Reader Comments

Post a new comment on this article

Make it a standalone poster

Posted by PLOS_CompBiol on 21 Feb 2008 at 12:43 GMT

Originally posted as a reader Response on 4th June, 2007

I wish to emphasize a particular aim of posters referred to in the introduction: "Posters should be considered a snapshot of your work intended (...), if you are not present, to be a summary that will encourage the reader to want to learn more".

Especially at large conferences, when your poster is up for an extended period of time,a significant number of attendees screen posters before or after the official time allocated to poster presentations, in order to avoid the big crowd. Then they may come back briefly directly to your poster to ask you specific questions, or talk to you at some other time.

Hence, it should always be kept in mind that the poster should be understandable as a standalone (also because as a presenter you might get late to the session or have to leave for bathroom breaks, to get a drink, etc.). Carefully following Rules 2–3 and 5–7 is therefore critical. Limiting text and favoring visual representations are the key. Too much people still do what seems to be a cut and paste of all the text from their future manuscript onto their poster. This is far from satisfying these rules and misses the point of a poster presentation.

You want these "early birds" to come back!

Submitted by: Quentin Vicens
Occupation: PhD
Howard Hughes Medical Institute