Q: Can I cite a poster presentation as a reference?

Detailed Question -

When submitting a manuscript to a peer-reviewed international journal, can we cite a poster presentation at a conference as a reference instead of a paper? An example is a poster that was presented at an American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference by another research group in a similar field and listed as a supplement. Any advice would be appreciated as I have no experience in citing a poster presentation ever.

1 Answer to this question

You can cite a conference poster as a reference in your paper. In the AMA style, for instance, you will need to do it in the following manner:

Author Name. Name of Presentation. Poster presented at: Name of Conference; Date of Conference; Location of Conference.

You will find an example of this here.

However, we would suggest going a bit further. As you would know, conference presentations and posters are typically about preliminary findings and are usually followed up by a detailed paper. In the case of ADA too, the posters are based only on abstracts and later lead up to standard research papers. So, rather than referencing only the poster, which may offer limited information, you could refer to the detailed paper, which may offer additional information that you can utilize for your research. In ADA, for instance, you can search for the relevant poster, and based on that, search for the relevant paper online or in an appropriate journal or repository. If however there is no detailed paper (perhaps because the research is still underway), you can of course reference only the poster.

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