Fundamentals of Data Visualization: a primer on making informative and compelling figures

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The book is meant as a guide to making visualizations that accurately reflect the data, tell a story, and look professional. It has grown out of my experience of working with students and postdocs in my laboratory on thousands of data visualizations. Over the years, I have noticed that the same issues arise over and over. I have attempted to collect my accumulated knowledge from these interactions in the form of this book.

The entire book is written in R Markdown, using RStudio as my text editor and the bookdown package to turn a collection of markdown documents into a coherent whole. The book’s source code is hosted on GitHub, at If you notice typos or other issues, feel free to open an issue on GitHub or submit a pull request. If you do the latter, in your commit message, please add the sentence “I assign the copyright of this contribution to Claus O. Wilke,” so that I can maintain the option of publishing this book in other forms.

Wilke, C. O. (2019). Fundamentals of data visualization: a primer on making informative and compelling figures. O’Reilly Media.

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