Citing tables and figures from other sources in APA Style

This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines.

When you reprint or adapt a table or figure from another source, the source should be acknowledged in an in-text citation and in your reference list. Follow the format for the source type you took the table or figure from.

You also have to include a copyright statement in a note beneath the table or figure. The example below shows how to cite a figure from a journal article.

Reference list Shi, F., & Zhu, L. (2019). Analysis of trip generation rates in residential commuting based on mobile phone signaling data. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 12(1), 201–220. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26911264
In-text citation (Shi & Zhu, 2019, p. 212)
Copyright note Note. From “Analysis of Trip Generation Rates in Residential Commuting Based on Mobile Phone Signaling Data,” by F. Shi and L. Zhu, 2019, Journal of Transport and Land Use, 12(1), p. 212 (https://www.jstor.org/stable/26911264). CC BY-NC.

Citing tables and figures

Tables and figures taken from other sources are numbered and presented in the same format as your other tables and figures. Refer to them as Table 1, Figure 3, etc., but include an in-text citation after you mention them to acknowledge the source.

In-text citation example
The results in Table 1 (Ajzen, 1991, p. 179) show that …

You should also include the source in the reference list. Follow the standard format for the source type you took the table or figure from.

Reference list entry example
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179–211. https://doi.org/10.1016/0749-5978(91)90020-T

As well as a citation and reference, when you reproduce a table or figure in your own work, you also need to acknowledge the source in a note directly below it.

The image below shows an example of a table with a copyright note.

APA table format

If you’ve reproduced a table or figure exactly, start the note with “From …” If you’ve adapted it in some way for your own purposes (e.g. incorporating part of a table or figure into a new table or figure in your paper), write “Adapted from …”

This is followed by information about the source (title, author, year, publisher, and location), and then copyright information at the end.

Types of copyright and permission

A source will either be under standard copyright, under a Creative Commons license, or in the public domain. You need to state which of these is the case.

Standard copyright Copyright 2020 by Scribbr.
Creative Commons CC-BY-NC.
Public domain In the public domain.

Under standard copyright, you sometimes also need permission from the publisher to reprint or adapt materials. If you sought and obtained permission, mention this at the end of the note.

Copyright 2019 by the American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.

Look for information on copyright and permissions from the publisher. If you’re having trouble finding this information, consult your supervisor for advice.

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Examples from different source types

Note format Note. From or Adapted from “Article Title,” by Initials. Last name, Year, Journal Name, Volume(Issue), p. Page number (URL or DOI). Copyright statement.
Note Note. Adapted from “Analysis of Trip Generation Rates in Residential Commuting Based on Mobile Phone Signaling Data,” by F. Shi and L. Zhu, 2019, Journal of Transport and Land Use, 12(1), p. 212 (https://www.jstor.org/stable/26911264). CC BY-NC.
Reference list Shi, F., & Zhu, L. (2019). Analysis of trip generation rates in residential commuting based on mobile phone signaling data. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 12(1), 201–220. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26911264
Note format Note. From or Adapted from Page Title, by Initials. Last name, Year (URL). Copyright statement.
Note Note. From A Complete Guide to APA In-Text Citation, by R. Streefkerk, 2020 (https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/in-text-citation/). Copyright 2020 by Scribbr.
Reference list Streefkerk, R. (2020, October 2). A complete guide to APA in-text citation. Scribbr. https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/in-text-citation/
Note format Note. From or Adapted from Book Title (p. Page number), by Initial. Last name, Year, Publisher (DOI or URL). Copyright statement.
Note Note. From The Harvard Medical School Guide to Men’s Health, by H. B. Simon, 2004, p. 107, Free Press. Copyright 2004 by Free Press. Reprinted with permission.
Reference list Simon, H. B. (2002). The Harvard Medical School guide to men’s health. Free Press.

Frequently asked questions about APA Style citations

Copyright information can usually be found wherever the table or figure was published. For example, for a diagram in a journal article, look on the journal’s website or the database where you found the article. Images found on sites like Flickr are listed with clear copyright information.

If you find that permission is required to reproduce the material, be sure to contact the author or publisher and ask for it.

Should I include lists of my tables and figures in an APA paper?

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.

Should I include tables and figures in my APA reference list?

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 include copyright information in the note for the table or figure, and include an in-text citation when you refer to it.

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

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

3 comments

Chahinez Bouguerra
April 18, 2020 at 8:41 PM

This applies to APA 6th, right? BTW thank you so much. This article was very useful

Reply

Monica Trevathan
April 20, 2017 at 8:10 PM

This article was good for TABLES....however, I was looking for proper APA on FIGURES that are taken from another source. Can you help me?

Reply

Arjan van Laak
Arjan van Laak (Scribbr-team)
April 21, 2017 at 5:46 PM

Dear Monica, thank you for your question. We have written an article about this, which you can find on https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/using-tables-figures-sources/ :) If you have any other questions, you can always contact us via the chat or email.

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