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Characteristics of a Good Scientific Poster MBRS-RISE Summer 2009 Dr. Gail P. Taylor Asst. Characteristics of a Good Scientific Poster MBRS-RISE Summer 2009 Dr. Gail P. Taylor Asst. PD MBRS-RISE University of Texas at San Antonio Rev 6/09

Acknowledgements ABRCMS poster Guidelines. http: //www. abrcms. org/posterguidelines. asp Colin Purrington: Advice for designing Acknowledgements ABRCMS poster Guidelines. http: //www. abrcms. org/posterguidelines. asp Colin Purrington: Advice for designing scientific posters. http: //www. swarthmore. edu/Nat. Sci/cpurrin 1/posteradvice. htm Knowledge Management in Health Services; HSERV 590 A: Creating a Poster Using MS Power. Point – University of Washington http: //courses. washington. edu/~hs 590 a/weblinks/poster. html Creating Effective Poster Presentations – Hess and Liegel. http: //www 4. ncsu. edu/~grhess/posters/ University of Buffalo- Designing effective poster presentations http: //ublib. buffalo. edu/libraries/units/sel/bio/posters. html University of Kansas- Jeff Radel http: //www. kumc. edu/SAH/OTEd/jradel/Poster_Presentations/Pstr. Start. html

What is a Scientific Poster? “Stand alone” summary of research Allows for “Visually augmented” What is a Scientific Poster? “Stand alone” summary of research Allows for “Visually augmented” discussion ◦ ~5 minutes ◦ Few viewers at a time ◦ Interactive

Where are Posters Used? General – Poster days, Symposia ◦ Tack up poster ◦ Where are Posters Used? General – Poster days, Symposia ◦ Tack up poster ◦ Stand by poster (1 -3 h) ◦ Viewers browse and interact Conferences ◦ ◦ Abstract submitted Limited orals (15 min ea) Increased opportunity for presentation Time/location included in program Hallways ◦ Often posted outside labs after presentation

Poster Benefits Research presentation Idea sharing Practice public speaking Opportunity for teaching and learning Poster Benefits Research presentation Idea sharing Practice public speaking Opportunity for teaching and learning Deepens understanding of topic Represents you and you mentor ◦ Demonstrate expertise ◦ Demonstrate attention to detail Builds CV Create collaborations

Who is Your Audience? People in your field ◦ Will read even if bad Who is Your Audience? People in your field ◦ Will read even if bad People in related fields ◦ Easily persuaded to view Previously uninterested passers by ◦ Can be attracted by a good poster

Designing Your Poster Designing Your Poster

Approaching Poster Design Consult rules of conference Create a storyboard Visually appealing Primarily image Approaching Poster Design Consult rules of conference Create a storyboard Visually appealing Primarily image driven Simply and tightly written

Consult Rules of Conference Size Max (board size) vs Size Requirement Abstract number Abstract Consult Rules of Conference Size Max (board size) vs Size Requirement Abstract number Abstract in or out Contact Information Section headings Font size Possible “sentence case” in titles http: //www. abrcms. org/page 05 d. html

Create a Storyboard Rough paper or mental sketch of your poster Select/design figures/tables ◦ Create a Storyboard Rough paper or mental sketch of your poster Select/design figures/tables ◦ Results and possibly Intro or Methods Estimate space that will be needed Select number of columns ◦ Average 4 (range 3 -5) 36”x 54” good for 4 column 36”x 48” good for 3 column >42” tall is quite big Choose headings desired ◦ Abstract, Introduction, Results, etc Use bulleted or numbered lists

Should be Visually Appealing Understand reader “gravity” Have an obvious flow ◦ Headings ◦ Should be Visually Appealing Understand reader “gravity” Have an obvious flow ◦ Headings ◦ Numbers Use white space to organize Neutral backgrounds

Visually Appealing II Carry information with colorful images and figures Balance your text and Visually Appealing II Carry information with colorful images and figures Balance your text and images Use very large font for title (1 -2” high) Use at least 20 pt text for body text ◦ ◦ Read 4 -8 feet away Figure lettering must also be large enough! Can make abstract, references, acknowledgements smaller Don’t vary “Intro and Results” font size or type Don’t use “all caps” Format text to prevent sub- or superscripts from altering spacing

Primarily Image Driven Must be “stand alone” Visitor will NOT read poster if you Primarily Image Driven Must be “stand alone” Visitor will NOT read poster if you are there You will “walk” visitor through poster Poster provides visual aids as you talk Can create Methods flow chart Results as figures (tables if necessary) ◦ You point at and describe your results

Poster Content Poster Content

Simply and Tightly Written Minimize writing and maximize visuals ◦ But…must stand alone Avoid Simply and Tightly Written Minimize writing and maximize visuals ◦ But…must stand alone Avoid long sentences and paragraphs Can use figure legends/captions as text Assess every sentence and word Put related text and images near one another *** Your Mentor is Always Right ***

Title Length and text style determined by conference Optimally, identical to “paper” title: ◦ Title Length and text style determined by conference Optimally, identical to “paper” title: ◦ Very brief summary of research Omits “A study of, ” “Investigations of, ” etc Put species studied Put limiting information Avoid “cute” or abbreviations ◦ May or may not give results Topic – Effects of phenobarbital on learning in the…. Conclusive – Phenobarbatal diminishes learning in the… Helps people to choose which posters to view Ex: Effect of Owner Education Level on Number of Cats per Household Ex: FGF-2 Induces Regeneration of the Chick Limb Bud

Names and Affiliations Names Department, University, Centers, etc Address of Univ. (option) Email Address Names and Affiliations Names Department, University, Centers, etc Address of Univ. (option) Email Address (may be required) Phone number (may be required) Logos for Universities, Depts, Centers

Abstract May not be required Placed in upper left of poster body Preferably turned Abstract May not be required Placed in upper left of poster body Preferably turned in for abstract book Provide redundant information on poster Approx. 300 words, 2500 characters Content: Mini paper ◦ Use conf. requirements ◦ Concise as possible ◦ Intro with Purpose (2 -3 sentences if possible) ◦ Hypothesis (req for student conferences; one sent) ◦ Methods (2 -3 sent) - general ◦ Results (2 -3 sent) Important data Significance, mean values, n, SD ◦ Discussion/Conclusions (2 -3 sent) ◦ Acknowledgement (Funding source; 1 sent)

Creating the Abstract Short but time-consuming Very information-dense, but simply formatted Write “long” and Creating the Abstract Short but time-consuming Very information-dense, but simply formatted Write “long” and pare down if needed Analyze one sentence at a time ◦ Each sentence has purpose ◦ Each sentence logically follows another Use plain English wherever you can Use active voice when you can State only your most important conclusion(s) There is not good writing, only good rewriting

Introduction Needed even if Abstract is present Or Background Get viewers interested! Reason you Introduction Needed even if Abstract is present Or Background Get viewers interested! Reason you chose to study ◦ Foundation for your work ◦ General topics to specific Make as brief as possible Equiv. to 1 double spaced 12 pt page Usually contain citations/references (cite!) Include hypothesis Generally completes first column

Purpose (optional) Or…Objective, Aim, Goal Why are you doing? May include a hypothesis here Purpose (optional) Or…Objective, Aim, Goal Why are you doing? May include a hypothesis here or in Introduction

Materials/Methods Text with subheadings Can include a flow chart to summarize May include citations Materials/Methods Text with subheadings Can include a flow chart to summarize May include citations Make sure to include: ◦ ◦ subjects experimental design drugs and equipment used statistical methods

Results Largest section Often two middle columns Experiments- what you found Don’t present raw Results Largest section Often two middle columns Experiments- what you found Don’t present raw data Make Image-based; use few words Maximize use of Figures ◦ ◦ ◦ Make them simple Must be easily seen Make all lines wide enough All text large enough! Consistent across poster

Results Cont: Minimize use of tables ◦ Difficult to grasp quickly Can use figure Results Cont: Minimize use of tables ◦ Difficult to grasp quickly Can use figure legends/captions as text 1 -2 paragraphs for each image

Conclusions Or discussion or summary Summarize “take home” findings How did hypothesis work out? Conclusions Or discussion or summary Summarize “take home” findings How did hypothesis work out? Tie back to real world problem Why Important Very few words Bullets good Bigger font if needed

References If cited, must include reference Generally “short” (title optional) Can make smaller if References If cited, must include reference Generally “short” (title optional) Can make smaller if needed

Acknowledgements Should be included Thank people ◦ Mentor ◦ Labmates ◦ Technical assistance, etc. Acknowledgements Should be included Thank people ◦ Mentor ◦ Labmates ◦ Technical assistance, etc. Reveal possible conflicts of interest Identify funding utilized while doing – Mc. Nair Scholars, RISE, etc. Can be smaller than rest of text

Creating the Poster Creating the Poster

Software Actual layout: ◦ ◦ ◦ Powerpoint (one big slide) Pagemaker Canvas Illustrator Quark Software Actual layout: ◦ ◦ ◦ Powerpoint (one big slide) Pagemaker Canvas Illustrator Quark Ask print shop about requirements ◦ Print directly or convert to pdf Images (compatible with printer driver!) ◦ Photoshop ◦ MS Photo editor Tables/Graphs ◦ Directly from Office (Excel or Word)

Power. Point Has 56” maximum dimension Create at full size (or nearly so) to Power. Point Has 56” maximum dimension Create at full size (or nearly so) to prevent pixelation Set page size to desired size

Poster Templates… Sample posters can be seen online ◦ google search A “template” can Poster Templates… Sample posters can be seen online ◦ google search A “template” can be found at: ◦ http: //www. utsa. edu/mbrs/resources. htm

