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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 102-106

Perspectives on poster as a presentation mode in conferences


1 Department of Physiology, MKCG Medical College, Ganjam, Odisha, India
2 Department of Physiology, Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Date of Submission19-Sep-2017
Date of Acceptance24-Oct-2017
Date of Web Publication8-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, MKCG Medical College, Ganjam, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_58_17

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  Abstract 

Background: Research knowledge is dispersed among peers commonly via three modes of presentation in conferences – workshop, oral presentation, and poster presentation. Each mode of presentation has certain advantages and disadvantages.
Aim: The aim of this study was to explore medical professionals' perspectives on advantages and disadvantages of poster presentation in scientific conferences.
Materials and Methods: A pretested questionnaire was used as the survey instrument. The instrument was composed of eight statements with 5-point Likert-type response option. A cross-sectional, online survey (on Google Forms) was conducted among medical professionals who participated in conferences where posters were presented for research presentation. Responses were expressed in percentages and compared by Chi-square test with α = 0.05.
Results: Survey response rate was 29.06% ([247/850] × 100). The best feature of poster presentation was the option to re-read the paper (98.78%) followed by the facility of face-to-face interaction with authors (95.15%) and facility to read the paper of interest only (93.12%). Highest equivocal opinion was received (42.92%) for applicability of poster in presentation of in-depth information about the research.
Conclusion: This study revealed that preference of poster presentation is mostly due to facility of reading the paper of interest only and option to re-read according to necessity. Face-to-face interaction with researcher was another major advantage of poster as a presentation medium. Hence, an option for presenting oral papers as posters, presented by a coauthor, may be considered for wide dispersion of research knowledge.

Keywords: Conference, Google Forms, paper, poster, presentation


How to cite this article:
Mondal H, Mondal S. Perspectives on poster as a presentation mode in conferences. J Curr Res Sci Med 2017;3:102-6

How to cite this URL:
Mondal H, Mondal S. Perspectives on poster as a presentation mode in conferences. J Curr Res Sci Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Oct 21];3:102-6. Available from: http://www.jcrsmed.org/text.asp?2017/3/2/102/222424


  Introduction Top


In scientific conferences, research knowledge is transferred among delegates commonly via oral presentation, poster presentation, and workshops.[1] Each presentation mode has some advantages and disadvantages of its own. Workshops are being conducted to facilitate learning by active participation of learners. Participants get hands-on experience on the topic from workshops. However, workshops are arranged for a limited number of seats.[2] Oral presentations are limited by their time frame. It is mostly a didactic method of presentation where discussion with the researcher is limited.[3] Poster presentation is not limited by these factors. It has several advantages over workshops and oral presentation. However, it has some disadvantages too.[4],[5]

There is limited literature available about the perspectives of medical professionals on poster presentation as a presentation medium. Views of Indian medical professionals on poster presentation were not ascertained by any previous study.

Hence, we designed this survey to find out the perspectives of medical professionals on the advantages and disadvantages of posters as presentation medium in conferences.


  Materials and Methods Top


A cross-sectional online survey was conducted from August 17, 2017, to September 15, 2017.

Survey instrument

A survey questionnaire was drafted by the authors particularly for this survey. It was checked by three experts who had survey instrument development experience. Face and content validity was checked before a pilot study for pretesting the instrument. The scale contained eight statements, each with a 5-point Likert-type response option (viz., strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disagree, agree, strongly agree). An additional question was asked for most preferred medium of research presentation. Google Forms is a simple, easy, and free platform that can be used to conduct surveys.[6],[7] The questionnaire was created as a form in Google Forms (Google Inc.) on August 15, 2017, for the pilot study. The web link was then shared with the participants. After obtaining verbal consent, 10 of our colleagues participated in the pilot study. After getting the targeted 10 responses, that copy of Google Forms was closed for any further responses. After collecting the data, we conducted a cognitive interview with the participants of the pilot study. With the experience of cognitive interview, the instrument was modified for some phrases and wording, and the final version of the survey instrument was prepared.

