Typically, for PhD students who are in their third or fourth year, is it worth pursuing poster submissions at relevant conferences?

Obviously this is a somewhat subjective quantity, but is it generally considered appropriate for researchers who are not new to their field to pursue such publications, and do they realistically have standing, relative to, let's say, short papers?

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    What field are we talking about?
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 1, 2017 at 14:41
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    It's a bit hard to parse your question, but posters are useful to everyone, both presenters and attendees. In my field, even the most acknowledged scholars present posters.
    – Sverre
    May 1, 2017 at 14:42
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    In my subfield of CS I have even talked with people who are in favor of abolishing oral presentations in conferences altogether (except for plenary talks) and do only poster sessions. I'm not that radical, but there is no doubt that a poster is a totally fine way to present a paper, often better than oral dependin on paper type. May 1, 2017 at 14:54
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    @DavidRicherby: In HCI-related subfields of CS, some conferences include posters (that is, the "poster papers" (often very short papers)) in the proceedings, or in some kind of additional, secondary proceedings (e.g. along with workshop proceedings). Such posters are then indeed counted as publications. Certainly, publications that are not as significant as a full or even a short paper, and (depending on the venue and content) also rather less than a workshop paper, but still, a type of a small publication. ... May 1, 2017 at 19:54
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    ... Two concrete examples: CHI says: "At the Conference: Accepted submissions will be presented as a poster during the conference. (...) After the Conference: Extended Abstracts proceedings available in the ACM Digital Library"; AVI says: "Poster submissions must be up to 2 pages (not anonymized). Accepted poster papers will be included in the Proceedings published by ACM Press and will be available in the ACM Digital Library." May 1, 2017 at 20:00

2 Answers 2


I'm in the social and health sciences and do not know what field you are in, so this may be discipline specific. However, it is appropriate for advanced PhD students to give poster presentations. As a PhD student, you are considered a junior scholar (as you would also be considered as an pre-tenured assistant professor) and poster sessions are appropriate at this stage of your career. However, if publishing papers is more desirable than presentations in your field, it is advised that you spend more time working on getting your papers in print than presenting them at conferences. I know of academics who did not receive tenure, because they presented papers at a ton of conferences, but never submitted the papers for publication. Posters have great purposes, but may be less likely to turn into a paper.

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    @Stumbler You shouldn't accept the very first answer only minutes after it's given. This will make other users more reluctant to post their answers, and you can't know yet if later answers won't surpass the current accepted answer in quality/usefulness.
    – Sverre
    May 1, 2017 at 15:18
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    @Sverre from my experience with stack exchange forums I was expecting a degree of hostility to a question which was so broad, so I sought to make it inconspicuous as quickly as possible.
    – Stumbler
    May 1, 2017 at 19:55
  • I thought it was a good answer, though I might be biased. LOL May 1, 2017 at 21:05
  • @NicoleRuggiano that too!
    – Stumbler
    May 1, 2017 at 21:41

Poster presentation are useful for all scholars: PhD's, postdocs and even professors. I think it's worth to be explicit as to why we do the things the way we do in academia - rarely you can find a colleague or supervisor explaining the reasons behind academia quirky mechanisms. Posters, Conference presentations, journal publications are all means of disseminating your academic work. Posters typically pass very quick scrutiny and reach typically a dozen people or so, conference presentations a bit more scrutiny and reach up to hundreds of people - especially if they get published proceedings - and journal publications have to pass the full peer-review process and have the potential to reach thousands of people. That is why posters are "worth" less than conference presentation, that in turn are "worth" less than journal publications. That being said, a poster can be a way to disseminate results of an already published paper, so the boundaries are subtle. All in all, a poster is an excellent way to discuss with other specialists your either preliminary or already concluded piece of work.

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