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Statistical Standards
Statistical Standards Program
 
Table of Contents
 
Introduction
1. Development of Concepts and Methods
2. Planning and Design of Surveys
3. Collection of Data
4. Processing and Editing of Data
5. Analysis of Data / Production of Estimates or Projections
6. Establishment of Review Procedures
7. Dissemination of Data
 
Glossary
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C

 
·Sample Table
·Introduction
·Major Types of Tables
·Tabular Format
·Table Titles
·Boxheads
·Table Stub
·Body
·Tabular Notes
·Sizing a Table
·Appendix
 
Appendix D
 
Publication information

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APPENDIX C: NCES GUIDELINES FOR TABULAR PRESENTATIONS (2002 Edition)


THE TABLE STUB

The stub consists of a heading and the line captions that are listed at the left side of a table and describe each row of figures in the field. Capitalize only the first letter of the first word and the first letters of any proper nouns in both the stub heading and the line captions. Always provide a stub heading that describes, defines, or amplifies the stub captions. Use a word such as "Item" or "Characteristic" for a collection of stub entries that defy brief classification:

Example of use of characteristic stub heading to define entries of total and subtotal

When the stub is too long for one page and must be continued on another page, the continuation should also be placed at the left side of the second page.

For a double-page spread, the stub in this sample survey example should be repeated on the right side of the right-hand page. Line numbers may be substituted for the right-hand stub if space is tight. (See Double-Page-Spread Tables.)

Example of left-hand and right-hand page (repeat the characteristic column on the far left and far right of the double spread"


Organization of the Stub
Place grand totals at the top of the column stub. Then the items in a stub should be displayed in a logical sequence. Some typical categories are alphabetical, geographical, chronological, numerical, quantitative (by size), customary (commonly accepted order), progressive (order of growth or development), and importance. Sometimes the arrangement of items in a stub of a single table may fall into two or more categories. For example, the main order might be geographic (which could be customary also) with the states listed alphabetically, sometimes listed under each geographic region.

Convention requires year entries showing trends to run sequentially from earliest to latest. Stub entries consisting entirely of years are centered in the area allotted to the stub.

Indentation in the Stub
When there are multiple levels of subordination to be displayed within a table, indentation of the stub can provide a road map to help readers follow the flow of a table. Indentation can best be accomplished by setting tabs at a space equivalent to a specified number of the letter "n."

  • Grand totals¾If there is only one other level, indent three "n" spaces (i.e., start in the fourth space). Indent five spaces if there are two or more levels of subordination.
     
  • Major group or subtotal captions¾Start the caption line at the left edge of the table. Indent any continuation lines three "n" spaces.
     
  • Subordinate captions¾Tab two additional "n" spaces for each subsequent level of subordination (e.g., two "n" spaces for the third level group and four "n" spaces for the fourth level). Indent any continuation lines three "n" spaces.

For example:

Example of indentation

Vertical Spacing in the Stub
Normal vertical spacing in the stub leaves a blank line between the total and the first group caption, between group captions, and between a subordinate series and following superior group caption. (See Spacing in the Column Head and Sizing a Table.)

When available vertical space is tight, reducing the height of blank lines can minimize normal spacing. The absolute in minimum spacing allows removal of all blank lines between stub captions, and then bolding total and all major group (subtotal) captions.

Subordinate items under a group caption are usually single-spaced except when there is a long list of such items. Then it is best, if space permits, to group them by three, four, five, or more items with a blank "reader" line between groups.

Boldface type
When vertical spacing is tight, boldface type, instead of line spacing, may be used to set off group captions in the stub. The separation is indicated by bolding the group captions. Boldface type may also be used to make totals and subtotals stand out. But first, the table should be examined carefully to determine whether appropriate spacing and indention of the stub captions without using boldface type could achieve the same result.

Wording and Punctuation in the Stub
Stub captions should be as brief as possible without losing precision and clarity. If space is limited, abbreviations are used only when they can be understood instantly. Minimum punctuation is used to make the meaning clear. Periods are omitted at the ends of stub captions and may also be omitted after abbreviations to save an additional space in very tight stubs, if the meaning is clear.

Leaders
Leaders are rows of periods connecting the last word of a stub caption (last line of an overrun) with the first data column. If used in tables with no vertical rulings two or three spaces should separate the leaders from the longest number in the first data column. Use leaders only when a wide space divides the stub caption and the first column of data in the body of the table.

Leaders are always omitted after stub captions without entries opposite them in the field. They are almost always omitted in the duplicate stub at the far side of the right-hand page of a double-page spread.

Line Numbers
The main use for line numbers is for convenience of reference or to alleviate a tight stub situation in the right-hand side of a double-page-spread table. When they are used, all stub captions that identify entries in the field should be numbered consecutively. The line numbers are lined up as a column, two spaces to the left of the stub entry positioned farthest left and are placed opposite the last line of an overrun caption.

In a double-page-spread table the line numbers should be repeated on the right-hand page, as the last column two spaces to the right of the longest line of the duplicate stub. If space is very limited, use line numbers only (omitting the duplicate stub), matching them with the line numbers of the stub on the left-hand page. The illustrations below use sample survey data to show how to use line numbers in a normal double-page-spread table and in one in which space is limited.

Example of double page spread using line numbers instead of repeating characteristic column

Continuations
When a category with subcategory listings breaks over to another page all superior categories should be repeated, with the word "¾Continued."

For example:

Example of the use of continued


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