Data communication

Acknowledging IPSN

Please do not forget to acknowledge IPSN in all output. For example, using our logo on posters, leaflets and policy briefs, referencing our protocols in method sections of publishing’s and mentioning us in your acknowledgements.
Link to logo:

Data communication on Location-Level

  • Community Posters

    Target audience: Local communities from IPSN sites

Community posters are a useful way for informally communicating your data to the communities you have been working with. For example, if you have been working with gleaners through the gleaning surveys, posters provide a means of communicating back to the gleaning community on what you have found out and what you intend to do with the findings. If you hope to raise awareness on certain findings, posters can also give you the means of spreading this information and giving advice to target groups. For example, this could be posted at the fish market, community store, schools, etc

Tips for making posters

  • There are several software packages available for creating posters. Adobe Illustrator is a powerful tool for graphic design that is a good option for more advanced posters, however, is an expensive option. Inkscape is a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator, although will take some time to learn how to use if you are starting out with graphic design. For a simple, straightforward and efficient software, Microsoft PowerPoint is a good option that still allows for great-looking posters. For a free alternative to PowerPoint, you can also try Google slides.
  • For help with graphics you can try the website Canva for free, it is a simplified graphic-design website where you can find templates, vector images, graph tools and icons to improve the layout of your posters.
  • Before you start creating your poster in PowerPoint, ensure that you have set the size of the slide to match the poster size, i.e. the size of the paper you’ll eventually print on. This can be done in the design tab, where you’ll find an option called “slide size”
  • With the poster text, use classic true-type fonts (e.g. Arial) for a clean easy-to-read look.
  • Remember, that these posters are not the same as academic posters and are instead aimed at the community. Ensure that they are easy to understand as possible, minimise text and use pictures as much as possible. It’s more effective to focus on the most important, and relevant information rather than displaying all of your findings.
  • Always use the local dialect

Please acknowledge IPSN in your poster – if you’d like to use our logo, please follow this link:

Online guide on how to make posters using Microsoft PowerPoint:
Links to programmes: (7 day free trial then $20.99/month) (free) ($129) (free trial)

N.b. Remember to change the slide size of the poster to the size of the paper you’ll be printing on.

  • Community Leaflets

Target audience: Local communities from IPSN sites

Another useful tool for communicating your findings to communities are leaflets. Leaflets have the benefit of being widely distributable and provide literal “take-home messages”. Within IPSN, leaflets have the potential to provide a means of bringing a far-reaching awareness of seagrass resources and conservation in communities. For example, this could be distributed during market days, schools, local meetings etc

Tips for making leaflets

As with the posters, leaflets should be made using the local dialect, in a comprehensive manner that is easy to understand yet based on sound scientific data. For helps with visuals, provides a useful free online platform for creating infographics.

  • Microsoft Publisher is a good, simple option for making leaflets. The programme has an inbuilt template for making leaflets, just choose the “brochure” design. For help with visuals and creating infographics, provides a useful, free online tool.
  • Use the classic “true-type” fonts such as Arial or Calibri, to give text a clean, easy-to-read format
  • As with the posters, remember that the leaflets are targeting communities, and therefore should be easy to understand as possible. Make good use of pictures and visual content, keeping text to a minimum. Aim for the leaflets to be eye-catching and exciting so people will want to keep them.
  • Always use the local dialect

Please acknowledge IPSN in your leaflet, if you’d like to use our logo please follow this link:

Online guide on how to make a leaflet using Microsoft Publisher:
Links to mentioned programmes: ($129) ($129) (free trial)


Wider-reaching Data Communication

  • Policy Briefs

Target audience: Policymakers and managerial authorities

Policy briefs are important tools for communicating your IPSN findings and providing consequent recommendations to policy and decision makers within the region. By presenting your data and explaining how measures could be taken to benefit seagrass ecosystems and associated fisheries you have an opportunity to bridge the implementation gap between research and policymakers in a way that could help enact change. Remember when writing to policymakers to remove technical language, whilst conveying the data accurately and to provide very clear messages of action or recommendations.


