Monday, September 7, 2015

How to present statistical data

Sources on presenting research results


Start here: Guidelines on reporting research - how to make sure you do a good job of reporting research results.

Mostly there appear to be guidelines in the medical, public health areas.

CONSORT which stands for Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials, encompasses various initiatives developed by the CONSORT Group to alleviate the problems arising from inadequate reporting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The main product of CONSORT is the CONSORT Statement, which is an evidence-based, minimum set of recommendations for reporting RCTs.

EQUATOR Network website the resource centre for good reporting of health research studies. The EQUATOR Network is an international initiative that seeks to enhance reliability and value of medical research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of research studies.

FAME Forum for African Medical Editors, aimed at addressing problems in journals. One of the publications is Fame Editorial guidelines. "The guidelines cover essential areas of editorial and publishing standards, ethics and scientific integrity as well as data reporting and analysis, referencing and bibliographic citations."

PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. It is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

STROBE - Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology. STROBE stands for an international, collaborative initiative of epidemiologists, methodologists, statisticians, researchers and journal editors involved in the conduct and dissemination of observational studies

TREND the mission of the Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized Designs (TREND) group is to improve the reporting standards of nonrandomized evaluations of behavioral and public health interventions.

These guidelines about presenting results, and other guidelines about other aspects of publishing, are listed here

But see this 2011 study about medical/public health research:

Bennett C, Khangura S, Brehaut JC, Graham ID, Moher D, et al. (2011) Reporting Guidelines for Survey Research: An Analysis of Published Guidance and Reporting Practices. PLoS Med 8(8): e1001069. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001069

This paper says that there seem to be problems about reporting the quality of survey research. The authors write "Our own review of 117 published survey studies revealed that many items were poorly reported: few studies provided the survey or core questions (35%), reported the validity or reliability of the instrument (19%), defined the response rate (25%), discussed the representativeness of the sample (11%), or identified how missing data were handled (11%)."
This paper says many studies don't report the interventions in much detail.

Susan Michie1, Dean Fixsen, Jeremy M Grimshaw and Martin P Eccles. Specifying and reporting complex behaviour change interventions: the need for a scientific method. Implementation Science 2009, 4:40.

"Few published intervention evaluations refer to formal documentation describing the content and delivery of an intervention and are seldom reported by researchers or practitioners in enough detail to replicate them [5,6]. Reviews of nearly 1,000 behaviour change outcome studies [7-10] found that interventions were described in detail in only 5% to 30% of the experimental studies."

Reviewing or critically reading research studies

Evaluating research articles from start to finish. Ellen Girden, Robert Kabacoff

Tips on how to present results

Making data meaningful from the UN Economic Commission of Europe. How to write, present and communicate about data.

Communicating Statistics "This page brings together resources about communicating and disseminating official statistics, including guidance documents and case studies"

Improving data visualisation for the public sector "This site supports public sector researchers improve the way that they visualise data, by providing good practice examples and case studies, practical and step-by-step guides on how to visualise data, and links to more detailed resources."

BTS’s Guide to Good Statistical Practice This is a guide on how to present data analysis and how to discuss data quality and errors.

Gallery of Data Visualization: The Best and Worst of Statistical Graphics

National Center for Educational Statistics, Create a Graph a site for students, to show how to use various graph formats. See these two lessons about bar charts, about line graphs

Guidelines for Effective Data Presentations

Using Graphics to Report Evaluation Results from University of Wisconsin Extension.

Exploring Data: graphs and numerical summaries a class by The Open University's Learning Space.

CDC's Brief 12 Using Graphs and Charts to Illustrate Quantitative Data

Visual Literacy Org has various demonstrations, documents, etc including this Periodic Table of Visualization Methods
AEA has a blog stream about data visualization many contributions

Statistical Graphics Section section of American Statistical Association. Has section newsletter and list of links.

Statistics: Power from data. has a section describing presenting data showing examples of different types of graphs.

Presenting Numerical Data This guide offers practical advice on how to incorporate numerical information into essays, reports, dissertations, posters and presentations. The guide outlines the role of text, tables, graphs and charts as formats for presenting numerical data.
This page lists a couple of books, as well as web sites, because these books are so highly recommended.

books by Edward Tufte, especially

Envisioning information, graphics press, 1990

the visual display of quantitative information, graphics press, 1987

books by William Cleveland, especially

visualizing data , hobart press, 1993

the elements of graphing data, CRC press, 1994

I found some of the above link on Betty Jungs links to graphics page which also has a great many links about presenting data.

Graphing sociology the author of this page, Laura Noren, presents graphs, charts or tables and analyzes why they work or don't work.
Sites about general presentation tips:

KU Medical Center page on effective presentations 
has on line basic tutorial for preparing graphics, its an overview.   

Presentation Skills for Emergent Managers

PowerPoint Presentation Advice   This is not an easy to read page, but it does have very useful and important tips.

A Conference of Mind and Mouth: The Ultimate Public Speaking Resource Guide    links to speaking and presentation tips

Public Speaking   kind of general tips on speaking, and links to other sites.

Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen   a Ted talk. A nice demonstration of how to present data.

Andrew Gelman, at Columbia   has this presentation on presenting graphics   

Prepare charts on line
Tableau public says you can make charts for free

Tableau is listed here

and this site used it to make a map


How to Avoid Plagiarism by Earl Babbie. Make sure you follow this advice!

Plain from the US Govt, especially see the guidelines with sections like short sections, useful headings, etc.

Program managers guide to evaluation. has a chapter on how to report what you have learned. Starting on page 98. (The printed page number is 87, but you have to go to page 98)

How to Write a Scholarly Research Report by Rudner, Lawrence M. & William D. Schafer (1999). in Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 6(13). Brief introduction and descriptions of sections in a report.

Writing research papers general guide for biostat reports, but still useful.

Statpac paper How to Write a Research Proposal or Paper

Writing a report overall general guide

Links to sites with info about apa style

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