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RE: st: Forest Plot

From   Maarten buis <>
Subject   RE: st: Forest Plot
Date   Wed, 19 Mar 2008 14:16:20 +0000 (GMT)

My answer, which started this thread on the propper name of the forest
plot, was just a case of lousy spelling (or an attempt to maintain my
non-native speaker charm)


--- Nick Cox <> wrote:

> At the risk of reminding many what they know already, but this is an
> international list: 
> It seems that the term 'forest plot' was used informally for some
> years before
> it reached print. Often there is some selling line about seeing the
> wood for the trees. 
> That is, at least for native English speakers and perhaps for many
> others, a conscious play on a proverbial criticism: not being able to
> see the wood for the trees is missing a broad pattern through undue
> focus on the details. I guess every other language has some
> equivalent if not identical saying. 
> That's standard, I think. But Richard Peto, no less, is credited with
> a joke attribution of the plot to a cancer researcher called Pat
> Forrest. Whether for that reason, or for others, or just as a matter
> of lousy spelling, the spellings "Forest", "forrest" and "Forrest"
> are probably all to be found somewhere. 
> My main authority here, after a quick Google, is 
> Lewis, S. and Clarke, M. 2001. 
> Forest plots: trying to see the wood and the trees. 
> British Medical Journal 322: 1479–1480.
> doi:10.1136/bmj.322.7300.1479.  
> Many if not all list members will be able to read that directly on
> the net. 
> Nick
> Newson, Roger B
> I think
> findit forest plot
> is the correct spelling. A forest plot is so called because the
> bottom-line summary confidence interval is like a forest, and the
> individual study confidence intervals are like the individual trees.
> It
> is not named after a "Professor Forrest".
> If Sripal wants to create a customized Stata format for forest plots,
> then 2 useful tools might be -metaparm- (part of the -parmest-
> package)
> and -eclplot-. The -parmest- and -eclplot- packages are both
> downloadable from SSC using the -ssc- command. An example of a forest
> plot produced using -metaparm- can be viewed in the presentation of
> Newson (2006). The presentation, and the do-file to produce this
> forest
> plot, can be downloaded from my website at
> Newson R. Resultssets, resultsspreadsheets and resultsplots in Stata.
> Presented at the 4th German Stata User Meeting, 31 March, 2006.
> Download from
> Maarten Buis replied to Sripal Kumar 
> > Is there a easier way to graph forest plots using stata for a
> > meta-analysis.  
> In Stata type: findit forrest plot
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Maarten L. Buis
Department of Social Research Methodology
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Boelelaan 1081
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

visiting address:
Buitenveldertselaan 3 (Metropolitan), room Z434

+31 20 5986715

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