Using tables and figures from other sources in the APA style

There are some things to be aware of if you’re using tables, figures and other graphics in your dissertation. For example, how you should cite a complete table that you’ve taken from another source.

The APA Style treats using a table, figure or graphic from someone else as a quote. You must indicate the source of that item in a note attached directly to the table, figure or graphic.

Treat tables, figures and graphics like quotes

When an existing table, figure or other graphic (such as a chart or picture) is taken from another source (possibly with adaptations), it becomes an image. The APA style says it should be treated as a quote.

If the item is a table, you do not need to apply APA style rules for tables in this case.

An example of referring to a reproduced table in the text

The results in Table 1 (Ajzen, 1991, p. 179), show that…

As you can see, the author, date and page number of the source are included, just as in “normal” quotes. You should also refer to the complete source in the reference list.

An example of referring to a reproduced table in the reference list

Ajzen, I. (1991). The Theory of Planned Behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Processes, 50(2), 179.

Notes

If you have copied a table, figure or other graphic from another source, you must indicate the source in a note that is attached to that item.

The APA style says you need to include “Reprinted from” or “Adapted from” followed by the title of the book or article and complete source information.

Type table, figure or graphicDescription in the note
Copied exactly“Reprinted from”
Copied with some adjustments“Adapted from”

table-note-journal-apa

Adding more clarification in the note

You can also use the note to provide information that clarifies the table, figure or graphic. For example, for a table you could comment on p-values, explain abbreviations or add details concerning a specific row or column.

Table, figure or graphic from an internet source

APA formatNote. Reprinted from “ArticleTitle”, by AuthorLastName, FirstInitial., (Year, Month Day). Retrieved from http://WebAddress
Note as to tableNoot. Reprinted from “U.S. flood risk could be worse than we thought”, by Worland, J. 2015, July 27. Retrieved from http://time.com/3973256/flooding-risk-coastal-cities/
In the reference listWorland, J. (2015, July 27). U.S. flood risk could be worse than we thought. Retrieved from http://time.com/3973256/flooding-risk-coastal-cities/

Table, figure or graphic from a journal

APA formatNote. Reprinted from “ArticleTitle”, by AuthorLastName, FirstInitial., Year, NameJournal, Volume, p. Pagenumber.
Note as to tableNote. Reprinted from “The Theory of Planned Behavior”, by Ajzen, I., 1991, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), p. 179.
In the reference listAjzen, I. (1991). The Theory of Planned Behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Processes, 50(2), 179.

Table, figure or graphic from a book

APA formatNoot. Reprinted from “BookTitle”, by AuteurAchternaam, FirstInitial., Year, p. Pagenumber, City, State/CountryPublisher.
Note as to tableNote. Reprinted from “The Harvard Medical School Guide To Men’s Health”, by Simon, H.B., 2002, p. 107, New York, NY: Free Press.
In the reference listSimon, H.B. (2002). The Harvard Medical School Guide To Men’s Health. New York, NY: Free Press.

The APA style indicates that when a table, figure or graphic from another source is used, the copyright of the item’s owner should be mentioned in the note. This is especially important if you plan to publish your text.

You should refer to the copyright at the end of the note:

APA formatNote. Reprinted from “ArticleTitle”, by AuthorLastName, FirstInitial., Year, NameJournal, Volume, p. Pagenumber. Copyright Year by Publisher.

Table Copyright

table-note-journal-copyright-apa

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Tim Swaen

Tim has a Bachelor degree in Psychology and is currently studying at Tilburg University to get his Master's degree in Sociology. He helps Scribbr out with making sure the website features the newest articles and the best information for students.

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2 comments

Monica Trevathan
April 20, 2017 at 8:10 PM Edit This

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?

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

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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