The "list of figures" page in my Masters thesis lists many figure captions. Some of these figure captions have references. Should I remove or keep the reference in the list of figures? Definitely the references are always keeping in main text of the report, I just do not know how to handle them in the list of figures.
Assuming that the thesis preparation guide from your university says nothing about this, I would approach the question by considering the purpose of the figures list. The point of the figures list is to make it easier to find these key elements of a very large document; the caption fragment is intended to help a reader find the figure that they are looking for. There are two typical approaches to making these such caption fragments, either of which might be reasonable:
- List the exact caption for each figure, so that the list can be more complete. In this case, you should keep the references, since they're part of the exact caption.
- Make a one-line summary of each caption, so that the list can be more compressed. In this case, you should remove the references, since you are making a digest in any case.
If you have lots of very long captions, option #2 is probably better, as otherwise it defeats the point of the index. If your captions are all fairly short, then option #1 is probably better, since it provides a fuller summary of the contents of each figure.