Survey mode

This was a survey with only online recording of responses only. The survey form (i.e., Google Forms) was created on August 17, 2017, and it was open for recording responses effective immediately. The web links for the survey was distributed among target respondents via e-mail and WhatsApp social messenger (WhatsApp Inc.) which have been found to be effective in clinical communication.[8] Users had the option to select a particular bullet point from multiple choices for each statement.

Participants and recruitment procedure

The survey was conducted on a convenience sample. Medical professionals (i.e., doctors having graduate degree in any stream) who participated in any scientific conference where poster was a presentation mode were included in the study. Participants were invited for the survey via e-mail and WhatsApp messenger. The request e-mail and WhatsApp message contained details about the study with its purpose. It also contained a paragraph of text for informed consent. Those who were willing are requested to open the web links. Hence, we assumed that those who participated were willing to participate voluntarily. However, we did not record any written consent or verbal consent for the survey. We only collected the responses for the survey questionnaire. No demographic details were recorded (e.g., name, age, and sex) to minimize response bias.

Data acquisition

Participants filled up the forms and submitted it online on their electronic device of preference (e.g., personal computers and mobile phones). Responses provided by participants in the Google Forms were added automatically in spreadsheet. After sending the request to 850 target medical professionals during the period August 17–20, 2017, a reminder message was sent after 10 days for reinforcement.

Statistical analysis

Coded responses were presented in numbers of responses and percentage. The percentages were compared statistically by Chi-square test. A two-tailed P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. All statistical analyses were carried out in GraphPad Prism 6.01 (GraphPad Software, Inc., California, USA) for windows software.


  Results Top


Among the sample (n = 850), we received response from 247 doctors. Responses from all the 247 doctors were complete as we set all the questions compulsory on Google Forms. Hence, the survey response rate was 29.06% ([247/850] × 100). Responses from respondents are presented in [Table 1]. Observers' most preferred method of presentation in a conference is presented in [Figure 1].
Table 1: Survey response by the respondents (n=247) expressed in percentage

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Figure 1: Preference of different presentation modes in scientific conferences (χ2 = 9.73, P = 0.008)

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  Discussion Top


We conducted this survey on an online platform – Google Forms. From our experience with this survey proper, we felt that this platform may be a good alternative option for conducting survey. Participants who are not easily accessible physically may be approached via this mode. Google Forms keeps all the responses in spreadsheet; hence, we do not have to score the responses manually. Google Forms is also accessible from mobile devices (e.g., mobile phones and tablets). This platform has been used successfully in several previous studies.[9],[10],[11] However, the response rate is lower in online survey.[12],[13] This was reflected from this study that among 850 invitations, only 247 responses were obtained, even after reinforcement.

According to the survey result, workshop is the most preferred mode of research presentation [Figure 1]. It is obvious that observers get real-time experience of the research methodology from a workshop. Commonly, workshops are arranged by only the organizing institutions due to logistics limitations. Furthermore, workshops can be offered to limited number of delegates. Hence, it is not feasible to offer workshops for all the interested audience. However, for oral presentation, these limitations do not apply.

In a national or an international conference, oral presentations are conducted simultaneously in different halls. If a delegate is interested in some papers in a hall, and some papers in another hall, then she/he cannot attend both the halls simultaneously. Another limitation of oral presentation is less time for interaction between authors and delegates. In contrast, poster presentation is free of these limitations. These may be the reason behind little higher preferences for poster presentation found in this study [Figure 1].

