Option A: Poster Session

What is a poster session?

Poster Session at Old Brick

A poster session is a common way that academics and other professionals disseminate their work to the public. It should be viewed as a form of publication.

Many conferences have poster sessions, with posters representing an early way for researchers to get feedback about their work in progress. The poster session is scheduled for a set amount of time (usually two to three hours).

Presenters prepare their posters so that they can be displayed on an easel or some other eye-level medium. Presenters may choose to set up a computer to display work. They then stand by or near their poster so that those attending the session can circulate and discuss the poster's contents with them.

The poster itself is intended to present the project in a quick, accessible way that will facilitate discussion. A major aspect of the presentation involves the discussion of the project with attendees, and much of this discussion involves questions from attendees addressed to the presenters about the work behind the poster.


Students must have completed 30 semester hours of coursework and all core courses by the end of the semester in which they present their posters.

The Poster Process

The deadline for this declaration will be announced via the SLIS list. To present a poster, the student must have met the following requirements:

Spring 2010 Poster Session

  • The student should consult with appropriate faculty members to define a poster subject. The poster should be derived from a course project. It is expected that revision of the project in preparation for the poster session will occur, and it is expected that the poster will reflect the best work the student is capable of producing at the end of the MA degree.
  • Approximately four weeks before the poster session, a 250 word abstract of the poster should be submitted to the school office. Students should work with their advisors or with appropriate faculty members in preparation of the abstract.

The Poster Session

Poster Session Collage Photo

The department will schedule a day and time for the poster session. There will be a closed session with faculty lasting one hour. At that session, each student will have two minutes to introduce his or her poster. Time will be strictly enforced.

Following the closed session, there will be a two-hour session, which will be open to the public and will be advertised to the academic community, the general public, and the library community outside the university. Students may invite friends and family as desired, but students should remain accessible to questions at all times during the two hours. Students currently in the program are encouraged to attend. All members of the SLIS Graduate Faculty will attend the session.

Poster Construction

The department will provide easels, boards, and push pins for students to use in displaying their work. Poster size will be 36 inches by 48 inches. Students will be responsible for printing of their posters. The department will pick up half of the expense (for non-lamination), however, posters must then be printed using UI Printing Services, see: Color Poster Printing. The remaining cost will be billed to your U-bill.

Criteria for Evaluation of Posters

  1. A Central Question

    Is there a clear goal to the poster, a central question to be addressed? Is the question important? Does the student demonstrate (both through the poster and the answering of questions) a mastery over the question and its implications.

  2. Visual Criteria

    Is the poster professional? Is it visually appealing? Is it legible from viewing distance of 3-5 feet? Is the visual display organized in a way to make the content clear?

  3. Oral defense of the poster

    Perhaps more important than the poster itself is the student's ability to talk about the work behind it. The poster should be understood as a way of starting a discussion. The ability to explain what's at stake in the project is as important as the poster itself.

  4. Results

    The entire faculty judges the posters. Within a week of the session, students will receive a letter from the school providing the faculty's assessment of the student's poster. Posters can be judged as either not passing, passing, or passing with distinction.

For further information about creating abstracts and poster sessions, please see the following:

For information on how to get IRB approval for research: