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Group number of lanthanides and actinides
IUPAC has not recommended a specific format for the periodic table, so different conventions are permitted and are often used for the group number of lanthanides and actinides. There is no pre-existing physical entity for a "group" of elements. The notion is simply a convenient classification, since some elements have similar periodicities in their properties. This allows them to be arranged in columns that also happen to correspond with electron configurations.
Additional recommended knowledge
Some tables  refer to all lanthanides and actinides by a marker in group 3. This is the periodic table used by Wikipedia. A third and fourth alternative are suggested by this arrangement:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Group_number_of_lanthanides_and_actinides". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|