Why some style guides ask to put figures at separate pages?

For example, APA:

Place each figure on a separate page at the end of your manuscript, after any tables (or after the reference list, if there are no tables).

I imagine that it has something to do with the preparation of the manuscript for print, but I'm not sure how does it help.

  • While it is true that there can be some print reasons (separating color and black and white pages) you also have to ask yourself if it might just be by their choice. Or they want to avoid layout issues. There is no "global" guideline everyone follows and their reasons might be very specific from case to case. You stated yourself "some style guides" do, others don't. – KMSTR Sep 7 '15 at 12:19
  • I've heard that this style was more widespread in the past (e.g., publishing standards in Soviet Union also required that) and thus might have more general reasons. – Andrey Chetverikov Sep 8 '15 at 7:39
  • I think the problem with combining text and images is probably the historic reason. Similar how the color and black and white reason applies right now. – KMSTR Sep 8 '15 at 7:41
  • I want to note that I find reading manuscripts (which mostly happens in review) following this guideline extremely annoying. You always have to switch back and forth because figures are nowhere near the text that references them. – Wrzlprmft Sep 9 '15 at 10:34

There are varied reasons. In my experience the common ones are.

This used to be common in older scientific and engineering uses. The reason is that the figure is actually valuable data, the reader may need to measure stuff from the image with a ruler, apprise 2 closely aligned points that lie on a logarithmic scale. This is still somewhat commonly done by engineering analysts as its much nicer to apprise a graph at A4 size than 1/3 of an A4. The reasoning is most likely the same it makes reviewers job easier.

Second laymen, scientists, secretaties etc. dont allways use best of quality tools. Vector graphs are less common than one thinks, eps files tend to rasterize in transit etc. By requiring full size pages images have room to be scaled down. This reduces errors. This would not be such a issue if the submitters used indesign, possibly latex. But some areas use word and random plotting software from 1970'sso results arent allways top of the class.

  • +1 for LaTeX. In some disciplines, LaTeX is the lingua franca. This question actually might get interesting answers over on tex.se – Scribblemacher Sep 8 '15 at 13:40

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