Graphs, tables, and figures in scientific publications: The good, the bad, and how not to be the latter
Graphs, figures, and tables can save readers time and energy, aid their understanding of an article, and reduce the word count of the main text. However, many graphics submitted to and published in scientific journals fail to meet their potential and include mistakes that jeopardize their clarity. Many formats are available for presenting data, as well as a variety of techniques for enhancing interpretability. When the appropriate format is used to depict data, it conveys the greatest amount of information in the clearest fashion, complements the text, and deepens readers' understanding. The aims of this article are to draw attention to the necessity of well-constructed graphs, tables, and figures in scientific publications, and to show how to create them. © 2012 American Society for Surgery of the Hand.