I am working on a computer science master's thesis wherein I occasionally cite figures and tables from other works. Currently, the way I am doing this is something like
Foo et al. (2021) visualise that this and that is detectable (see their figure 2).
... where "Foo et al. (2021)" is hyperlinked to the bibliography at the end of the thesis with LaTeX.
Personally, I think this is sufficient information for the reader to know where to find the information I am discussing. On the other hand, I am biased because I have already read the research and hence have an imprint of the figure in my head (and/or have the figure pulled up in a separate PDF). I have a feeling that just pointing to "their figure" is somehow sloppy. I think my doubt comes down to these worries:
If the source is behind a paywall (this is never the case for me, though), the reader might not have access to the figure.
If the source is hard to find (which sometimes happens with really old sources) or even disappears (if they are published on university servers instead of official publishing servers), the reader might never have access to the figure.
Even if the source is two clicks away (jump to bibliography and open in browser), the reader still has to stop reading and do all of that, and also now has to scroll back up to where they jumped away from. Backreferences probably won't work since I cite most of my sources at least three times.
The reader needs an internet connection.
The reader needs to be reading on the computer.
Unlike internal references to my own figures, I have no hyperlink that specifically points to "their figure", only to the document in which it appears. This breaks stylistic consistency.
Should I reprint the discussed figures and tables in my thesis? I would of course put an appropriate citation alongside them to make it obvious that these aren't my own.
One immediate objection I have is that we have a page limit, and hence reprinting figures when they exist elsewhere seems like pointless inflation of valuable space. Putting them in appendix would have the same issue with jumping away from the text, but at least the reader doesn't need internet.
Note: this is not a question about whether I can reprint a figure/table. It is a question about whether I should.