What is publication quality, anyway?

One of the most annoying common components of graduate methodology seminars is the ambiguous requirement for “publication quality” figures and tables. Lamentably, that term is amorphous. As with certain other things (such as “democracy”), you may know it when you see it, but that is not always great for nice check-listable things for homework assignments.

Fortunately, however, it turns out that journals actually provide that information. Go figure. (You just need to know where to look. That only took me a couple years to figure out…) 

Personally, I found the APSA style manual to be the most informative. (Look for the section on Tables and Figures; page 59 of the 2020 version’s pdf.) 

The Journal of Politics guidelines also have some helpful information, under “Presenting Statistical or Technical Information.” 

Good luck!