer generated figure with programming language in the background

As part of its digital strategy , the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits , such as better healthcare; safer and cleaner transport; more efficient manufacturing; and cheaper and more sustainable energy.

In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world’s first rules on AI.

Learn more about what artificial intelligence is and how it is used

What Parliament wants in AI legislation

Parliament’s priority is to make sure that AI systems used in the EU are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and environmentally friendly. AI systems should be overseen by people, rather than by automation, to prevent harmful outcomes.

Parliament also wants to establish a technology-neutral, uniform definition for AI that could be applied to future AI systems.

Learn more about Parliament’s work on AI and its vision for AI’s future

AI Act: different rules for different risk levels

The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence. While many AI systems pose minimal risk, they need to be assessed.

Unacceptable risk

Unacceptable risk AI systems are systems considered a threat to people and will be banned. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioural manipulation of people or specific vulnerable groups: for example voice-activated toys that encourage dangerous behaviour in children
  • Social scoring: classifying people based on behaviour, socio-economic status or personal characteristics
  • Biometric identification and categorisation of people
  • Real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition

Some exceptions may be allowed for law enforcement purposes. “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems will be allowed in a limited number of serious cases, while “post” remote biometric identification systems, where identification occurs after a significant delay, will be allowed to prosecute serious crimes and only after court approval.

AI systems that negatively affect safety or fundamental rights will be considered high risk and will be divided into two categories:

1) AI systems that are used in products falling under the EU’s product safety legislation . This includes toys, aviation, cars, medical devices and lifts.

2) AI systems falling into specific areas that will have to be registered in an EU database:

  • Management and operation of critical infrastructure
  • Education and vocational training
  • Employment, worker management and access to self-employment
  • Access to and enjoyment of essential private services and public services and benefits
  • Law enforcement
  • Migration, asylum and border control management
  • Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law.

All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle.

General purpose and generative AI

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency requirements:

  • Disclosing that the content was generated by AI
  • Designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used for training

High-impact general-purpose AI models that might pose systemic risk, such as the more advanced AI model GPT-4, would have to undergo thorough evaluations and any serious incidents would have to be reported to the European Commission.

Limited risk

Limited risk AI systems should comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions. After interacting with the applications, the user can then decide whether they want to continue using it. Users should be made aware when they are interacting with AI. This includes AI systems that generate or manipulate image, audio or video content, for example deepfakes.

On December 9 2023, Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act . The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to become EU law. Before all MEPs have their say on the agreement, Parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will vote on it.

More on the EU’s digital measures

  • Cryptocurrency dangers and the benefits of EU legislation
  • Fighting cybercrime: new EU cybersecurity laws explained
  • Boosting data sharing in the EU: what are the benefits?
  • EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act
  • Five ways the European Parliament wants to protect online gamers
  • Artificial Intelligence Act

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Financial Research Paper Topics - The Complete List to Choose From

A search for the right financial research paper topic is constant. Indeed, we can understand this because knowing the reasonable topics in finance puts us ahead of the game. Students majoring in business are obliged to make presentations and submit essays, projects, and research papers on banking and accounting at one point in their career.

The challenges of picking the best finance topics are, however, always within. For this reason, we’ve done extensive research and have composed a great list of financial research paper topics and divided them into groups for you to choose from.

If you’re in doubt about how to choose your topic, we’ve got that covered too. Read our easy guide on which steps to take to ensure your paper topic is appropriate, along with our vital tips on what to pay attention to when choosing them.

Financial Research Paper Topics

How to choose Financial Research topics?

To choose the proper topic and get prepared for the process of research paper writing , you should first explore something that nobody has explored so far. Other than that step of selecting a unique topic, here are some other helpful tips we recommend in selecting the best and most appropriate financial research topic:

  • Find a question that has no answers yet in the field of your study and give it additional research to find a suitable solution;
  • Read several finance theses and papers to get a good idea for choosing your topic;
  • Always find a general viewpoint for your financial research topic and use your study to narrow it down to something specific;
  • Do online research and find what topics may be a burning issue to work on them. This type of research will make the research paper topic valid, compelling, suitable for your particular research, and unique;
  • Talk about your topic with your friends or other people who have experience in writing papers. You can consult your professors too.

List of finance topics to write about

We offer you a list of exciting finance topics you can write about divided into groups. This way, you can choose the best topic from your target group and make sure you can cover it to a T. Have fun researching.

Interesting finance topics

Perhaps you want to write an interesting business paper. You’ll need to choose among some of the most recurring finance paper topics and write a persuasive paper. Here’s our list of the ten options we find most engaging.

  • A comparative study on the set-backs and benefits of acquisition and merger
  • Possible solutions to the Capital Asset Pricing Model
  • Future commerce and the impact of manipulating commodity
  • A comparative analysis of the Continuous-time model application
  • Building stability for retail investors using the Systematic Investment Strategy
  • US’ economy and income tax
  • How does the American economy function with the current banking operations
  • Financial statement analysis and the ratio analysis - is it a practical component?
  • Senior citizen investment - a case study of this portfolio
  • Multi-level marketing and its applications in different economies of the world

Research topics for finance students

Finance students have to write research papers throughout their years of study. Sometimes, it may be hard to find the most engaging financial topics to write about, which is why our list should help.

