Table design


14 February 2012


Almost every research paper and thesis in statistics contains at least some tables, yet students are rarely taught how to make good tables. While the principles of good graphics are slowly becoming part of a statistical education (although not an econometrics education!), the principles of good tables are often ignored. Perhaps people think they are obvious, although the results I see in papers and theses suggest otherwise.

Lately the topic seems to have been getting some much-needed attention and the following resources may be useful.

These two older books are also extremely useful references on good table design.

Finally, tables can often be replaced with graphics to better effect, a point argued by Gelman, Pasarica and Dodhia (2002) – this one is not satirical!