Finished story, discussion points or "huh, that's funny.."

May 10 2012 Published by under Society for Neuroscience

Which kind of poster do you prefer to see?

Which kind do you present?

Me, I don't want to see a finished story. If it is that wrapped up, meh, I can wait for the peer reviewed version to come out. I want to grapple with something new...and preferably *puzzling*.

The best possible outcome of a meeting presentation would be if three interested labs went home, took on an aspect of the puzzle (even if only a replication) and by year's end there were four new papers in print.

That's how meeting presentations should work.

8 responses so far

  • tom says:

    I am with you...kind of an open ended thing where you are trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Doesn't happen much these days though....everybody is worried about being scooped on their piece of the pie.

  • Pascale says:

    I like to present stuff that I believe is done. Not written up and submitted, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Presenting a poster (even if the whole story won't fit) gives me a "first review." Chatting at meetings often brings up holes I have not seen, perhaps preventing problems with a manuscript.

  • Beaker says:

    What I definitely don't like is when the figures and legends from published or soon-to-be published work are simply pasted as-is into the poster without any modification to account for the fact that the data are being presented in poster format. Posters need big message headings at the top, not Fig 1 A-G in tiny boxes and microscopic legends with too much detail for posters. I can understand that if you've just had a Neuron article published, you might want to just paste up the figures and say, "whoomp, there it is...go read the paper..." Understandable but lazy.

  • Travis says:

    In my field conferences sometimes require that even student presentations be from "completed work". I get what you're saying about how conferences *should* work, but between the worry of getting scooped, and conferences pushing for finished products, there is a lot working against it.

  • DJMH says:

    I'm with Pascale, I like to be working on writing up the paper when it's poster time. That way people's comments let me dodge some bullets in the Discussion and/or do more experiments to plug holes, as needed.

    Also given that it's a solid 6 months, at minimum, from "writing" to "published", that's a pretty long time to wait to find out about what people are doing.

  • MIles says:

    In my field (oncology) copy cats take high res pictures of every bits and pieces of a poster and even of slides during talks. AACR meetings are famous for that and staff never seriously intervenes.

    It has gotten to a stage where one can only present old stuff or data 'in press'.

    Don't get me wrong: Replication is essential. But we don't need copy cats or plagiarism.

    Second problem ist that everything gets accepted as a poster. No matter what, collection of registration fees is the big cash cow. I would rather like to see only 20 top posters total instead of trying to find these gems in between hundreds of low quality contributions.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Replication is essential. But we don't need copy cats or plagiarism.

    and how do you know which is which when the person is either taking a picture, asking for your handout or taking copious notes?

  • Miles says:

    You can't tell which is which. But I feel more comfortable with people who ask and engage in a discussion instead of snapping pics secretly.

    And then there are cultural differences:

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/03/138937778/plagiarism-plague-hinders-chinas-scientific-ambition

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