Use Graphs not Tables, BUT…

I have supported efforts to get more graphs in the social sciences — rather than tables with regression coefficients. This is not the place to reiterate all the advantages, but graphs make it easier for the reader and are useful for the author to make correct inferences.

There is, however, one reason we should continue making these numbers available as tables (e.g. in an appendix): meta-analysis. Yes, there are tools out there to get numbers from published figures, but that’s additional work that might discourage researchers from undertaking these valuable meta analyses.

Take-away message? Keep using these graphs (– use more of them!), but also put the numbers in an appendix. Especially in the age of online (first) publications, there is no excuse for not doing both.

4 Replies to “Use Graphs not Tables, BUT…”

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