Welcome! We are a group of young scientists interested in improving scientific communication. One recurrent problem we've noticed, that touches almost all fields of data-driven science, is data visualization. While there exist a wide array of ways to display data, many people choose to use bar plots, a simple graph depicting a group mean and standard error (or deviation). Unfortunately, most data aren't as clean as bar plots make them seem, and since bar plots reveal very little about the distribution of the data, this kind of visualization can be misleading.
We've all been there: the papers we read, presentations we attend, posters we see, they all use bar plots, and we do it too! But just because a practice is standard doesn't mean it should continue. That's why we started our #barbarplots initiative. While we don't believe that an outright ban on bar plots is necessary (see figure below), the real goal of our project is to increase awareness of the limitations that bar plots have and the need for clear and complete data visualization. Specifically, we have made t-shirts reproducing a widely-shared meme, with the goal of sending them to the editors of the following journals:
Trends in Cognitive Sciences; Journal of Experimental Psychology: General; Cognitive Psychology; Journal of Memory and Language; Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience; Educational Psychologist; Current Directions in Psychological Science; Developmental Science; Child Development; Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines; Nature Reviews Neuroscience; Annual Review of Neuroscience; Nature Neuroscience; Neuron; Trends in Neurosciences; Annual Review of Psychology; Perspectives on Psychological Science; Psychological Bulletin; Psychological Review; Psychological Methods; Nature; Science; PNAS; Nature Reviews Immunology; New England Journal of Medicine; Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease; The Lancet; Nature Medicine; Artificial Intelligence; Personality and Social Psychology Review; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Advances in Experimental Social Psychology; Research on Language and Social Interaction; Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin; Glossa; Journal of Neuroscience; PLoS One; Language; Cognition; Journal of Phonetics; Developmental Psychology; Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
We will ask the editors to take selfies of themselves wearing the shirts and post them to social media, in an effort to mediatize the situation and get people talking. But the fun doesn't stop there; you too can show your support for effective data visualization by pledging and receiving either a #barbarplots sticker, or even a shirt for yourself! So join us, and together, let's make science both more transparent, and easier to understand.
Budget: We're asking for 3,000€ to make our project a reality. Here's the breakdown of where that money will go:
- Sending shirts to 50 journal editors 700€
- Reward fulfillment* 2,000€
- Kickstarter fees 300€
- Total 3,000€
*This might seem a lot relative to the actual budget, but is necessary assuming contributors pay the minimum amount required for a reward level, and accounting for material and international shipping costs.
Any money that remains after we have sent out all of the t-shirts and stickers will be donated to the Open Science Framework to support their efforts in making science more transparent and community-driven.
Risks and challenges
We expect both positive and negative feedback to our campaign from the scientific community. Hopefully, we will be able to communicate our message clearly enough to reduce the number of negative responses.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)