The figures of a paper show data as graphs, illustrations, images, or concept maps, collectively termed artwork. This is information best relayed pictorially rather than through text. It is your task to ensure that all figures have legends (and that all legends are associated with figures) and that the legends are correctly formatted. This section describes how to do this.

Basic Information

Figures are called out in the text at their first mention using the «fgc[*]» code, where [*] is the number of the figure, just before the numeral of the figure, for example, "see Fig. «fgc1»1." This can also be used for citations for multiple figures, for example, "see Figs. «fgc1»1 and «fgc2»2."

Artwork and figure legends are handled separately; therefore, only format the figure legends within the copy edited version of the manuscript.

Figure information is always placed at the end of the text (after the Reference section). Smiley faces (☺) are placed between figure legends, and each legend is introduced by the «fig2» code. The end of all figure information is signaled by the «/fig» code, which is automatically added by the Toolkit when the Address line is formatted (see Footnotes).

If, after formatting, the word "Figure" or any of its derivatives still titles the figure legend, then delete it.

Figure legends are always in numerical order.

Figure legends are in one paragraph only except in very rare occasions.

If a figure does not have a legend, or a legend is not paired with a figure, contact the author to request more information. The Codecheck function of the Toolkit helps to identify any of these potential problems.

For information on how to style figure legends, see APS House Style.

Using the Toolkit

Place your cursor on any part of the figure legend and use the «fig» function of ABRA in the Toolkit. This function removes the title of "Figure" and places the smiley faces and «fig2». Here is an example figure list:

«fig2»1 Look at me: I'm a figure legend.

«fig2»2 When creativity attacks! Shown is an example of something really interesting.

«fig2»3 This is what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.

Processing Artwork

There is a simple chain involved in the processing of artwork. First, the author submits their final copy of their manuscript to Peer Review along with the artwork, as both a hard copy and an electronic file. Peer Review attaches the artwork to an Artwork information sheet, which gives the manuscript number, date, Art editor, RPM article number, and Author along with the type of artwork and Notes (all filled out by the Art department). This packet is placed in a drawer and filed with other artwork packets by journal. The Art department then assigns an Art editor to handle the set of artwork. The Art editor formats and does minor editing work on each figure, uploads the figures into a Cadmus ftp site as the formatted electronic version of the artwork, and then places the finished hard copies in a file rack (for each journal) for you to retrieve. At this point, the article becomes available in RPM within the Editorial Pool, and the final edited manuscript can, ultimately, be sent to the printer. In brief, the process is as follows: Author → Peer Review → Art department → Art editor → You.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you have what you need for the manuscript to be completely edited within the journal deadline. This means that you may have to reorder the artwork in the file drawer to make sure that the figures are available to you or you may have to work with the Art editor to make sure that the author provides us with new electronic figure files.

If you have any questions regarding an article's artwork, track down who to ask in the chain: Peer Review, Eric Pesanelli (for general artwork questions), or the Art editor (for specific article artwork).

Acceptable Vs. Unacceptable Figures

APS attempts to minimize the presence of animals in pictures or diagrams. It is preferred that the experimental animal is detailed only as a basic outline, and any pictures of the actual experiment should be as bloodless and as least discomforting as possible. The animals should not appear either too cute or, in contrast, too gory. In addition, APS also requires that any person in a photograph specifically give their permission for their likeness to be reproduced. A figure cannot be used if it contains a photo of a person who cannot/will not give their permission. That being said, if the photograph is of a celebrity/famous person and can be shown to be openly available to the general public, then no permission is necessary (the price of fame, as it were).

If you have any questions regarding this, consult your journal supervisor or the Editorial Manager.