According to Tracey L. Weissgerber, Natasa M. Milic, Stacey J. Winham, and Vesna D. Garovic, proper representation of small data sets and sample sizes allows accurate interpretation. Doing so, they assert, requires displaying continuous data. But, they write, “Most papers presented continuous data in bar and line graphs. This is problematic, as many different data distributions can lead to the same bar or line graph” (2015).
In their paper in PLOS Biology and in a companion Twitter thread by Weissgerber , the authors provide detailed advice, including numerous figures, explaining how to develop figures that most effectively and accurately display small data sets.