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In scientific papers, the term "Figure" -- referring to an illustration in the text -- is often abbreviated as "Fig." But is "Figures" abbreviated as "Figs", "Fig.s" or "Figs."? I am proofreading a paper just now and the journal editors have used the abbreviation "Fig." for "Figure" and "Figs" (no period) for "Figures" as in "Figs 2 and 3".

Can anyone explain the convention of abbreviation as it applies in this case?

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migrated from Jun 3 '12 at 6:16

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Why would you abbreviate “Figures”, anyway? Yeah sure, academic papers will say to “see Fig. 42”, but I cannot imagine an instance where “Figures” itself would both occur and require abbreviation. – tchrist Jun 3 '12 at 3:27
It depends on the style manual you're using or conventions adopted for a particular publication. Ask your editors. – Alex B. Jun 3 '12 at 3:58

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A quick search on Google shows that the practice of abbreviating Figures really took off in the last 40 years and that it most often appears as Figs. (with the period)

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Figures and Figure should normally be abbreviated as Fig. even if you are quoating Fig. 1 to 3 i.e. to say Figure 1, Figure 2 and Figure 3.

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