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Data Visualisation for Research Findings
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Find information and guidance on using tools for creating visual abstracts, research posters and presentations. If you have suggestions for additional guides or require research assistance, contact us at

Research Poster Templates

Research Poster Resources 

Visual Abstracts

Image source: Ibrahim, A.M. (2018). Use of a visual abstract to disseminate scientific research. Pg.9. 

Basic Data Visualisation Principles

Basic Design Principles

Canva is a online graphic design tool that can be used to make presentations, posters and more. Free and paid accounts are available and have similar functionality, with pro accounts being able to create brand kits, use premium graphics and pictures, remove image backgrounds and a larger Canva gallery storage space.



Canva functions:

 Templates: Look for templates for inspiration before starting a new design.

 Elements: Add graphics, pictures, videos or audio.

 Uploads: Upload your own images into your Canva gallery.

 Text: Add a heading, subheading or body text.

 QR code: Quickly generate a QR code for your document.

 Charts: Add a graph or chart.

Canva keyboard shortcuts:

Function Keyboard Shortcut
Duplicate Ctrl + D
Copy Ctrl + C
Paste Ctrl + V

Note: When you copy and paste an image to your Canva document, Canva automatically saves it in your gallery.

Canva handout:

Additional information:

Visual Design Tools

  • Other online tools for creating posters and infographics:
    • Canva: Online visual design tool with free and paid access. Library training is available.
    • Adobe Express: Online visual design tool with free and paid access.
    • Visme: Online visual design tool with free and paid access.
    • Vistacreate: Online visual design tool with free and paid access.
    • Piktochart: Tools for creating infographics easily.
    • Mind the Graph: Tools for creating infographics easily.
    • BioRender: Large number of icons and graphics relating to health and life sciences available.

Colour Accessibility Tools


! Beware of copyright and attribution requirements when using online images.

Medical images

  • Openi - Open Access Biomedical Image Search Engine
  • BioRender: Browse thousands of life sciences icons and templates
  • ClinicalkKey - Use MH login to access images and multimedia 


  • Unsplash: Online source of freely usable images
  • Openverse - Extensive library of free stock photos, images, and audio, available for free use
  • The Noun Project: Huge range of icons and photos   


Monash Health Identity Hub

  • Monash Health logos, templates, brand kit and guidelines on how to use them are available to download.

Monash Health Image Library

  • Monash Health images are available to download.

Opportunities for the future

monash health library logoMonash Health Library provides educational resources, group training, webinars and individual consultations on evidence based practice including guidance on literature searching, appraising and managing search results.


Library training on visual design and communicating research findings is available.

  • Visual Design for Beginners: Covers how to use the online tool Canva to create engaging and professional visual graphics. 
  • Communicating Research Findings: Creating Visual Abstracts and Research Posters (more sessions coming soon): For researchers who have research findings to put into a visual format, e.g. visual abstract, research poster or presentation, and need guidance and inspiration on how to do so.

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