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I am preparing my first research poster for a conference at my school that allows for participants to present on unfinished work. I would be interested to know from more experienced researchers what they would want to see in terms of content if they were to view a poster that does not have any results yet. I have also included below a couple of headings that I feel could be included in the design of the poster with a brief description of what I think they ought to contain. The ones that are surrounded by ?? indicate subject headings I am not confident should be worth including, but the first three seem somewhat standard.

To offer some context, I have a model but just have not been able to get preliminary results because we were waiting on data for a long time through a data sharing agreement.

  1. Summary --- One or two bullets that can justify the project and is easily digestable
  2. Introduction --- Offers some background and motivation to the research and ends in the research question trying to be answered
  3. Data and Methods --- Points to the data used in the research project and methods used to answer the research question
  4. ?Expected Results? --- Because I don't have any actual results, I am thinking that I could supplement those with what answers I might expect to find.
  5. ?Implications? --- Because I don't have any results, I can't really draw any conclusions. However, I think that answering my research question will have broader implications
  • Do you at least have preliminary data? – Bryan Krause Mar 4 at 18:38
  • Yup! I have all the data that is required now for the model to run, it's just that I won't have time to get preliminary results for the conference. – GrayLiterature Mar 4 at 18:54
  • It is unclear what you are asking because the answer seems to be in the question. Your supervisor should help you with your poster design. – Anonymous Physicist Apr 9 at 5:05
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Rather than 4, you should say something about your hypotheses. You don't have "expected" results. You only have hypotheses and results. The results may support your hypotheses or not.

And rather than 5 you should say something about the potential significance of the study. Why is it worth asking the question and posing the hypotheses?

These two items should be #1 and #2, actually. Your #4 and #5 can only be discussed properly after you know more.


In a poster session for incomplete work, the attitude should be "What do we hope to learn (not show), and how do we go about testing it?"

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  • I think those are very constructive comments. Just to clarify though, are you saying that your version of #4 and #5 should be moved to positions 1 and 2 from that original list I posted? – GrayLiterature Mar 4 at 22:55
  • Well, I wouldn't call them versions of 4 and 5, but replacements and yes, before your original first points. – Buffy Mar 4 at 23:05

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