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Referencing: Xamk instructions: Figures and tables

This page provides instructions on how source references must be marked in body text and how a list of references is created in accordance with Xamk writing guidelines


Figures and tables are used to offer visualised information to the reader.

A figure is typically a graph, map, drawing, screenshot, photograph or illustration. In other words, all these different types of visual representation are identified as figures in the thesis.

A table displays information in orderly columns and rows.

The identifier is always spelled with a capital initial, and you can refer to your figures and tables in the narrative or as end-of-sentence references. For punctuation, see tabs "Reference in one sentence" and "Reference in multiple sentences".

Below, a few sample references are presented.

In a learning organisation, action, data gathering, evaluation and planning rotate in an endless cycle (Figure 8).

The first stage of the process involves the participation of all operators. After that, operators will be activated in rotation and at intervals. (Figure 11.)

As presented in Table 6, a correspondence exists between XyX and XwX. 


If you have a great number of figures and/or tables, you can create a list of figures/tables on a separate page at the end of your thesis after the list of references. Otherwise, figures and tables are referenced in the body text as any other source materials and included on the list of references. If you create a list of figures/tables, full source data is only presented there. Use an appropriate heading based on what kinds of visual aids you have in your thesis: List of figures / List of tables / List of figures and tables. The list of figures/tables is not marked as an appendix.

Below is a sample list of figures and tables:


Figure 1. Thesis writing process. Heikkinen, M., Karttunen, M., Mäkelä, M., Mäkelä-Marttinen, L., Söderqvist, M. & Wass, H. 2013. Phases of the thesis writing process. PowerPoint slide. 11 Oct 2013. Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences.

Figure 2. Text citation and direct quotation. Karttunen, M. 26 Aug 2014.

Figure 3. Screenshot of the front page of Company Inc.'s intranet. Company Inc. 2019. Available at: [Accessed 1 Sep 2019].

Table 1. Incurrence of business travel related costs in 2019. Julma-Ryytönen, V. 1 Feb 2020.

Copyright and threshold of originality

You are entitled to use figures and tables that meet the threshold of originality as listed below. More information is available at

1. Based on citation right: Assignments or bachelor’s/master’s theses can include figures or tables if they are appropriately cited. The figure or table cited must relate to the topic under study and be discussed in the text, and the citation must be justified for illustration purposes. The cited figures and tables must be published.

2. Based on the author’s permission: The permission to use figures and tables can be acquired directly from the author or the copyright holder.

3. Based on Creative Commons (CC) license: The visual license symbols should be carefully checked, as they explain what usage is allowed. Figures and tables should include information on CC license and the name of the author.

4. If the assignment or bachelor’s/master’s thesis is not to be published in printed form or on the Internet, figures and tables can be used on the basis of the copying license granted to the university of applied sciences.

5. Author and source must always be provided.

Additional information

If the threshold of originality is not met i.e. the originality requirement is not satisfied, the figure or table can be freely used.

If the text produced by the student is only published on the university's intranet, the use of figures and tables is typically permitted owing to the copying license agreement that covers higher education institutions, including universities of applied sciences.

If the bachelor’s/master’s thesis is published on open networks, the citation right (Item 1 in the box above) usually applies. In other words, it is permitted that the thesis includes figures and tables (also scanned ones) if they are discussed in the text, relate to the topic under discussion and clearly state the author and source. An in-text reference is not considered sufficient citation.

The act of re-drawing a table by oneself is considered comparable to scanning and gives no greater permission for usage. If an unpublished photograph is to be used, permission should be acquired from both the photographer and the people appearing in the photograph.
The writer should know the standard procedure in their own field for providing references. For example, in the department of culture, it is not uncommon to include one's own photographs in the thesis, but these photographs must still be appropriately cited.

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