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Academic Posters


Although oral presentations are considered the prime means of communication and dissemination of research findings, academic posters reman an effective tool for communicating successful QI and research outcomes to colleagues at internal and external conferences. A well-designed poster can effectively convey key findings to large audiences and offer presenters the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue on their topic of research (Redulla 2021). 

It is important to review conference requirements before creating an academic poster. Conference organizers provide poster specifications that must be adhered to. Poster size, orientation, font, and text size may be pre-determined by conference organizers. Use the following guidelines when creating an academic poster where poster design is not pre-determined.

Traditional posters

  • Size: Typical poster sizes for US conferences are either 36x48 or 48x96 inches.
  • Color: Yale New Haven Health Bridgeport Hospital requires staff and students to use a poster template that reflects proper company branding. Contact the Medical Library staff to learn more. 
  • Orientation: Posters are typically designed for landscape orientation.
  • Title: The title should be in large font to catch viewers’ attention. (The title should convey the purpose or results of the project without requiring explanation.)
  • Headings: Headings should include background and problem, purpose, methods, conclusions, suggestions for future practice, or results.
  • Font Size (Redulla 2021):
    • Title 72pt
    • Authors 48pt
    • Affiliations 36pt
    • Subheadings 48pt
    • Text 30pt
    • Graph text 28pt
    • References 20pt 
  • Photos and Graphics: Only use high resolution photos and graphics. Visuals should only be used if they add meaning to the content of the poster.
  • Tables and Graphs: Highlight key results and takeaways of your project with bullet points. Use bar graphs to show data trends or pie charts to show composition (Redulla 2021).
  • Conclusions or Results: List project or research results and outcomes in a concise manner. It is best to use bullet points for this purpose.
  • References: Academic posters usually contain no less than 5 references which should be placed below the conclusion. A QR Code directing views to references may be used in place of a traditional bibliography.  

Printing your poster

  • Email your poster in one of the two approved formats to any member of the library staff for printing. 
  • Posters are printed on the same business day excluding evenings, weekends, and holidays. 

Electronic and virtual posters

It is not uncommon for electronic poster presentations to be held alongside traditional presentations at large conferences. Electronic posters offer both novice and experienced researchers the opportunity to refine oral presentation skills and engage in meaningful dialogue with an audience.  Barker and Phillips (2023) summarized three formats commonly used by conference organizers for online poster sessions: online gallery, asynchronous, and synchronous.  

  • Online gallery: Posters are hosted online and sometimes displayed as part of traditional poster sessions.  Online galleries may be supplemented with an online discussion by the presenters.
  • Asynchronous:  This involves recording a video presentation of about 5 minutes in length explaining the poster.  Presentations are made available to attendees on the conference website.
  • Synchronous: A short slide deck is presented live with the opportunity for questions. Slides may include links to media and outside resources that enhance the presentation and support findings.

Best practice for the creation of electronic posters is to adhere to the standards set by conference organizers and to avoid creating overly complicated slides.  Follow these general guidelines for e-posters and virtual presentations.  

  • Slide Size: Use a properly branded YNNNS PowerPoint presentation set to 16:9 ratio.
  • Text: Keep text and legends brief.
  • Photos and Graphics: Charts, drawings, and images should be as simple as possible.
  • Recommended presentation layout:
    • Slide 1: Title, poster number, authors’, and affiliations.
    • Slide 2: Introduction
    • Slide 3: Methods
    • Slide 4: Results
    • Slide 5: Discussion
    • Slide 6: Conclusions
    • Slide 7: Bibliography 

All poster printing services are subject to copyright law of the United States. Title 17 (U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies and other reproductions of copyright materials. The person using the equipment is liable for any infringement.


Barker E, Phillips V. Creating conference posters: Structure, form and content. J Perioper Pract. 2021 Jul-Aug;31(7-8):296-299. doi:10.1177/1750458921996254. PMID: 34219553; PMCID: PMC8258719.
McEvoy NL, Tume LN. Creating a conference poster: Out with the old and in with the new, moving from the traditional to the improved modern poster format. Nurs Crit Care. 2022 Sep;27(5):619-622. doi: 10.1111/nicc.12822. PMID: 36017789.
Redulla R. Creating a compelling poster: use poster presentations to spread the word about yourself and your study or project. American Nurse Journal. 2021 Jun;16(6):14-1.