Spring 2011 Poster Session: the 411

Spring 2011 Poster Session: the 411

In light of the abstract deadline (Friday, February 25) for those presenting in the Spring 2011 poster session, SLIS professors André Brock, Haowei Hsieh and Patricia Katopol hosted a Question and Answer session for students. For those who could not attend, general information is listed below:

General Poster Information:

  • The poster session will be held Friday, April 15 in the Atrium Dining Room on the 7th floor of the Roy Carver Pavilion of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
    Closed sessions are from 10:30 to 12 and from 1 to 2:30.
    The open session will follow these and family and friends are invited to attend.
  • In the closed session, presenters will have two minutes to speak about their research. The time limit is strict. Faculty will then roam to individual posters in groups of 2-3 to ask follow-up questions.
  • The evaluation criteria include: Visual look, presentation, understanding of research and how questions are answered.
  • Presenters can have notecards, but you are expected to practice beforehand and not just read them.
  • Once abstracts are turned in to the SLIS office on February 25, faculty have until March 11 to review them. No news is good news. Presenters will have the option to re-do the abstract if there is a problem.

Tips on abstract writing:

  • See resources posted at: http://www.slis.uiowa.edu/content/completion-degree-options
  • Include a research finding, what you did to get to your finding and what you will do with your finding or what it means to a wider audience.
  • Show that you have done a systematic inquiry and that you understand your method and why you’re doing it.

Tips for presentation:

  • Practice so you remain within the time limit.
  • The burden of presenting rests on you, not the poster.
  • You can assume a basic understanding of the field and use technical language when presenting.
  • This should be more detailed than your abstract.
  • If you would like to practice a presentation, submit an additional copy of your abstracts to bsides@uiowa.edu. BSides is hosting a practice poster session at the March 25 Conference at the Iowa City Public Library.

Tips for Poster Design:

  • Include secondary resources on your poster if you have extra space, you may have a handout with these if desired.
  • Think about how long people will want to stand and look at your poster. Do not make them read a lot.
  • Do not put everything you know on your poster. You will be standing next to it to talk to visitors.
  • You should be able to read the poster at a distance of 3-6 feet.
  • Remember you will need to draw in viewers in a crowded space.
  • Font sizes should be at least 32 point. Subject headings should be 48.
  • Fonts and design should be professional and easy to read. Resist the desire to be too whimsical.
  • Consider how well your text will show up on backgrounds.
  • The poster title should match your abstract.
  • Make sure to include your name, institution, and the name of your funder (if applicable).

Questions to expect from faculty:

  • Why did you do this? Why was this important?
  • What are the drawbacks to your method?
  • If you had to do it differently, what would you do?
  • Are findings applicable to other contexts or disciplines?
  • What problems did you have?
  • Specific questions about well-known authors/research in a given field may be asked. You are not, however, expected to know everything.