Notes on editing tables

Some quick things to keep in mind while editing papers with tables. Will add more when I think of them.

  • Ensure that the inferences in the text match the data in the table
  • Mention the table in the paragraph under which it occurs
  • Make sure it has a title and a source
  • Try to make the source as specific as possible
  • If there are multiple tables, format the titles and sources consistently (same font, bold/italics, etc)
  • Make sure table titles are capitalised consistently
  • Capitalise header row consistently
  • Don’t capitalise the first column
  • If the “total” row or any other row is bold, be consistent across all tables
  • Make sure that the table numbers are formatted correctly (with a full-stop, colon, roman numerals, number order, etc)
  • Make sure all tables are numbered sequentially
  • Make sure all the table borders are formatted consistently across tables
  • Look out for additional notations (asterisk, for example) and check if it has been explained in the notes
  • If there are any abbreviations not mentioned immediately before in the text, explain them in the notes
  • Make sure all the numbers have the same number of decimal points
  • Check if use of comma separators is consistent
  • Right align numbers if possible so that the units line up
  • Glance through the numbers to make sure nothing looks too weird
  • Roughly check if the total adds up
  • If data is unavailable, put in a dash instead of leaving the cell blank
  • If there is a unit, include it in the header row, instead of repeating it in every cell
  • If the numbers are in a particular unit, mention it in the header row
  • Try to be consistent with the lakh-crore system or million-billion system across tables
  • Be consistent with currencies across tables
  • If a notation indicates a significant value, check if the value is indeed significant according to study parameters
  • If one heading is meant for two columns, merge the cells
  • If the data is for specific years, mention it in the title
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