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TAMK Student's Handbook

Report Guide: C) Tables, figures and pictures

Reference to tables, figures and pictures

Tables, figures and pictures are often used in theses to visualise the text. In tables, information is presented in columns and rows. Photographs and screenshots are always marked as pictures. Figures are various graphical and symbolical elements, which are neither tables nor pictures. Accurate and illustrative tables and figures, as well as considered pictures, enable quick summary or general view on the contents of several text pages.

Paragraphs may not start with a table, figure or picture. Instead, they have to be preceded by descriptive, explanatory or justificatory text. Tables, figures or pictures may thus not be left for the reader to interpret. If the table, figure or picture is reference data, it is referred to as other material. In text, figures are referred to as follows:

Lampikoski (2009, 178) describes the introduction phases of new time management solutions (Figure 1).

It can be seen in Figure 1 how the introduction phases of new time management solutions progress (Lampikoski 2009, 178).


You can use other persons’ tables, figures and pictures in your thesis based on

  • citation right: another person’s photographs, drawings, graphs or tables may be used in a thesis or scientific publication if certain criteria are fulfilled. You have to discuss the contents of cited tables, figures or pictures within the body text and they should illustrate or clarify the text. Pictures may not be used as mere illustrations. The cited picture or table must be a published one. The source, which normally includes the author’s name and name of the original work, must be mentioned.
  • CC licence: The CC licence and the name of the original author have to be given in connection with the picture or figure. More information about the CC licence can be found at
  • author's permission: You can request permission directly from the author or copyright holder. This is especially important if the picture has not been published.

If the figure is reference data, the reference is added to the caption and the information is added to the list of references. As regards pictures, the photographer's name and the year the photograph was taken are marked in brackets after the caption, e.g. (Picture: First name Family name 2022). Thesis authors also mark their own pictures in this way. The photographer is not marked in the list of references.

If you are not sure whether you have the right to use a figure or picture, do not use it.

Further information: Kopiosto

Published: 27.4.2021
Updated: 7.2.2024