When delegates browse a poster, they may not understand the whole presentation of the poster at a glance; however, they may be attracted by the topic of the poster. Hence, they may be interested to read the topic again after browsing all the posters in the conference. This was the fact which got highest number of agreement (98.78%) in the survey [Table 1]. For oral presentation, it is a common practice to appoint some experts and jury members to discuss about the research after each oral presentation for assessment. If a presentation is allowed for 8 min, usually 2 min is allowed for discussion. This time is consumed by experts and jury members in most of the cases. Hence, there is little chance of interaction between delegates and researchers. In poster presentation, there is also a discussion between the authors and experts or jury members. They usually come at a certain time, discuss with authors, and go to the next poster. However, after that limited time, delegates get plenty of time to discuss the topic with the author. It is a well-established fact that a discussion is more effective if it occurs face to face.[14] These may be the potential reasons behind the remarkable strong agreement (72.07%) followed by agreement of 23.08% in support of face-to-face interaction as a preferable feature of posters [Table 1].

Delegates develop interest in a particular stream over time, and they may be attracted to researches related to that field. Hence, preferential reading is practiced by many researchers. A total of 93.12% respondents agreed that this preferential reading in poster presentation is an advantage. When an individual is attracted to any article, she/he may think about conducting the same or a similar study. For this reason, some delegates may seek more detailed discussion with the author. This can be offered by authors during poster session as there is no time limit for discussion. Hence, poster presentation can provide a better platform for peer communication and 84.21% respondents in this study thought that it is a positive feature of a poster.

Among the respondents, 49.8% responded that poster can be an effective medium of knowledge transfer. However, 42.92% expressed equivocal response for applicability of poster in in-depth information dispersion. However, we did not test the same statement for oral presentation. Hence, we could not ascertain the comparison of perception for oral and poster presentation. This is a weakness of this study. It is obvious that oral presentation has several advantages. It helps new researchers to learn about handling information for a presentation. It helps in developing communication skills and presentation experience. And these help in their future career advancement.[15] For postgraduate degree course, the Medical Council of India has made minimum one oral and one poster presentation prerequisite for eligibility for the examination.[16] Hence, poster must not be considered as a replacement of oral presentation.

Another remarkable finding is that 94.33% of respondents agreed about visual appeal of the posters. Posters are usually printed with attractive colors and all parts of poster can be browsed at a single glance. Though the poster is said to be self-explanatory, respondents of this study provided mixed responses. One-third (33.60%) of respondents provided equivocal response and 20.24% disagreed with it. Hence, authors should stress more during preparation of the poster to make it more towards a self-explanatory one.[17],[18],[19]

Along with printed poster presentation, e-poster presentation is evolving in scientific conferences. Its major advantage is that different types of media can be presented in the posters (e.g., animation, video and enlarged figure).[20] In contrast, printed poster can only present static text and images. However, availability of Liquid Crystal Display/ Light Emitting Diode (LCD/LED) screen in the organizing institution limits its applicability in many institutions.

When a research work is conducted by multiple authors, a single author gets the chance to present the paper in oral presentation. However, presenting research paper is an achievable experience by the authors. If the research is presented by poster mode, multiple authors can participate in presentation at different times. One author may present the paper as oral presentation and a coauthor may participate in poster presentation for the same research. Hence, the poster may engage more authors in scientific discussion and this may help in greater dissemination of research knowledge.

Limitations

This study was conducted online on a convenience sample; hence, response rate was lower. That was the major limitation of this study. We did not record the number of conference attended, number of poster session attended by the respondents, or their demographic details. For maintenance of anonymity, declaration of e-mail id was an optional field. Hence, we could not check multiple submissions by a single user, if any.


  Conclusion Top


This study showed medical professionals' perspectives on poster as a mode of research presentation. Cafeteria choice of reading the paper of interest, facility of reading paper several times, and interaction with the authors were the most popular features of poster as presentation mode. Poster preparation should be emphasized to make it more self-explanatory and to provide in-depth knowledge. A detailed discussion between delegates and researchers is possible in poster presentation. Considering these factors, facility of presenting a paper as both oral and poster may be introduced by conference organizers.

Acknowledgments

We thank the expert reviewers of the questionnaire and all the participants for their responses in the survey. We are also thankful to Google Forms (Google Inc.) for providing a free platform for online survey. However, we do not promote the platform or the company by any means.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
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