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Stat Med. 2015 Sep 30;34(22):3040-59. doi: 10.1002/sim.6549. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Seeing is believing: good graphic design principles for medical research.

Author information

1
GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, United States.
2
Novartis AG, Drug Safety and Epidemiology, Novartis Campus, Basel, 4056, Switzerland.
3
Eli Lilly and Company, Global Statistical Sciences, Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, IN, 46285, United States.
4
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
5
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

Abstract

Have you noticed when you browse a book, journal, study report, or product label how your eye is drawn to figures more than to words and tables? Statistical graphs are powerful ways to transparently and succinctly communicate the key points of medical research. Furthermore, the graphic design itself adds to the clarity of the messages in the data. The goal of this paper is to provide a mechanism for selecting the appropriate graph to thoughtfully construct quality deliverables using good graphic design principles. Examples are motivated by the efforts of a Safety Graphics Working Group that consisted of scientists from the pharmaceutical industry, Food and Drug Administration, and academic institutions.

KEYWORDS:

communication; graphics; visual perception; visualization

PMID:
26112209
DOI:
10.1002/sim.6549
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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