Re: [R] forrest plot

From: Thomas Lumley <>
Date: Thu 20 Oct 2005 - 00:43:55 EST

On Wed, 19 Oct 2005, Romain Francois wrote:
> Pretty interresting. You just pointed to a good candidate for r graph
> gallery.

There is an example on the R home page, and has been for some time. I have an improved version based on grid code by Paul Murrell, but it's not on a nearby computer. The other meta-analysis package also has a forest-plot function.

Incidentally, I was just motivated to track down whether it is "Forrest" or "forest" [ie for\^et], as I had assumed. Both spellings appear on meta-analyses, even in the top medical journals (which, unlike most academic journals, have moderately aggresive copy-editors). A feedback archive for the Cochrane Collaboration style guide says

"The plot was not called a forest plot in print for some time, and the   origins of this title are obscured by history and myth. At the September   1990 meeting of the breast cancer overview, Richard Peto jokingly   mentioned the the plot was named after the breast cancer researcher Pat   Forrest, and, at times, the names has been spelt forrest plot.   However, the phrase actually originates from the idea that the typical   plot appears as a forest of lines.
  Lewis S, Clarke M. Forest plots: trying to see the wood and the trees.   BMJ 2001;322:1479-80."          -thomas

Thomas Lumley			Assoc. Professor, Biostatistics	University of Washington, Seattle

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