Peer Review History

Original SubmissionNovember 19, 2021
Decision Letter - Carlos Gracia-Lázaro, Editor

Misleading graphs in context: less misleading than expected


Dear Dr. Albers,

We’re pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been judged scientifically suitable for publication and will be formally accepted for publication once it meets all outstanding technical requirements.

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Kind regards,

Carlos Gracia-Lázaro

Academic Editor


Additional Editor Comments (optional):

This manuscript deals with an uncommon topic, and it has been hard finding reviewers.

Nevertheless, as editor, I have read the manuscript and agree with the unique reviewer's report.

Reviewers' comments:

Reviewer's Responses to Questions

Comments to the Author

1. Is the manuscript technically sound, and do the data support the conclusions?

The manuscript must describe a technically sound piece of scientific research with data that supports the conclusions. Experiments must have been conducted rigorously, with appropriate controls, replication, and sample sizes. The conclusions must be drawn appropriately based on the data presented.

Reviewer #1: Yes


2. Has the statistical analysis been performed appropriately and rigorously?

Reviewer #1: Yes


3. Have the authors made all data underlying the findings in their manuscript fully available?

The PLOS Data policy requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception (please refer to the Data Availability Statement in the manuscript PDF file). The data should be provided as part of the manuscript or its supporting information, or deposited to a public repository. For example, in addition to summary statistics, the data points behind means, medians and variance measures should be available. If there are restrictions on publicly sharing data—e.g. participant privacy or use of data from a third party—those must be specified.

Reviewer #1: Yes


4. Is the manuscript presented in an intelligible fashion and written in standard English?

PLOS ONE does not copyedit accepted manuscripts, so the language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous. Any typographical or grammatical errors should be corrected at revision, so please note any specific errors here.

Reviewer #1: No


5. Review Comments to the Author

Please use the space provided to explain your answers to the questions above. You may also include additional comments for the author, including concerns about dual publication, research ethics, or publication ethics. (Please upload your review as an attachment if it exceeds 20,000 characters)

Reviewer #1: This is a straightforward study on an important practical issue in science communication. The authors use a representative sample of participants from the prodigy platform to examine the effect of what they call "context" (which in other fields in the social sciences is usually called "framing") and y-axis graph manipulation of people's quantitative estimates and goodness/badness judgments of a hypothetical scientific finding. The authors find that framing matters (people tend to judge the increase of bluebeaks as good when it is framed as an endangered species and bad when it is framed as a predator) but that neither graph literacy nor graph manipulation have an effect on qualitative judgment or relative accuracy of quantitative estimates.

Overall, the paper is well done, and it is based on reasonable hypotheses and expectations. The null finding regarding graph literacy and y-axis manipulation is a bit surprising. I commend the authors for making their data and code available which allows curious reviewers like myself to poke around. One thing I noticed when running exploratory models separate by gender is that there is a possible three-way interaction between y-axis manipulation, gender, graph literacy and judgment, such that graph literacy has a negative effect on the judgments of women in the shifted condition, but has a positive effect on men. Of course, this is a post hoc finding and the sample is small, but it could be something worthwhile to study in a more principled way in future work.


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Reviewer #1: Yes: Omar Lizardo

Submitted filename: reg-tab.pdf
Submitted filename: Rplot05.pdf
Formally Accepted
Acceptance Letter - Carlos Gracia-Lázaro, Editor


Misleading graphs in context: less misleading than expected

Dear Dr. Albers:

I'm pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been deemed suitable for publication in PLOS ONE. Congratulations! Your manuscript is now with our production department.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please let them know about your upcoming paper now to help maximize its impact. If they'll be preparing press materials, please inform our press team within the next 48 hours. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information please contact

If we can help with anything else, please email us at

Thank you for submitting your work to PLOS ONE and supporting open access.

Kind regards,

PLOS ONE Editorial Office Staff

on behalf of

Dr. Carlos Gracia-Lázaro

Academic Editor


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