SURF Workshop Resources: Designing Scientific Research Posters
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Scientific Posters: A Brief Introduction
A scientific poster presents a research project in a format that is more concise and more visually appealing than a full report. It is often prepared as a poster presentation at a conference, where a presenter stands beside the poster and discusses his or her research with attendees in a room with many other posters and presenters. However, a poster is sometimes displayed for attendees to look at without the researcher present.
The abstract can be a helpful template for planning a poster’s content: an introduction to the study and its purpose, methods, results, and conclusions. Also like an abstract, a poster should not contain excessive detail or substantial passages from a manuscript. Its purpose is to communicate the key points of a study in a way that is accessible and interesting to a range of attendees who may not be experts on the topic. A crucial difference between a poster and an abstract, then, is that a poster incorporates data visualization and visual design elements to generate interest and communicate information effectively.
The PowerPoint connected to this resource serves as a very brief introduction to designing effective scientific posters. Users of this resource may also be interested in the OWL’s pages on report abstracts and visual rhetoric.