  • The differences and similarities between traditional finance and behavioral one
  • Consumer satisfaction in e-banking
  • The best risk management methods for the manufacturing industry - a detailed analysis
  • A derivative marketplace and its financial risks - identification and measuring
  • Potential risks for the banking sector and how to avoid them?
  • The new technologies behind banking in commercial banks

Finance research topics for MBA

The following list of research topics in finance would help you intrigue your professors and look at the discipline from a new perspective.

  • Investment analysis of your chosen company
  • Capital management - a detailed report
  • Saving taxes - considerations and financial plans
  • Life insurance investments and the involvement of investors in them
  • A comparative analysis between traditional products and UIL

Public finance topics

Public finance topics are a type of finance research paper topics that covers taxation, government borrowing, and other aspects.

  • Accounting and government budgeting
  • The austerity related to finance and government education
  • The theory and practice of government taxation
  • How does the government raise money through borrowing
  • The government’s revenue collection plan
  • Budgeting and accounting of the government

International research topics in Finance

Since business transactions are happening worldwide, and local trade is no longer the only option, we must study international business.

  • What can we do to prevent global economic crises?
  • Can the banking industry lower the impact of the recurring financial crisis?
  • Can a country achieve funding healthcare for homeless people?
  • Which sectors of healthcare need more funding?
  • The problems of high prices of medication in the US

Healthcare finance research topics

Here are some of the most relevant topics for healthcare finance:

  • What’s better - paid or free healthcare?
  • Healthcare finance - the origins
  • Is financing healthcare a privilege or a right?
  • Healthcare policies in the U.S. through history
  • How can first-world countries improve healthcare?
  • How much impact does the government have on its healthcare?
  • Can we achieve worldwide free healthcare?

Corporate finance topics

Corporate finance deals with structuring capital, financing, and making decisions for each investment. The following list of research topics in finance covers ways to make minimal mistakes in this field.

  • Possible solutions to ethical concerns in corporate finance
  • Small and medium-capitalization businesses - understanding their investment patterns
  • Investment for mutual funds - a detailed analysis of its different streams
  • How do equity investors manage their potential risks
  • What are the potential pros and cons of SWIFT, and how does it work?

Business finance topics

Each decision we make in business has some financial implications. Therefore, we must understand the fundamentals to write finance topics that require management, analysis, valuation, etc.

  • Establishing business enterprises and the application of business finance
  • Business modernization and the role of business finance
  • Selling our life insurance - Is tax an effective incentive here?
  • Who do mutual funds change within the public and private sectors?
  • Different investment options for different financial classes - Is there a preference?
  • The choices and preferences of investors - A detailed analysis
  • The investors’ perspective on investing in private insurance companies
  • Corporate entities and increasing their accountability
  • Business finance and its ethical concerns
  • Small to medium business tax payments

Personal finance topics

Personal finance is a susceptible area, as we all like to tend to our finances appropriately. Here are some of the most exciting burning issues in this field:

  • Possible saving strategies while you’re on a budget - An evaluation
  • The effect of inflation and the increase in the interest rate on personal finance
  • Employees and employers working from home - what are the benefits?
  • Is free health care or affordable healthcare a common right every citizen should have?
  • What are the best ways to save money when you’re on a budget?
  • Credit scored - a detailed analysis
  • The importance of vehicle and credit loans
  • How does tax impact making our financial decisions?
  • What are the best ways to properly manage credit?
  • Mobile banking and its difficulties

Yes, choosing among numerous financial research paper topics can sometimes be overwhelming. Still, we’ve laid out all the inspirational ideas for them in categories so that you can find your best pick fast and easily. If you feel like you can’t write that paper yourself, that’s okay too.

Contact our services at Study Clerk for some first-class research writing. On the other hand, if you feel like you are a professional in this field, we have you covered for that too. You can write research papers for money through our service and make extra cash from your writing skills.

If you have any additional questions about finance research topics, please contact our college paper help . Our team of experts will tend to all of your questions promptly.

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Title: an interactive agent foundation model.

Abstract: The development of artificial intelligence systems is transitioning from creating static, task-specific models to dynamic, agent-based systems capable of performing well in a wide range of applications. We propose an Interactive Agent Foundation Model that uses a novel multi-task agent training paradigm for training AI agents across a wide range of domains, datasets, and tasks. Our training paradigm unifies diverse pre-training strategies, including visual masked auto-encoders, language modeling, and next-action prediction, enabling a versatile and adaptable AI framework. We demonstrate the performance of our framework across three separate domains -- Robotics, Gaming AI, and Healthcare. Our model demonstrates its ability to generate meaningful and contextually relevant outputs in each area. The strength of our approach lies in its generality, leveraging a variety of data sources such as robotics sequences, gameplay data, large-scale video datasets, and textual information for effective multimodal and multi-task learning. Our approach provides a promising avenue for developing generalist, action-taking, multimodal systems.

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    Brief title, in italics and title case, below the table number. No vertical lines. Horizontal lines only where necessary for clarity. Clear, concise labels for column and row headings. Numbers consistently formatted (e.g. with the same number of decimal places). Any relevant notes below the table.

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