25 May 2010

The F1000 poster bank

The Faculty of 1000 is the latest entity to set up a poster archive. It’s announced on this blog post; you can find the archive itself here.

Although the archive is up and running, pickings may be a bit slim for a while. The massive Neuroscience meeting, which I know well, has just tens of posters. And it’s not at all clear how one will be able to browse through this archive.

I’ll be submitting a poster from the 2009 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting; I’ll let you know how the submission process goes.

This is the third conference poster archive I know of; Nature Precedings and ePosters are the others. It’ll be interesting to see which, if any, thrive. If there are more, please email me!

Still, none offer what I think is badly needed: a “best of the best” gallery where posters are chosen for primarily for graphic and design excellence, not so much for the cleverness of the science.

Related posts

What to do with the poster?


rpg said...


Thanks for blogging this. I'd like to address a couple of your concerns.

First, yes there isn't much coverage. That's because it's still a pilot and we only approached a subset of presenters (the service isn't even running on our production server yet...)

Related, the site is still under construction--we're building better viewing tools for the posters, full search capabilities, comment and discussion features, and a simple submission tool.

And, naturally (being F1000), there's evaluations, although not a beauty contest I'm afraid (/me idly wonders if one of my own prettier ones might make you happy...)

Good look with your own submission! Let me know how it goes?

Jennifer said...

Hi - I love your blog, I've been reading through it before putting together my next poster. Its exciting to see other science-minded folk interested in design!

While I don't love logos on posters (especially the horribly distorted one with visible, out of place white backgrounds), most PIs I've worked for will insist you put the school logo prominently on the poster. My graduate program even requires that all of the students it funds have its logo on every poster printed/presented by its students. I personally would think a poster was far less legitimate if it didn't have some kind of University affiliation displayed (maybe this is snobbish of me, but I don't think you can completely ignore conventions). Additionally, a lot of conferences require that presenters display their abstract number (one of the common things I've seen you criticize).

I agree with you about the hate of Powerpoint for slide design - but every time I've tried to use Publisher, someone gets angry - either the printer (even if its in pdf) or my PI (since its different and they don't understand it). So, I make my posters in Powerpoint because everyone else in my lab does - even though there's a better option (kind of - we're a Mac-heavy lab, and there still isn't a Publisher for Mac. Pages is great, but not PC-compatible).

And I think its worth emphasizing that you can have the best-designed poster in the history of science, but if your science isn't solid and exciting, no one cares. It could even backfire - as soon as people start equating paying attention to design with ignoring the science, we're doomed. A well thought out poster design is like icing on the cake - it can't make up for bad cake, but it can make good cake better.