Og on “Standard Celeration Charting System Standards”

Back in November of 2003 Dr. Ogden Lindsley delivered what would be his last Invited Address to the International Precision Teaching Conference (IPTC).  The IPTC was held in Columbus, Ohio, USA that year.

The title of Og’s talk was “Precision Teaching’s Eyes and Ears: Standard Celeration Charts and Terms.” (Lindsley, 2003) To my knowledge at this point in time, Og’s Invited Address has not been published anywhere. Nor has his presentation’s two-page handout even been published.  Both should be published.  We need to have the handout published, and also we need to have the talk transcribed and also published.

Anyway, Lindsley proposed a whole set of charting standards, divided into three categories:  (1) Standard Chart Standards, (2) Standard Charting Conventions, and (3) Standard Reading Terms.  Without attempting to copy or replicate his entire presentation here, I think that it’s ok to list the 13 items in that first category, Standard Chart Standards. 

In the past we heard things like “the only thing standard on the chart is the x2 celeration angle.”  That was the sort of thing you’d hear at conventions and so on.  I think even Og said that.  But by the time of this presentation, he had clearly identified a whole lot more standards than just the x2 celeration angle!

Herewith, without further ado, are the 13 Standard Chart Standards:

1. Family of four (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly charts).

2. Celeration angle x2 = 34 degrees (what I told you about above).

3. Vertical axis 6 x10 multiply cycles (full range of human behavior frequencies).

4. Horizontal axis of 20 celeration periods.

5. Horizontal axis of 7 day weeks, and 5 week months.

6. Frame size of 8 inches Wide, 5 4/16 inches High.

7. Margin size of 1 11/16 inches Left, 1 5/16 inches Right, 1 7/16 inches Top, and 1 13/16 inches Bottom.

8. Axis values (e.g. .001, .01, .1, 1, 10, 100, 1000, etc.).

9. Axis labels (e.g., Count per Minute; Successive Calendar Days, etc.).

10. Grid lines (day lines up, frequency lines on multiply-divide scale across).

11. Team location (blanks down at the bottom of the chart).

12. Light blue ink (empirically found to facilitate charting speed and charting accuracy).

13. WOGR paper (the original paper that was durable, and water, oil, and grease resistant, and also translucent — you could stack charts one on another and view several of them at the same time).

From what I recall of Og’s talk, to be a Standard Celeration Chart a chart would need to have all of the above 13 standard features. If it did not have them all, then it would not be a standard chart.  It might be a useful-for-some-purposes chart. It might be an aesthetic chart. It might be a politically correct and hence job or career-enhancing chart. It might be a chart that JABA or JEAB might publish. But if it lacks any or all of those 13 features, it isn’t a standard chart.  That’s the whole point:  As Dr. Dennis Edinger reminds people on the SC listserve every now and then, Dr. Lindsley was very keen on developing and setting standards. In his final talk, he itemized these Standard Celeration Chart standards for us.


Lindsley, O.R. (2003). Precision Teaching’s Eyes and Ears: Standard Celeration Charts and Terms. Invited Address presented at the International Precision Teaching Conference, Columbus, Ohio (November 6).

— JE




2 Responses to “Og on “Standard Celeration Charting System Standards””

  1. Nancy Hughes Says:

    Just saw this thanks to Scott Born, John. I appreciate your posting and will search the archive for the handouts.

  2. Carl Binder Says:

    It’s interesting to consider whether these standards apply to things such as faxed charts (varying in size, #6), charts published in journals (not 8×11.5 and not blue #6 and #12), online charts (maybe team location is in a pop-up #11), Steve Graf’s continuous chart of more than 20 celeration periods (#4), etc. Does that mean they are not standard? If so, then essentially none of the charts published outside of the Handbook of the SCC would be considered standard, and we might as well give up on publishing truly STANDARD charts in journals. My take on this is that the internet, scanning/faxing, and the kinds of mini-charts that Og himself produced for publications have changed the rules of the game and we will need to distinguish between what truly makes it a standard CELERATION chart, and what makes it a BRCo paper chart. Thoughts?

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