Pictures Use standard formats ◦. jpg, . gif, . tif, . bmp Watch resolution Pictures Use standard formats ◦. jpg, . gif, . tif, . bmp Watch resolution of photos ◦ 72 dpi vs 300 72 dpi will look pixelated on a poster 230 dpi prints like a photo Insert high dpi photos Make them relatively large Stretch to correct size

Capturing Images off of the Web Problems- resolution (72 dots per inch) Okay for Capturing Images off of the Web Problems- resolution (72 dots per inch) Okay for slides Problem on print/poster ◦ Find high DPI (230+ DPI or huge) images ◦ In browser ◦ ◦ Rt click on image Save image/picture as: Note image name Note location where saved Insert as described before

Capturing Screen Shots Get what you want on screen Make it as large as Capturing Screen Shots Get what you want on screen Make it as large as possible Press the Prt. Scn button (top right keyboard) Open Start/Programs/Accessories/Paint Select Edit/Paste (yes to enlarge bitmap – the whole screen appears) Use the selection cursor (shown right) to choose the desired area Edit/copy Click where you want image pasted, and paste.

Good Ways to Insert… Use Insert (shown) Picture (or whatever) Good Ways to Insert… Use Insert (shown) Picture (or whatever)

Enlarging Images/Tables/Figures To enlarge proportionally: ◦ Click on image ◦ Put cursor on corner Enlarging Images/Tables/Figures To enlarge proportionally: ◦ Click on image ◦ Put cursor on corner ◦ Left click and slide diagonally

Additional Info Insert individual text boxes ◦ Text ◦ Labeling Right click on objects Additional Info Insert individual text boxes ◦ Text ◦ Labeling Right click on objects for sizing and formatting Turn green dots for rotation Drawing tools can order objects Drawing tools can align objects ◦ Great for sizing and location on poster!

Presenting the Poster Presenting the Poster

Plan – Flow I Opening sentences ◦ Name, school, degree seeking, laboratory mentor ◦ Plan – Flow I Opening sentences ◦ Name, school, degree seeking, laboratory mentor ◦ What circumstances for research? Flow to introduction ◦ Don’t refer to text, do refer to images ◦ Why important? ◦ Hypothesis

Plan – Flow II Move to Methods ◦ Briefly summarize ◦ Point at figures Plan – Flow II Move to Methods ◦ Briefly summarize ◦ Point at figures Move to Results ◦ Longest section ◦ Indicate at beginning if did not work ◦ Walk thru all figures Transition to Conclusions Say Conclusions Acknowledgements (optional) Any Questions?

Plan – Transitions MAKE SURE TO PRACTICE! Develop 5 -10 minute presentation Know first Plan – Transitions MAKE SURE TO PRACTICE! Develop 5 -10 minute presentation Know first sentence What to say for each figure Transitions between figures What to point at for each figure

Practice Finish early enough to practice Practice with labmates and laymen Stand to one Practice Finish early enough to practice Practice with labmates and laymen Stand to one side and point Run through ENTIRE poster Memorize key points! Pause long enough for them look at figure Know where you are going with each figure! Know what questions may be asked…. ◦ Can practice them

Transporting Poster Buy tube for rolling Do not be separated from it ◦ Plane Transporting Poster Buy tube for rolling Do not be separated from it ◦ Plane ◦ Hotel ◦ Carry it yourself Have it also in electronic format Do not leave it at home or in car trunk

Supplemental Materials Mini-poster printed out Poster repair kit Pins Business cards Water Notebook Supplemental Materials Mini-poster printed out Poster repair kit Pins Business cards Water Notebook

Now…on to the real presentation! Dress for situation ◦ Conference – suit…or minimally khaki's Now…on to the real presentation! Dress for situation ◦ Conference – suit…or minimally khaki's ◦ Comfortable shoes Be there on time! Have Business Cards Have mini-posters Have friend there to help Water bottle Don’t leave unless it is very important to do so (if so, leave a friend there momentarily)

First Contact Stand to side of poster Take initiative Smile, but stay near poster First Contact Stand to side of poster Take initiative Smile, but stay near poster If they come closer (~3 -4 feet) Say, “Hello” and shake hands Give name Ask them, “Would you like me to walk you through my poster, ” or similar Give title Mention mentor’s lab and context of research. (Optional) Ask if they are familiar with this field of research ◦ No- More introduction, careful with acronyms ◦ Yes- Can go more quickly through intro Then…Move into Introduction…

Walking them through it Proceed as planned, above Be friendly Don’t sound like you’ve Walking them through it Proceed as planned, above Be friendly Don’t sound like you’ve memorized Be excited about your work Remember to refer to your poster! They may interrupt with questions Give extra information only if they ask

Extras Networking – write down ideas and names! Don’t be discouraged if only a Extras Networking – write down ideas and names! Don’t be discouraged if only a few come!

Coming Home Again Keep promises that you’ve made Drop emails to folks whom you’ve Coming Home Again Keep promises that you’ve made Drop emails to folks whom you’ve met Hang poster outside of lab