E Checklists

In this Appendix, two checklists are provided for evaluating and producing graphs (Sect. E.1) and tables (Sect. E.2). These may not be comprehensive.

E.1 A checklist for good scientific graphics

TABLE E.1: A checklist for good scientific graphics
Criterion Details
1 Caption Does the graph have a descriptive caption under the graph: comprehensive, clear and accurate (what, where, when)?
2 Simplicity Is the information is presented simply (e.g., not too many messages in one graph)?
3 Clarity Is the information is presented clearly (e.g., use visible symbols; colours and symbols explained; no chart junk; no unnecessary 3-D; minimum axis tick marks; faint grid lines if needed)?
4 Accuracy Is the information accurate (e.g., not misleading, complete)?
5 Message Is the main message, theme, trend, or comparison of greatest importance easily seen?
6 Scaling Are the comparisons made on linear scale (e.g., avoiding comparison of volumes or areas or angles)?
7 Organisation Are the data are sorted meaningfully to aid interpretation?
8 Units Are the units of measurement given?

E.2 A checklist for good scientific tables

TABLE E.2: A checklist for good scientific tables
Criterion Details
1 Caption Does the table have a descriptive caption above the table: comprehensive, clear and accurate (what, where, when)?
2 Clarity Are the row and columns in the table clearly labelled and explained?
3 Numbers Are a suitable number of decimal places (or significant figures) displayed?
4 Alignment Are the numbers aligned to allow easy comparison (e.g., on decimal points)?
5 Arrangement Are the table columns/rows meaningfully arranged to emphasise patterns (e.g., not just alphabetically by default)?
6 Vertical lines Are there no vertical lines except where absolutely essential?
7 Horizontal lines Are there a minimum number of horizontal lines?
8 Units Are the units of measurement clearly given?
9 Minimalist Is unnecessary text avoided?