Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 90, Issue 7, pp 1631–1638 | Cite as

Boxplots for grouped and clustered data in toxicology

  • Philip PallmannEmail author
  • Ludwig A. Hothorn
Analytical Toxicology


The vast majority of toxicological papers summarize experimental data as bar charts of means with error bars. While these graphics are easy to generate, they often obscure essential features of the data, such as outliers or subgroups of individuals reacting differently to a treatment. In particular, raw values are of prime importance in toxicology; therefore, we argue they should not be hidden in messy supplementary tables but rather unveiled in neat graphics in the results section. We propose jittered boxplots as a very compact yet comprehensive and intuitively accessible way of visualizing grouped and clustered data from toxicological studies together with individual raw values and indications of statistical significance. A web application to create these plots is available online.


Graphics Statistics R software Body weight  Micronucleus assay 

Supplementary material

204_2015_1608_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (536 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 536 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsLancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  2. 2.Institute of BiostatisticsLeibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany

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