Scholarly Posters: Citing Your Sources

A guide to designing and presenting scholarly posters

What and How to Cite

When doing research you are often building on the work of others and will sometimes take an idea, fact or quotation from someone else’s work such as a book or article. If you are including such ideas/facts/quotations on your poster, you must cite your sources to give credit to other researchers and writers and so others can trace your research or retrieve the source materia. The same is true for other kinds of sources such as pictures or other graphics that may be incorporated into the design of your poster.

If you have a handout to accompany your poster, you may list your references on that. If not, you should list them in small type at the bottom of the poster.

Different meeting sponsors/organizations may have differing styles for formatting citations.  Use the style required in the abstract/poster guidelines or your research advisor. This site from Bedford St. Martins gives examples of citations in the fields of the Humanities (MLA style), Social Sciences (APA), History (Chicago Style), and the Sciences (Council of Science Editors). These examples are not exhaustive and you should consult the appropriate style manual in the library. The “Vancouver” style was developed by the US National Library of Medicine and adopted by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. This NLM ICMJE page gives example of 41 different kinds of sources and should be considered the authoritative style for medical sciences.

Citing YOUR Poster on Your CV

Posters presented at meetings include both items that were only presented in this way or those which were followed by a publication. If you do follow a poster with a publication, cite that subsequent work on your CV rather than the meeting poster.

Regardless of the style you follow, elements for the citation will be the same: Author name(s), title of the poster, title of the conference/meeting, date, location. The conference may also have a descriptive “name” as well as a title.

Here are the rules for formulating a poster citation in the “Vancouver”/ NLM / ICMJE style:

  • Begin the reference with information on the author(s). List names in the order they appear on the poster. Enter the surname first for each author and convert first and middle names to initials. Give all authors, regardless of the number. Separate author names from each other by a comma and a space. End author names with a period.
  • Enter the title of the poster as it appears on the original document.  Capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, proper adjectives, acronyms, and initialisms. Use a colon followed by a space to separate a title from a subtitle, unless another form of punctuation (e.g., question mark) is already present. End the title with a period.
  • Use the phrase “Poster presented at” followed by a colon and a space.
  • Give the conference information.  If the conference has a separate descriptive name (e.g., Excellence in clinical practice) give this first, followed by the title (e.g., 4th Annual Conference of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology).
  • Capitalize all significant words in the conference name (i.e., do not capitalize of, the, and, etc.). Reproduce (i.e., capitalize) the conference title as it appears on the official meeting program. End the name(s) with a period.

  • Give the inclusive dates on which the conference was held in the format year, month, beginning day, hyphen, ending day. Convert Roman numbers to Arabic numbers. Use English names for months and abbreviate them using the first three letters. Follow the date with a semicolon and a space. For example, 2012 Jul 20-24;

  • Give the city in which the conference was held. Follow  US and Canadian cities with the two-letter abbreviation for the state or province. Follow cities in other countries with the name of the country. Anglicize city and country names. For example, London, ON and London, England; Munich vs. Munchen; Russia vs. Русский.

Examples of complete citations:

Chasman J, Kaplan RF. The effects of occupation on preserved cognitive functioning in dementia. Poster presented at: Excellence in clinical practice. 4th Annual Conference of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology; 2006 Jun 15-17; Philadelphia, PA. [Conference with separate name and title]

Muto A, Funakubo K. Efficacy of transarterial embolization using NBCA-LPD for acute arterial bleeding in patients with coagulopathy. Poster presented at: Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course of the American Society of Emergency Radiology; 2006 Sep 27-30; Washington, DC

Hu X, Gao Z, Xu F, Liu N. A novel approach to harvesting lymphatic endothelial cells from human foreskin dermis. Poster presented at: 8th TESI Annual Meeting; 2005 Oct 22-25; Shanghai, China.