University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus

Research Posters: Toolkit

Data Visualization

All datasets and images should be cited if they were created by someone other than the poster author. Every graph and table should be self-explanatory.

Every graph should:

  • Include a title below the figure that provides all relevant information;
  • Be referred to in the text as a “figure”;
  • Identify and label figure axes by the variables under analysis;
  • Quote the source which provided the data, if applicable;
  • Demonstrate the scale being used; and
  • Have a vertical axis that starts with zero. Graphs using an axis that begins with values higher than zero often appear distorted because differences between variables are overestimated.

Every table should:

  • Present values with the same number of decimal places in all its cells (standardization);
  • Include a title informing what is being described and where, as well as the number of observations (N) and when the data was collected;
  • Have a structure formed by three horizontal lines, defining table heading and the end of the table at the lowest border;
  • Not have vertical lines at its lateral borders;
  • Provide additional information in table footer as needed;
  • Be inserted into a document only after being mentioned in the text; and
  • Be numbered using Arabic numerals.

Importing Content

Importing Text from Word

  • Select the text to be brought into PowerPoint, click edit-copy, then edit-paste the text into a new or existing text block. Black text against a light background, with a san serif font such as Arial, has good readability. 

Importing Charts & Graphs from Excel

  • Select the chart, click edit-copy, then edit-paste into PowerPoint®. The chart can be resized to fit. If you need to edit parts of the chart, the components may be ungrouped. It is best to use the Symbol font for scientific characters.

Using QR Codes

Consider adding a QR code to your research poster if you have additional data or information that cannot be included on the poster due to size constraints. A QR code can link to your complete list of references, additional graphs/charts/tables, a website, a video, a full research paper, or any other items that informed your research. QR codes are effective means of data visualization for research posters because they allow you to include the most important data items on your poster, but include supplemental data without visually overwhelming your poster. 

How do I create a QR code?

How do I scan a QR code?

  • Just pull out your phone and take a picture! All modern iPhones and most Android phones have built-in QR detection in their cameras. Some Android phones may need an app.