We are very pleased to welcome Professor Xu Honggang of Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou, China) to the senior editorial team of Tourism Geographies. She is replacing Shaul Krakover, who is retiring this year, and joining Michael Hall, Jarkko Saarinen (who recently replaced Allan Williams) and myself as the main editors of the journal. (Note that with this appointment, we are dropping the regional designations for each of the editors.)
Dr. Xu has been a key faculty member in making Sun Yat-Sen University a leader in tourism research, and is a frequent presenter at international geography and tourism conferences around the world. She was a guest editor in for a fascinating special issue of Tourism Geographies (2014, v.16 #5) on recent tourism geography research in China, and has published widely in leading international journals with her students and colleagues in China and abroad. Some of her papers and profile can be found at ResearchGate.net.
We are fortunate to have Dr. Xu as a member of our editorial team and look forward to the new ideas and energy that she brings to us.
Maybe about a quarter of the papers that I receive have some degree of this problem, although in only about 10% is it significant enough that I need to send the paper back to the author(s) to fix it.
As long as I can remembers, the rule has been that the title or caption, along with the footnotes, to a table or figure should provide enough information so that a reader can determine what the table or figure is showing without having to look for additional information in the text of the article.
This means that all symbols and abbreviations need to be defined either in the table itself or in the notes under the table, and the title needs to be very clear. And this needs to be repeated separately for each table and figure in a paper.
I have often asked colleagues at my university about this when serving on graduate student committees. The vast majority have responded that yes, this is a rule that they know about. However, it is apparently not one that they always think about when advising students (until I mention it) or when writing their own papers.
To me, this should be right up there with the formal referencing of sources that have influenced and informed an academic paper. Well, OK, may be right after referencing sources...
This post is #1 is a possible future series of Journal Editor Pet Peeves! -- Alan