MATLAB figures

About the MATLAB figure viewer

The MATLAB figure viewer enriches an article by enabling the reader to explore figures with data interactively and in the context of the article. These figures, which will appear on ScienceDirect, are based on MATLAB FIG files uploaded by the author. They may contain experimental data, numerical results, a visualization of a model, or other kinds of data-based, visual research output. The FIG file format captures not only the visual information but also the underlying data – which makes it possible to view a figure at maximum accuracy at all levels of zoom and from all viewpoints, and also to download the data for validation or re-use (requires MATLAB).

The MATLAB figure viewer is available for over 50 journals in computer science, engineering and applied sciences.

An example article with the MATLAB figure viewer

Tip: to see how your MATLAB FIG files will appear on ScienceDirect, please use our online validation tool

Matlab screenshot

Figure 1. Representation of how the MATLAB figure viewer will appear on ScienceDirect

Benefits for authors and readers

The MATLAB figure viewer functionality enables authors to enrich and extend their article by adding interactive figures. This provides a way to highlight their findings in a visual and easily accessible manner, helping readers to quickly understand the relevance of a research paper, to visualize research data for deeper insights, and to access the underlying data.

Innovating & enriching content

For almost 350 years, academic articles have been published in a similar layout – a format which starts with an abstract and ends with a conclusion and a list of references. Articles were presented in this way with the reader of the printed version in mind. However most researchers now access articles online, which means that readership styles and how information is gathered have changed.

We are adapting to these changes because we want to help authors improve how their research is presented online and readers to gain deeper insights faster. Offering the interactive MATLAB figure viewer functionality in our journals is just one of the ways we are doing this.

The MATLAB figure viewer functionality enables authors to enrich and extend their article by making their figures interactive and making the underlying data better accessible. This helps readers to quickly understand the relevance of a research paper and to visualize research data for deeper insights.

How to create and submit MATLAB FIG files

Authors can upload MATLAB FIG files created with MATLAB (a software product from The MathWorks, Inc.) to the Elsevier Editorial System (EES) along with their manuscript text, image, and supplementary data files. Elsevier will generate interactive figures from the FIG files and include these in the online article.

When you prepare a FIG file, please be advised that the MATLAB figure viewer does not support GUI elements (for example, a button that requires user input). Please take this limitation into account when preparing your files to ensure that they will be displayed correctly with your online article. For more information about creating FIG files with MATLAB, please visit the MathWorks website:

Please note that this application incorporates software elements provided by The MathWorks, Inc. and which Elsevier does not own; if you have any questions about these elements, please contact The MathWorks, Inc directly at 3 Apple Hill Drive, Natick, MA 01760-2098, UNITED STATES.

If you wish to provide feedback on the MATLAB figure viewer or have a suggestion for another innovation that would further enhance the online article please get in touch at