Opensource + scientific eposters

TL;DR : Is there an opensource way to create eposters? Are html eposter the way to go? How would you do that?

The “Too Long” part

Hi, looking at LPSC poster session (and EGU/AGU etc etc) I realized how absurd it is.

Our work is closed in a format not reusable, not sharable, even only for personal backup , etc etc.
Is there any FLOSS options to achieve the same goal?

Ideally, something like markdown + images that produces an html page.

Even the option to export a from Libreoffice > html would be better.On the othe side, the html format needs to be hosted (< uhm not sure about this, local html are also fine).

From on side I’m happy they are not using PDF.

PDF is fine for print, but for digital consumption is mediocre. Plus, work on it is a pain and it is really a pletora of sub-formats.

Some useful resources :

@aprossi good point. Most things based on reveal.js impress.js and alike are good with everything but images (placement, particularly). But probably if one has some rigitidy in pre-canned image positions, perhaps impress.js + CSS would be a way to go

The ipostersession LPSC uses has ~6 layouts (big boxes) and you can put formatted text + figures inside (markdown would be enough for this).They keys are :

  • available offline
  • keep the content simple, do heavy graphical works in the right dedicated tools.
  • compose some boxes with text+images
  • combine the boxes in a “poster” (html page)
  • the combination part could be changed on the fly, something impossible for ipostersession.

hey, actually you could build the blocks in jupyter, instruct how to assemble them (json metadata to cells) and let him produce the poster!! @michaelaye how does it sound?

I am on the VOC for the upcoming EPSC 2021. We had a meeting with the company that designed and sells the iPoster concept, product and service. It is actually really good, when compared to all other options out there. You can save the poster to some format. There is a Print and a Get iPoster button at the bottom right corner of the iPoster (if the author so desires), so that you can save the content of the poster. Most people (also scientists!) will scare away from anything more complicated than adding text and images to pre-template boxes, believe me!

Hi @maartenroos, thank you for the info!

I believe this, you can also simply save the poster with your browser “Save as…”
In this sense, ipostersessions is not locking content, but the output is not very useful. Nobody is going to fiddle with pure html content, believe me.

The “Get iPoster” buttont simply send an email with the poster link, this rely on the ipostersessions site being on and the poster being server (how many years will they stay in business?).

I agree that most people/scientist don’t want to learn a new tool every time (me included), but some cases could be forced or be more useful then others.

For example, If I could have some block of text I can import in my poster directly (like my lab/instrument/spacecraft description) this would be immensely useful.

If this text is only text, I can have versioned in github or on my work server, I can automatically include it in latext text, I can massage it with some script, search for it etc.

This is only an example.

I would like to see something easy to use, like jupyter notebook.

Incidentally, ipostersessions “Print poster” resemble a jupyter notebook, that is only an html page. I can use the same content to create a presentation too.

@andrew.annex you can right click and download the iposter page to save it as html (edited)

@mariodamore indeed, but :

  • I don’t want to relay on to create it
  • html is not a super useful reference material

@andrew.annex I guess my extended point is that iposter isn’t locking away the posters (for sure it is inconvenient to get them and to extract the data/content into some other form). What is wrong with HTML though?

sorry , @andrew.annex ou are absolutely right!
Nothing wrong, only that for the less tech oriented is not super useful.
I mean, I also don’t touch HTML but use it as output format from various sources.The format was also not my major point, more a reflection on how to produce, store and share e-posters.What would you use?

@rbeyer … what’s wrong with making a large PDF, and instead of sending it to get it printed into a poster, just put it on the web somewhere? The “iPoster” format is really about optimizing a “poster” experience for the “digital poster area” at an in-person conference and companies that are trying to make a buck pushing that mode of interaction. When we’re talking about a purely internet experience, there’s no need to mitigate the process through the dumb iPoster format (its just that conferences have been doing that, because maybe they already have a contract with an “iPoster” provider from the before-times). If we get to the point where giant HDMI monitors are all touch-screen, then we can go back to just PDFs, because then it will be easier to zoom and swipe in-person at the “digital poster area” at an in-person conference. Everyone can make a PDF, they’ve been doing it for decades now.

I’m absolutely OK with this.
I would prefer optimized PDF/images instead “dynamic” stuff.
The plus points is see with html are:

  • scalable to the viewer output device (if done right).
  • embedding of other thing (videos, animation and so on), but the web teach us that “more” is not always “better”.

@rbeyer Sure. Again, I think it depends on the experience you’re after. If you’re after some magical multimedia experience, then sure, embedded videos and interactive plots are wonderful. However, on the web, a YouTube video is just a click away from your PDF

magical multimedia experience" sound like a negative thing to me :grin:
I agree that PDF are fine, SVG would be even better.
Interactive plots are also a nice idea…At the end, a jupyter notebook would be also fine: you have a tool to produce the content, you have a timeline (scroll donw).

@michaelayeWhile not targeted at posters but at dashboards, parts of your requested functionality is possible via

have such strong feelings about this. The “e-poster” things are all hot garbage. I would much rather just make notebooks or PDFs (which can, theoretically, have interactive elements). A conference I just “attended” had everyone create a single-page PDF and put it on Zenodo. That was their whole solution, and it worked fine, and was free to them. I made my one page obnoxiously large, because I could. And HTML is already an “e-poster” format! It’s really well documented, highly customizable, stable across platforms…

Haven’t we all learned this year, anyway, that only maybe 10% of the point of a conference is to communicate well-curated information? And that 90% of the purpose would be achieved if just everyone in the field agreed to get together for a 4-day party once every 12-18 months? Mostly the point of conferences, IMO, is that we are mammals who need to smell each other to build and maintain trust.

The last sentence is gold @Chase_Million

It’s still quite a lot of olfactive deprivation ahead…
Anyway back in clear lake the lpsc poster session was smelling of gym, mammals and beer. Et al.

@rbeyer Yeah, I don’t miss those smells.

@michaelaye I have absolutely to learn more about panel. It does need a serves, right?

@michaelaye It either works in a notebook (which is a server) or needs a one line commanded server outside a notebook, yes.

+1 for PDFs (until we all wear virtual reality googles and walk around at conferences to view live posters - but really still locked in our home offices).

You are right, I also do not think the get iPoster or Print functions are useful. I guess that if you want to use the same or similar poster for several meetings, then iposter is pretty useless and the only good option really is a PDF kind of format. Tell me more about what your experiences were with the meeting you attended and where participants placed their posters (pdf) on Zenedo?! Sounds like an interesting solution. How many posters were presented at this conference (approx.). Thx

sadly no meeting I attended used this solution :pensive:
This is an interesting idea : Zenodo (or figshare) as repository, you can also get a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to cite the abstracts/posters!
An interesting approach is also the journal of open source software : they publish directly building papers from github repository, maybe for the abstract would be nice too. Plug github could assign DOI to each repository!

Yeah, something like a conference management version of JOSS would indeed be cool!

1 Like