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Scientific writing: Posters

What is a Scientific Poster?

A scientific poster summarizes information or research concisely and attractively to help publicize and generate discussion. A poster should consist of brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats.

Your Poster Layout



A good title should inform the reader about what is contained within the poster. The title should be clear and concise while also avoiding bias or provoke human emotion. 

Your Name, Contact Information, Institution, & Affiliations

You should include all the names and contact information of all the authors. If there are multiple authors, they should go in the order of prominence. The institution and  affiliations are important because it tells readers where the research was done. 


The abstract is a basic summary of the entire poster. Each of the following sections should have 2-4 sentences that that talk about them: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion


The introduction tells the reader why the research is important and provides background information about the issue or topic that is being studied. The goals and objects of the research should be included in the introduction.


What are you going to be studying?

Materials & Methods

The Materials & Methods section tells the reader how the research was conducted. This section provides detailed information about the techniques, methods, instruments, and equipment used in the research. 


The results contain data collected by the researcher. Data can include measurements, descriptions and/or observations.

Different ways scientific data can be displayed as visuals:

  • graphs
  • equations
  • tables
  • figures
  • diagrams
  • maps
  • charts
  • photographs


The Discussion section provides an interpretation of data, especially in context to previously published research.


This section provides the viewer with detailed information about about all the source's authors. Citations/References bring recognition to the scientists who conducted the research and/or the journal article where the research was originally published


Acknowledgements can include the name of scientists who contributed to the research but not provide substantial contribution that would justify authorship, funding sources, and the names of research centers, institutions, and organizations where research was conducted.


Watch this video to find out what design choices you should make for your poster


Tools & Resources


PowerPoint is the easiest software to use when you are creating a poster. 

If you want a more in depth information on how to create a poster on PowerPoint, UIC's School of Public Health has a poster guide with more information.

Public Domain Photos

Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.

An extensive library of free stock photos, images, and audio, available for free use.

Open-i enables search and retrieval of abstracts and images (including charts, graphs, clinical images, etc.) from the open source literature and biomedical image collections.

Pixabay's content comes from a community of creatives, sharing royalty-free HD photos and stock images. All contents are released under the Pixabay license, which makes them safe to use without attribution.

UIC PhotoShelter has provides a gallery multiple versions of the UIC logo which includes specific colleges as well.

Sources that have Scientific Poster Examples

This poster session group holds a gallery of photos taken from research conventions

This gallery includes examples of research posters as well as commentary that explains whether a poster is appealing or not



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Poster Printing Services 

The library does not offer poster printing services. Please go to UIC's Creative and Digital Services or a commercial printer to print your poster.



Content (Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial)