Many congratulations to Maureen Boost, Sindy Lai and Pauline Cho for their winning poster at the 2010 British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference. The poster, entitled ‘Rapid determination of Acanthamoeba viability using automated counter (vi-cell)’ saw off fierce competition from nearly 100 posters - the largest number ever displayed at the BCLA conference. The poster competition is kindly sponsored by Elsevier, who this year awarded a £200 book prize to the winner plus 3 runners up prizes. The criteria used by the judges were as follows:
      • Is the problem studied in the poster clearly stated and are the methods used clear and appropriate? Or in the case of a case report, is it adequately novel?
      • Are the results clearly explained? Are the graphs, charts and/or photographs easy to understand?
      • Is the discussion clear and the conclusions justified based on the data?
      • Is the poster of clinical value and/or to future research?
      • Is the poster well presented and formatted? i.e. aesthetically pleasing?
      The last point is probably unique to poster presentations, since most people will only stop by a poster that they find visually pleasing, some will have read the abstract previously, some will read the title and think that the poster has too much information to plough through so they walk onto the next one. Oral paper presentations are very different, as people go along to hear their favourite speakers, or for continuing education points, again some people will have read the title or abstract beforehand and the slides are an important visual prop to the audience (and the speaker!) but the audience are more forgiving of a ‘busy’ slide since they can get the key points from the narrative. The poster by Boost et al. met all the criteria above very well, it was a simple but well designed study that looked at a very topical issue and produced very sensible results. Probably more importantly the authors had a nice ‘take home’ clinical message and all wrapped up in an aesthetically pleasing format.
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