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Error bars are almost shown in most of graphs used in research papers. In my experience not many of us give much importance to the error bars, questions about it only come from the group leader or the bosses. In several papers, the figure legends never describe kind of error bars used. Even in my statistics classes in biology the importance of error bars and their interpretation was never explained. Came across this nice paper in Journal of Cell Biology explaining usage of error bars in experimental biology.

They explain the different types of error bars used for descriptive and inferential statistics. The formulas are well explained and illustrated with good biological examples.

Cumming, G., Fidler, F., Vaux, D.L. (2007). Error bars in experimental biology. The Journal of Cell Biology, 177(1), 7-11. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200611141

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