Graphics and statistics for cardiology: designing effective tables for presentation and publication

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research is of little use if its results are not effectively communicated. Data visualised in tables (and graphs) are key components in any scientific report, but their design leaves much to be desired. This article focuses on table design, following two general principles: clear vision and clear understanding. Clear vision is achieved by maximising the signal to noise ratio. In a table, the signal is the data in the form of numbers, and the noise is the support structure necessary to interpret the numbers. Clear understanding is achieved when the story in the data is told effectively, through organisation of the data and use of text. These principles are illustrated by original and improved tables from recent publications. Two special cases are discussed separately: tables produced by the pharmaceutical industry (in clinical study reports and reports to data safety monitoring boards), and study flow diagrams as proposed by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses initiatives.

LanguageEnglish
Pages192-200
Number of pages9
JournalHeart
Volume104
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Cite this

@article{d8bb15c12abf4b289b7565f9fb5b3ed5,
title = "Graphics and statistics for cardiology: designing effective tables for presentation and publication",
abstract = "Research is of little use if its results are not effectively communicated. Data visualised in tables (and graphs) are key components in any scientific report, but their design leaves much to be desired. This article focuses on table design, following two general principles: clear vision and clear understanding. Clear vision is achieved by maximising the signal to noise ratio. In a table, the signal is the data in the form of numbers, and the noise is the support structure necessary to interpret the numbers. Clear understanding is achieved when the story in the data is told effectively, through organisation of the data and use of text. These principles are illustrated by original and improved tables from recent publications. Two special cases are discussed separately: tables produced by the pharmaceutical industry (in clinical study reports and reports to data safety monitoring boards), and study flow diagrams as proposed by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses initiatives.",
keywords = "Journal Article, Review",
author = "Maarten Boers",
note = "{\circledC} Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1136/heartjnl-2017-311581",
language = "English",
volume = "104",
pages = "192--200",
journal = "Heart",
issn = "1355-6037",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "3",

}

Graphics and statistics for cardiology : designing effective tables for presentation and publication. / Boers, Maarten.

In: Heart, Vol. 104, No. 3, 02.2018, p. 192-200.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Graphics and statistics for cardiology

T2 - Heart

AU - Boers, Maarten

N1 - © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

PY - 2018/2

Y1 - 2018/2

N2 - Research is of little use if its results are not effectively communicated. Data visualised in tables (and graphs) are key components in any scientific report, but their design leaves much to be desired. This article focuses on table design, following two general principles: clear vision and clear understanding. Clear vision is achieved by maximising the signal to noise ratio. In a table, the signal is the data in the form of numbers, and the noise is the support structure necessary to interpret the numbers. Clear understanding is achieved when the story in the data is told effectively, through organisation of the data and use of text. These principles are illustrated by original and improved tables from recent publications. Two special cases are discussed separately: tables produced by the pharmaceutical industry (in clinical study reports and reports to data safety monitoring boards), and study flow diagrams as proposed by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses initiatives.

AB - Research is of little use if its results are not effectively communicated. Data visualised in tables (and graphs) are key components in any scientific report, but their design leaves much to be desired. This article focuses on table design, following two general principles: clear vision and clear understanding. Clear vision is achieved by maximising the signal to noise ratio. In a table, the signal is the data in the form of numbers, and the noise is the support structure necessary to interpret the numbers. Clear understanding is achieved when the story in the data is told effectively, through organisation of the data and use of text. These principles are illustrated by original and improved tables from recent publications. Two special cases are discussed separately: tables produced by the pharmaceutical industry (in clinical study reports and reports to data safety monitoring boards), and study flow diagrams as proposed by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses initiatives.

KW - Journal Article

KW - Review

U2 - 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-311581

DO - 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-311581

M3 - Review article

VL - 104

SP - 192

EP - 200

JO - Heart

JF - Heart

SN - 1355-6037

IS - 3

ER -