Validity and Reliability Analysis of the PlotDigitizer Software Program for Data Extraction from Single-Case Graphs


PERSPECTIVES ON BEHAVIOR SCIENCE, vol.45, no.1, pp.239-257, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s40614-021-00284-0
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.239-257
  • Keywords: Validity, Reliability, Single-case design, Data extraction, PlotDigitizer
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: No


Access to raw data of graphs presented in original articles to calculate the effect size of single-case research is a challenge for researchers conducting studies such as meta-analysis. Researchers typically use data extraction software programs to extract raw data from the graphs in articles. In this study, we aimed to analyze the validity and reliability of the PlotDigitizer software program, which is widely used in literature and an alternative to other data extraction programs, on computers with different operating systems. We performed the digitization of 6.846 data points on three different computers using 15 hypothetical graphs with 20 data series and 186 graphs with 242 data series from 29 published articles to accomplish the goal. Besides, using the values we digitized, we recalculated the 23 effect sizes presented in the original articles for validity analysis. Based on our sampling, we calculated intercoder and intracoder Pearson correlation coefficients. The results showed that PlotDigitizer could be an alternative to other programs as it is free and can run on many current and outdated systems, and it is valid and reliable as it is nearly perfect. Based on the obtained results and considering the data extraction process, we presented various recommendations for the researchers that will use the PlotDigitizer program for the quantitative analysis of single-case graphs.