Sections for scientific poster presentation

Recently I delivered a seminar on Scientific Poster Presentation. I made a handout to provide details on what you should include (and exclude) for each section of the poster.

I thought you might find this useful so I decided to post.

If you disagree or have something to add or modify it would be great if contributed via the comments. I will update based on feedback. Oh, here ya go..

Sections to be included in your scientific poster presentation

Title: Used to convey the single overall main message
• Headline title with noun and verb – quantified if possible
• 1-2 lines max using sentence case
• NOT for keyword search – it can be straightforward (or catchy?)
• Max 25 words

Abstract: Do not include an abstract on a poster – unless it is a (dumb) requirement.

Introduction: Get viewer interest about issue or question
• State the purpose/aim/goal (long-term and short-term may be different) using bullets
• Place work in context (where does it fit in overall field)
• Give background minimum
• Might end/start with some bullet statements of your hypotheses
(Hypotheses may be coupled with results in results section)
• Max 125 words

Methods/Materials: (Skip if standard, include if science) Describes experiment
• Use figures, photos, drawings to illustrate experimental design if possible;
• Use flow charts (the type with text, numbers and drawings within boxes) to summarize steps or timing
• Perhaps mention statistical analyses used and how they address hypothesis
• Max 150 words

Results: Summarizes what you found
• Result graphs support only your conclusion bullet points (3-5)
• Each graphs/chart/table provides quantitative and qualitative/descriptive results
• Each graph/chart should contain headline title and/or takeaway conveying understandable main point (may be the only thing read, needs to be clear)
• Negative/positive controls should be labeled and consistent in color (dk grey/ blk suggested)
• Graphs indicate exactly (via arrows, circles, highlights) where to look to see evidence of result
• Do not use legends, instead direct label data elements, remove unneeded grid lines
• Cut down to key words only, remove punctuation
• Bullets OK
• If method/process important can be in smaller under takeaway or bottom of chart
• Max approx 250 words – this should be your largest section

Conclusions: (Conclusions and future directions)
• Should be summary of results in bullet form
• Can include a one or two bullets for future directions (don’t make future directions separate)
• Max 150 words

Literature cited:
• Follow standard format exactly
• Maximum approximately 5 citations

• Mention who has provided funding
• Include disclosures for any type of conflicts
Possibly include SIGNIFICANT contributors – name and contribution (not title)
• Max 40 words

Further information:
• Your e-mail address and web site address
• Perhaps a URLs – to download PDFs of poster or related papers or your CV
(edit URL – don’t leave blue or underlined)
• Maximum 30 words

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