Making Research Posters

November 14, 2009

This year we had the opportunity to re-think how the ALISE Doctoral Poster Competition will be setup in Boston.  In previous years, the competition used easels that limited the poster size to only 20″ x 30.”  When I attended last year this meant that I was left with a giant piece of foam core that I couldn’t take on the plane with me — and into the trash it went.  (and maybe it’s the archivist inside me, but I do like saving the posters I give even if I’m not using them again!)

This year we worked with the ALISE conference staff and Works In Progress poster competition to arrange for large cork-board walls for the posters.  This means that you won’t have to mount your poster on a piece of foam core (+1 for the environment).   It also means that we could allow posters up to 42″ x 36″ which is a standard size of “scientific” posters.  We’ve had a few questions about the change, so I thought I’d post some helpful links about how to make a larger sized poster for this year’s competition.

ALISE DocSIG Discount at

We’re happy to announce that we’re working with, a Boston area company that prints posters, to offer a DocSIG discount on their already competitive rates for poster production.  If you had a poster accepted to the Competition, watch your inbox for an e-mail with more details.


If you haven’t made a poster like this before, one place to start is your university’s writing center.  They often have helpful suggestions, and may include links to templates that already feature your university’s logos and graphics.  Here are a few links to some that I’ve found useful:


  • PowerPoint
    This is one of the easiest ways, since many people are already familiar with using it.  There are also lots of poster template available.   See  How-to Prepare Your Poster from the folks at PhDPosters.   You might also be able to get a template from your university or local faculty.  Jerry Overmyer at the University of Northern Colorado has created this nice step-by-step tutorial on using their PowerPoint template.
  • Illustrator/Inkscape
    If you’d like a little more control over the layout of your poster,  you can also user graphic design tools such as Adobe Illustrator.   If you’re a student on a budget and you can’t get access to it, Inkscape is a free, open-source editor.  The nice thing about these tools, is that you can also use Creative Commons licensed clip art from the Open Clipart site.
  • Photoshop/GIMP
    You can also use a image editing software like Photoshop or GIMP to make your poster.

Like most things in our interdisciplinary world, there are LOTS of ways to do this.  Have a few of your own?  Share them in the comments!

Don’t forget:  Revised Abstracts & Posters are due to Lauren by NOVEMBER 30, 2009.

Thanks to everyone who contributed submissions to the ALISE 2010 Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Research Poster Competition.   Below is the preliminary program for the competition, which will be held on on Wednesday, January 13, 2010.

Students are reminded to submit revised abstracts and completed posters to Lauren Mandel no later than November 30, 2009.

  • An e-Collaboration Tool for Selection and Use of e-Resources in Information Literacy Development: A Case Study
    Rana Abuzaid
  • Intention to Buy/Sell Online: A Model Depicting the Role of Individual, Technological, and Informational Factors along with the Moderating Function of Cultural Traits
    Waseem Afzal
  • An Examination of International Scientific Collaboration in a Developing Country (Turkey) in the post Internet Era
    Selenay Aytac
  • Chat reference and location-based questions: A multi-method evaluation of a statewide chat reference consortium
    Bradley Wade Bishop
  • Visualizing Library Statistics: Using Graphical Techniques to Analyze and Present Library Performance Measures
    Michael R. Brundin
  • Verifying the Efficacy and Benefit of Collaborative Indexing of the Web
    Yunseon Choi
  • Negotiating the social organization of school library work
    Jennifer Crispin
  • Leisure Reading And Its Role In The Lives Of Russian-Speaking Immigrants In Toronto
    Keren Dali
  • Discursive Impressions: A Study in the Use of a Discourse Oriented Approach for Organizing Materials in an Online Forum on Erectile Dysfunction
    Adrian Heok
  • Multi-modal Music Mood Classification
    Xiao Hu
  • Perception of Quality in Genome Annotation Work
    Hong Huang
  • Characterizing and Evaluating Social Catalogers Information Seeking Behavior
    Tingting Jiang
  • Strong Ties vs. Weak Ties: Studying the Clustering Paradox for Decentralized Information Retrieval
    Weimao Ke
  • Conceptions and practice of information literacy: Espoused theories and theories-in-use
    Paulette Kerr
  • Overcoming Language, Culture and Information Barriers: Information Seeking and Use by English Language Learners
    Sung Un Kim
  • The meanings of (synthetic) life: A study of science information as discourse
    Inna Kouper
  • Personalizing Information Retrieval Using Task Stage, Task Type, and Topic Knowledge
    Jingjing Liu
  • Emotional Aspects of the Online Information Retrieval Process
    Irene Lopatovska
  • Invisible Scarlet ONeil and the Whitman Authorized Editions for Girls: Representations of American Femininity during World War II
    Anna L. Nielsen
  • Answerers Motivations and Strategies to Provide Information and Support in Social Q&A: An Investigation of Health Question Answering
    Sanghee Oh
  • Constructing Authoritative Knowledge: Treatments for Depression
    Tami Oliphant
  • Use of Web Analytics to Understand Library Users Online Behavior
    Anindita Paul
  • Evaluating Classificatory Change: Position and Inclusion
    David M. Pimentel
  • The Role of Cell Phones in Shaping Information Behavior of Disadvantaged Women from Rural India
    Devendra Dilip Potnis
  • Information Literacy as a Student Learning Outcome
    Laura Saunders
  • Integrating Ethics into LIS Teaching: The Journey
    Bernie Todd Smith
  • Self-Perceptions of Leadership Potential: A Study of Teacher-Leaders Educated to be School Library Media Specialists who Lead
    Daniella Smith
  • Information in the Chronic Illness Experience
    Maria Souden
  • Mentoring and Collaboration in the Doctoral Education Process
    Cassidy R. Sugimoto
  • Web Resource Categorization by End-users Using Social Annotations as Metadata
    Sue Yeon Syn
  • Public Libraries in a World Society: what’s happening in Namibia
    Sarah M. Webb
  • Incidental Exposure to Online News in Everyday Life Information Seeking Context: Mixed Method study
    Borchuluun Yadamsuren
  • The Management of Change in the Information Age: Approaches of Academic Library Directors in the United States
    Zhixian (George) Yi
  • Collection-Level Subject Access: Metadata Application and Use
    Oksana Zavalina
  • Tensions and Dialogues in an Expanding Business: Licensing Electronic Resources
    Xiaohua ‘Awa’ Zhu