National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program

Meta Data Viewer


  • Meta Data Viewer is a graphing program that can display up to 15 text columns and graph 1-5 numerical values. Users can sort, group, and filter data to look at patterns of findings across studies.
  • System requirements: Java version 6 (or higher)
  • Meta Data Viewer is a public resource and users are welcome to use the program and any associated NTP data files for their own purposes, including for use in publications. Read the user’s manual to see more detailed instructions on use and features, e.g., how to create publication quality images. The user's manual also describes how to use the Microsoft Excel data file to create tables using mail merge features in Microsoft Word or similar programs. Users can also create their own excel files for uploading into Meta Data Viewer. The program can be used to graph human and animal data.
  • The diabetes/childhood obesity data file contains approximately 800 main findings from more than 200 studies. Risk estimates where the null hypothesis is one are graphed in the default settings file (typically adjusted odds ratios and 95%CI). Other findings cannot be graphed on the same scale, i.e., regression coefficients; however, all the main findings are described in text under the “Main Findings” column.
    • Main findings are based on either the (1) lowest exposure group where a statistically significant association was observed compared to the reference group or to the (2) highest exposure group when no significant associations were reported. Non-monotonic associations were considered on a case by case basis. For example, if a significant trend was observed across the exposure groups, then the lowest exposure findings was considered the main finding. Typically we relied on the author’s interpretation of the significance of the non-monotonic finding when considering whether to identify it as a main finding.


Launch the Meta Data Viewer Using Diabetes/Obesity Data

Launch the Meta Data Viewer Using QuickStart Example Data


Download the example data and manual250 kB (294 kB)1

Download the Meta Data Viewer software10.2 MB (12.3 MB)1

1To conserve file space and simplify the retrieval of multiple files, we have compressed the software files using the zip file format. File sizes are shown in this format: compressed zip file size (uncompressed total size of files).


Please use this citation when referencing this program:
Forest Plot Viewer: a new graphing tool. Boyles AL, Harris SF, Rooney AA, Thayer KA. Epidemiology. 2011 Sep;22(5):746-7.


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, contact Dr. Abee Boyles.


NTP makes no representations and extends no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied. There are no express or implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


NTP strives to make all provided content compliant with accessibility standards. Users having trouble accessing or using the software are encouraged to contact Dr. Abee Boyles for assistance or to obtain alternative information.

NTP is located at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.