  • Social Media Output

Target audience: Academic community, other IPSN groups & the general public

Social media gives endless possibilities for sharing information to target audiences on multiple platforms, including policymakers, the general public and other IPSN groups. Scientists are increasingly being encouraged to communicate their research through social media platforms as it allows for knowledge exchange within the scientific community, as well as outreach and engagement with the general public. There are many benefits scientists can gain from using social media including increasing the exposure of their work, keeping up to date with current research, finding jobs or PhD vacancies and networking with scientists across the world.

Tips for using social media

  • Which social media platforms to use depends on the audience you’re aiming to reach. If you’re trying to communicate your research with other scientists, twitter may be the best option, as it now has a large academic following. If you’d like to engage with the general public, facebook or Instagram may be more effective as these outlets are most commonly used in people’s day-to-day lives. LinkedIn, Twitter and ResearchGate are good platforms for networking opportunities and seeking professional opportunities.
  • Considering the content is important when communicating via social media, i.e. photos of study sites, your data collection and the species you have encountered provides engaging content. For example, the twitter account @BigBlueNetwork1 uses the effective #SeagrassSunday hashtag to tweet interesting images and videos of species found in seagrass meadows. They’ve also used the hashtag to post content on what was found in gleaner catches, helping to raise awareness of gleaning within the scientific twitter community.


Programmes mentioned: (app only)

Further reading on how scientists use social media:
Collins K, Shiffman D, Rock J (2016) How Are Scientists Using Social Media in the Workplace?. PLOS ONE 11(10): e0162680.
Van Eperen, L., & Marincola, F. M. (2011). How scientists use social media to communicate their research. Journal of translational medicine9, 199. doi:10.1186/1479-5876-9-199

Publication Options

Publishing your data gives you a DOI number that means your work is now citable. Publishing in scientific peer-reviewed journals is not the only means of scientific publishing. Several online platforms allow for publishing work and getting assigned DOI numbers.

  • F1000 Research

Target audience: Research community

F1000 is a free open-access publishing platform offering immediate publication without editorial bias. The site can be particularly useful for scholarly posters and slides covering basic scientific research within the life sciences. These publications are open access, do not undergo peer review, receive a DOI and can be formally cited. If you present your IPSN findings through a poster at a scientific conference, then you can use F1000 to publish the poster. Here is an example of an IPSN poster presented at the WIOMSA 11th scientific symposium which is now available on F1000.


Link –
Guidelines for publishing –

  • Pangaea

    Target audience: Research community

Pangaea is an open access platform for publishing, archiving and distributing georeferenced data from Earth system research. For this reason, Pangaea could be particularly useful for publishing datapoints from the IPSN habitat mapping surveys. Information published on the site is freely available and is open to anyone to publish or cite work. The platform is cost-free, provides a DOI, and makes your data available to other researchers and stakeholders. Additionally, Pangaea is useful for your own mapping projects should you investigate changes to habitats in the future. Publishing on Pangaea is straightforward, requiring an abstract and a table of your geo-data in txt format (see below on how to do this).


Link –

How to convert CSV habitat mapping files into txt files for uploading to Pangaea

i. Import csv file into excel by going into the data tab and selecting “get data from Text/CSV”


ii. Once the data is there, choose the “Split Columns” option, followed by “By Delemeter”


iii. Then select “Comma” or a different option if your columns are separated by semicolons for example.


iv. Delete the columns that do not contain relevant information for publishing.


v. Save the file as a Text file (.txt)


vi. Submit your data to Pangaea by going to “Create” on the website. You must include a title and description of the data. Please remember to acknowledge IPSN at some point within the publication.


Scientific Journals
Target audience: Research community

If you interested in publishing your IPSN location data in a peer-reviewed journal, then you may need to consider increasing the replicates in your data collection. For example, by doing five ecological surveys in both seagrass and unvegetated areas.