Posters in the Digital Repository

Digital repositories seem to have very few poster submissions, which is unfortunate, because digital repositories are the ideal place to record and preserve of academic poster presentations. In this blog post, we will outline four reasons why we believe that digital repositories should prioritize adding poster presentations to the repository.

First, unlike articles, when people submit posters to a conference, the conference does not require the creator to transfer the copyright to the conference. Because the content creator (a professor or student) at the university is more likely to retain full autonomy over the copyright, he or she will probably be able to decide on the permanent home of the poster without consulting anyone.

Second, unlike academic articles, posters are ephemeral. When a journal article is published or a conference paper accepted, there is an expected permanent home for that work, and the author will always be able to find that article or paper, even if they no longer hold the copyright to it. That it is not true with posters, which often do not have a permanent home. Digital repositories can provide that permanent home for facsimiles of the poster, which have not existed before.

Third, because of the ephemeral nature of the posters, when individuals put the poster on their CV, there is not a way for people to review the posters later. By encouraging students and faculty members to place their posters on the repository, they can link to the repository on their CVs or in their grant applications and have their work become readily available.

Finally, by encouraging students and faculty members to upload copies of their posters to the repository, it should be easier to explain to how, why, and when to upload their articles to the repository and to continue to expand the content in the repository.

So when we think about advertising the digital repository to students and professors, let’s not forgot to talk about the importance of posters especially with graduate students. Do you have questions about copyright and the images in your posters?  If you have questions about this or anything else, please contact us in the Scholarly Communications Office.