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Research Posters

What is a poster?

Posters are a form of academic knowledge exchange.

Posters are widely used in the academic community, and most conferences include poster presentations in their program.  Research posters summarize information or research concisely and attractively to help publicize it and generate discussion. 

The poster is usually a mixture of a brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. At a conference, the researcher stands by the poster display while other participants can come and view the presentation and interact with the author.

Why Present a Poster

Usually with a conference paper presentation, you can make changes, add new content, fix typos, reconceptualize findings, etc right up until you present.  With a poster presentation, however, you usually have to complete the poster a few weeks before the conference/presentation in order to have the poster printed.  Poster development is a labor intensive activity, as you must ensure the the poster contains the appropriate information, is presented in an effective and pleasing way, and can stand alone as a representation of your research.

There are many reasons to present a poster, rather than a paper.  These include:

  • opportunity to explore a new topic and to be creative and speculative
  • present research still at its beginning (i.e. all data might not be analysed)
  • less intimidating and less formal than a paper presentation
  • opportunity for one-on-one conversations, networking, and a gateway for establishing personal contacts and collaborations
  • more opportunity for discussion on different aspects of your research
  • ideal for highly visual topics