A. Overview

1.The key messages are visible at first sight, immediately understandable for a person who would be passing by without stopping.

Error to avoid -> The poster is dense and compact and does not provide the SOCO at first sight.

2.The poster is a teaser, an invitation to stop by to discuss with the author.

Error to avoid -> The poster looks so packed and complex that it scares away the audience.

B. Background and layout

3.The background is as clear as possible (e.g., white).

Error to avoid -> The background is dark.

4.The poster breathes, leaving lots of free space.

Error to avoid -> The poster is cluttered, packed and busy.

5.The background abstains from boxes.

Error to avoid -> The background makes use of boxes that do not convey specific message.

6. Sections, headings and subheadings are aligned and centred.

Error to avoid -> Sections, headings and subheadings are displayed in a chaotic inharmonious way.

C. Structure, titles and subtitles

7.The titles are informative, summarizing the content of the sections and subsections (e.g.,  ‘A case control study matched for neighbourhood and age’).

Error to avoid -> The titles are neutral and contain no specific information (e.g., ‘Methods’ or ‘study design’)

8.The titles and subtitles organize a multi-level reading by which the audience can get the message at the first level (SOCO in the title), second level (main headings with key elements for background, methods, results, limitations, conclusions and next steps) and third levels (sub-headings). Overall, the poster seen from far away looks like the front page of a newspaper (without the blocks of text).

Error to avoid -> The title and subtitle structure does not organize the delivery of multi-level messages.

9.The levels of headings and sub-heading are colour-coded with stronger catchy contrasts for the higher levels.

Error to avoid -> The colours used do not help the reader through the levels of headings and sub-headings.

10.The font size decreases from headings to lower sub-headings.

Error to avoid -> The font sizes chosen do not help the reader through the levels of headings and sub-headings.

D. Text

11.The text is cut to the minimum, with use of bullet points without full sentences (even less than in a slide set).

Error to avoid -> Blocks of text require careful reading.

12.Conclusions and recommendations / next steps are emphasized at the bottom of the poster to be perceived at first sight.

Error to avoid -> Conclusions and recommendations / next steps are buried in a mass of text.

E. Tables and figures

13.The titles of the tables and figures communicate the key messages conveyed by the tables or the figures.

Error to avoid -> The titles of the tables and figures are long and complex (as in a manuscript for instance).

14.The titles of the tables and figures do NOT re-specify the time and the place (which is obvious from the context of the poster).

Error to avoid -> The titles of the tables and figures repeat the time and the place every time (Note that in a manuscript or in a slide set, it is better to repeat the time and place every time as the information is not immediately available in the same view).

15.The background of the tables and figures blends in seamlessly with the background of the poster.

Error to avoid -> Unnecessary boxes or frames isolate the tables and figures from the rest of the poster.

F. Headers and footers

16. The logos of the fellowship and of the training site are presented.

Error to avoid -> Logos are missing / omitted.

17.The affiliations clarify the connection to the fellowship.

Error to avoid -> The affiliation does not mention the fellowships