'Graphical' study characteristics table for a systematic review - Table Contest Submission

'Graphical' study characteristics table for a systematic review

Authors: Aaron Conway and Navpreet Kamboj
Affiliations: University of Toronto

Abstract: Systematic reviews are a type of academic publication, which are typically required to be formatted for print. It is very common in these types of publications for a summary of the characteristics of each study included in the systematic review to be presented in the form of a table consisting entirely of text. This submission demonstrates how the flextable package was used to replace some of the text with graphical features for a study characteristics table. The printing of the table in landscape format in a knitted word document can be achieved using the officedown package.

Full Description: Some features from the flextable package used in the table include:

  • Use of coloured inline ‘minibar’ images to show the male:female ratio in included studies using flextable::minibar
  • Images of flags to indicate the country using flextable::asimage (in addition to being aesthetically more pleasing than presenting this information in text, this feature also reduced the amount of horizontal space required for this column, which is useful for static-print tables that need to be incorporated into Word documents).
  • Use of inline images so the reader can more quickly and clearly distinguish between studies that included higher numbers of participants (flextable::minibar) and measurements (flextable::lollipop) than if the information was presented in text format.

Importantly, using the flextable package to create this table meets the requirements for most journals, which stipulate that tables must be submitted in a word document form.

Table Type: static-print
Submission Type: Single Table Example
Table: Please see table.docx in the repo, which can be reproduced by knitting table.rmd in the rstudio cloud project
Repo: https://github.com/awconway/table-contest-2020
RStudio Cloud: https://rstudio.cloud/project/1823006
DT package used:
gt package used:
reactable package used:
flextable package used: true
huxtable package used:
kableExtra package used:
Other packages: