Acknowledgement World

Acknowledgement in Research Paper – A Quick Guide [5 Examples]

The acknowledgement section in your research paper is where you thank those who have helped or supported you throughout your research and writing. It is a short section of 3-5 paragraphs or no more than 300 words you put on a page after the title page.

In this post, we are going to provide you with five examples of acknowlegdement section and a handful of best practices you can make your work look professional.

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Saying thank you with style

How to write an acknowledgement: the complete guide for students, why should i include an acknowledgement in my research paper.

Acknowledging assistance and contributions from others can establish your integrity as a researcher. This will eventually make your work more credible.

What should be acknowledged about (aka thankful for)?

In your acknowledgement, you can show gratitude for those who provide you with resources in the following area:

  • Technical help may include people who helped you by providing materials and supplies.
  • Intellectual help includes academic advice and assistance.
  • Mental help can be any kind of verbal support and encouragement.
  • Financial support that is obviously related to monetary support

Who should be included in the acknowledgement of a research paper?

You can include everyone who helped you technically, intellectually, or financially (assistance with grants or monetary help) in the process of researching and writing your research paper. Except for your family and friends, you should always include the full names with the title of these individuals:

  • Your profession, supervisor, or teacher
  • Academic staff (e.g. lab assistant) of your school/college
  • Your department, faculty, college, or school
  • Classmates, teammates, co-workers, or colleague
  • Friends and family members

You can start with your professor or the individuals who supported you the most throughout the research. And then you can continue by thanking your institution and then the reviewer who reviewed your paper. Then you can thank your friends and families and any other individual who helped.

What is the tone of the acknowledgement in a research paper?

You should write your acknowledgement in formal language with complete sentences. It is appropriate to write in the first person (‘I’ for a single author or ‘we’ for two or more).

Note that  personal pronouns  such as ‘I, my, me …’ are nearly always used in the acknowledgements only. For the rest of the research paper, such  personal pronouns  are generally avoided.

Writing an acknowledgement for research paper is one of the important parts of your project report. You need to thank everyone for  helping you with your paper . Here are some examples of acknowledgement for your research paper.

Acknowledgement in Research Paper: Example 1

Acknowledgement in research paper: example 2, acknowledgement in research paper: example 3, acknowledgement in research paper: example 4, acknowledgement in research paper: example 5.

You can use these or try to create your own version for your project report. Also, you can use our auto  acknowledgement generator tool  to automatically generate acknowledgement for your project.

Where should I put the acknowledgement section?

The acknowledgements section should appear between your title page and your introduction in your research paper.

How long is an acknowledgement in a research paper?

The acknowledgement section (usualy inserted as a page) of your research paper should consist of 3-5 paragraphs or no more than 300 words you put on a page after the title page.

Should I use the full names of family members in an acknowledgement?

You do not necessarily need to use the full name for your family and friends (it would sound pretty awkward to use the full name of your parent or spouse right?), you should always include the full names with the title for all other individuals in your acknowledgement.

Can I use “first person” in an acknowledgement?

Yes. It is appropriate to write in the first person (‘I’ for a single author or ‘we’ for two or more).

What is an acknowledgement in academic writing?

An acknowledgement is a page is where you show appreciation to people who helped or supported you intellectually, mentally, or financially in your academic writing.

It should be no longer than one page.

scientific paper acknowledgement sample

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“Acknowledgement” vs “Acknowledgment”… …what the hack?

scientific paper acknowledgement sample

Both “acknowledgement” and “acknowledgment” are used in the English-speaking world. However, acknowledgement with the “e” in the middle is more commonly used. It is up to 24.5 times more popular in the top 5 English-speaking countries in the world.

Other Popular Acknowledgement Examples

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  • Thesis & Dissertation Acknowledgements | Tips & Examples

Thesis & Dissertation Acknowledgements | Tips & Examples

Published on May 3, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.

Acknowledgements-section

The acknowledgements section is your opportunity to thank those who have helped and supported you personally and professionally during your thesis or dissertation process.

Thesis or dissertation acknowledgements appear between your title page and abstract  and should be no longer than one page.

In your acknowledgements, it’s okay to use a more informal style than is usually permitted in academic writing , as well as first-person pronouns . Acknowledgements are not considered part of the academic work itself, but rather your chance to write something more personal.

To get started, download our step-by-step template in the format of your choice below. We’ve also included sample sentence starters to help you construct your acknowledgments section from scratch.

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Table of contents

Who to thank in your acknowledgements, how to write acknowledgements, acknowledgements section example, acknowledgements dos and don’ts, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the acknowledgements section.

Generally, there are two main categories of acknowledgements: professional and personal .

A good first step is to check your university’s guidelines, as they may have rules or preferences about the order, phrasing, or layout of acknowledgements. Some institutions prefer that you keep your acknowledgements strictly professional.

Regardless, it’s usually a good idea to place professional acknowledgements first, followed by any personal ones. You can then proceed by ranking who you’d like to thank from most formal to least.

  • Chairs, supervisors, or defense committees
  • Funding bodies
  • Other academics (e.g., colleagues or cohort members)
  • Editors or proofreaders
  • Librarians, research/laboratory assistants, or study participants
  • Family, friends, or pets

Typically, it’s only necessary to mention people who directly supported you during your thesis or dissertation. However, if you feel that someone like a high school physics teacher was a great inspiration on the path to your current research, feel free to include them as well.

Professional acknowledgements

It is crucial to avoid overlooking anyone who helped you professionally as you completed your thesis or dissertation. As a rule of thumb, anyone who directly contributed to your research process, from figuring out your dissertation topic to your final proofread, should be mentioned.

A few things to keep in mind include:

  • Even if you feel your chair didn’t help you very much, you should still thank them first to avoid looking like you’re snubbing them.
  • Be sure to follow academic conventions, using full names with titles where appropriate.
  • If several members of a group or organization assisted you, mention the collective name only.
  • Remember the ethical considerations around anonymized data. If you wish to protect someone’s privacy, use only their first name or a generic identifier (such as “the interviewees”)/

Personal acknowledgements

There is no need to mention every member of your family or friend group. However, if someone was particularly inspiring or supportive, you may wish to mention them specifically. Many people choose to thank parents, partners, children, friends, and even pets, but you can mention anyone who offered moral support or encouragement, or helped you in a tangible or intangible way.

Some students may wish to dedicate their dissertation to a deceased influential person in their personal life. In this case, it’s okay to mention them first, before any professional acknowledgements.

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After you’ve compiled a list of who you’d like to thank, you can then sort your list into rank order. Separate everyone you listed into “major thanks,” “big thanks,” and “minor thanks” categories.

  • “Major thanks” are given to people who your project would be impossible without. These are often predominantly professional acknowledgements, such as your advisor, chair, and committee, as well as any funders.
  • “Big thanks” are an in-between, for those who helped you along the way or helped you grow intellectually, such as classmates, peers, or librarians.
  • “Minor thanks” can be a catch-all for everyone else, especially those who offered moral support or encouragement. This can include personal acknowledgements, such as parents, partners, children, friends, or even pets.

How to phrase your acknowledgements

To avoid acknowledgements that sound repetitive or dull, consider changing up your phrasing. Here are some examples of common sentence starters you can use for each category.

Note that you do not need to write any sort of conclusion or summary at the end. You can simply end the acknowledgements with your last thank you.

Here’s an example of how you can combine the different sentences to write your acknowledgements.

A simple construction consists of a sentence starter (in purple highlight ), followed by the person or entity mentioned (in green highlight ), followed by what you’re thanking them for (in yellow highlight .)

Acknowledgements

Words cannot express my gratitude to my professor and chair of my committee for her invaluable patience and feedback. I also could not have undertaken this journey without my defense committee, who generously provided knowledge and expertise. Additionally, this endeavor would not have been possible without the generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, who financed my research .

I am also grateful to my classmates and cohort members, especially my office mates, for their editing help, late-night feedback sessions, and moral support. Thanks should also go to the librarians, research assistants, and study participants from the university, who impacted and inspired me.

Lastly, I would be remiss in not mentioning my family, especially my parents, spouse, and children. Their belief in me has kept my spirits and motivation high during this process. I would also like to thank my cat for all the entertainment and emotional support.

  • Write in first-person, professional language
  • Thank your professional contacts first
  • Include full names, titles, and roles of professional acknowledgements
  • Include personal or intangible supporters, like friends, family, or even pets
  • Mention funding bodies and what they funded
  • Appropriately anonymize or group research participants or non-individual acknowledgments

Don’t:

  • Use informal language or slang
  • Go over one page in length
  • Mention people who had only a peripheral or minor impact on your work

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In the acknowledgements of your thesis or dissertation, you should first thank those who helped you academically or professionally, such as your supervisor, funders, and other academics.

Then you can include personal thanks to friends, family members, or anyone else who supported you during the process.

Yes, it’s important to thank your supervisor(s) in the acknowledgements section of your thesis or dissertation .

Even if you feel your supervisor did not contribute greatly to the final product, you must acknowledge them, if only for a very brief thank you. If you do not include your supervisor, it may be seen as a snub.

The acknowledgements are generally included at the very beginning of your thesis , directly after the title page and before the abstract .

In a thesis or dissertation, the acknowledgements should usually be no longer than one page. There is no minimum length.

You may acknowledge God in your dissertation acknowledgements , but be sure to follow academic convention by also thanking the members of academia, as well as family, colleagues, and friends who helped you.

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Acknowledgements Example for an Academic Research Paper

Posted by Rene Tetzner | Sep 1, 2021 | How To Get Published | 0 |

Acknowledgements Example for an Academic Research Paper

Acknowledgements Example for an Academic or Scientific Research Paper This example of acknowledgements for a research paper is designed to demonstrate how intellectual, financial and other research contributions should be formally acknowledged in academic and scientific writing. As brief acknowledgements for a research paper, the example gathers contributions of different kinds – intellectual assistance, financial support, image credits etc. – into a single Acknowledgements section. Do note, however, that the formats preferred by some scholarly journals require the separation of certain contributions such as financial support of research into their own sections.

scientific paper acknowledgement sample

Although authors often write acknowledgements hastily, the Acknowledgements section is an important part of a research paper. Acknowledging assistance and contributions establishes your integrity as a researcher as well as your connections and collaborations. It can also help your readers with their own research, affect the influence and impact of the researchers and other professionals you thank, and demonstrate the value and purpose of the agencies that fund your work. The contents of the example I have prepared here are appropriate for a research paper intended for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, but the author, the research project, the manuscript studied, the journal publishing the paper and all those to whom gratitude is extended are entirely fictional. They were created for the purpose of demonstrating the following key concerns when writing the acknowledgements for a formal research paper:

scientific paper acknowledgement sample

•   Writing in the first person (‘I’ for a single author or ‘we’ for two or more) to offer concise but sincere acknowledgements of specific contributions to your research. •   Maintaining formal language, complete sentences and a professional tone to give specific and thorough information about contributions and convey collegial gratitude. •   Expressing respect and appreciation in an appropriate fashion for each and every contribution and avoiding artificial or excessive flattery. •   Using the complete names and preferred name formats for individuals, funding agencies, libraries, businesses and other organisations. Here, for example, I posit that the library holding the relevant manuscript has indicated that the name of the collection (lengthy though it is) should not be abbreviated. •   Acknowledging contributions to your research and paper in the order that best represents the nature and importance of those contributions. The assistance of the author’s mentor comes first here, for instance, whereas the language editor is acknowledged much further down the list. •   Meeting the requirements for acknowledgements set by the journal or other publisher of the research paper. For the example below, the goal is to record all relevant contributions to the research and paper in a single brief Acknowledgements section of 500 words or less – a set of parameters that would suit the acknowledgement requirements or expectations of many academic and scientific journals and even fit into a footnote or endnote if necessary.

scientific paper acknowledgement sample

Example Acknowledgements for an Academic Research Paper This paper and the research behind it would not have been possible without the exceptional support of my supervisor, Lawrence Magister. His enthusiasm, knowledge and exacting attention to detail have been an inspiration and kept my work on track from my first encounter with the log books of British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77 to the final draft of this paper. Margaret Kempis and Matthew Brown, my colleagues at Western University, have also looked over my transcriptions and answered with unfailing patience numerous questions about the language and hands of British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77. Samantha McKenzie, head librarian of the Southern Region Central Collegiate Library Special Collections and Microfilms Department where British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77 currently resides, not only provided colour images of the manuscript overnight, but unexpectedly shared the invaluable information on the book that she has been gathering for almost twenty years. I am also grateful for the insightful comments offered by the anonymous peer reviewers at Books & Texts. The generosity and expertise of one and all have improved this study in innumerable ways and saved me from many errors; those that inevitably remain are entirely my own responsibility.

Studying British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77 has proved extremely costly and I am most thankful for the Western University Doctoral Fellowship that has provided financial support for the larger project from which this paper grew. A travel grant from the Literary Society of the Southern Region turned the hope of working in person with British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77 into a reality, and the generous offer of free accommodation from Ms McKay (Samantha McKenzie’s aunt) allowed me to continue my research with the book much longer than I could have hoped. The final design of the complicated transcription tables in Appendices I–III is the creative and technical work of Sam Stone at A+AcaSciTables.com, and the language and format of the paper have benefited enormously from the academic editing services of Veronica Perfect. Finally, it is with true pleasure that I acknowledge the contributions of my amazing partner, Kendric James, who has given up many a Friday evening and Sunday afternoon to read every version of this paper and the responses it has generated with a combination of compassion and criticism that only he could muster for what he fondly calls ‘my odd obsession with books about the sea.’

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Acknowledgments in Scientific Papers

  • Published: 07 July 2023
  • Volume 39 , pages 280–299, ( 2023 )

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  • Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva 1 ,
  • Panagiotis Tsigaris 2 &
  • Quan-Hoang Vuong 3  

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Acknowledgements are usually a minor part of scientific papers, but they serve a very important function. This section of the manuscript is normally reserved to thank those who offered assistance, but not enough to merit authorship, funders, or any other people or organizations or artificial intelligent tools that may have in any way been directly associated either with the research reported in that study, or with the published paper. Despite this, it is not uncommon to see wide disparities in ethics and author guidelines pertaining to acknowledgements, as was observed in 45 publishing-related entities (journals, publishers, preprints, ethics organizations, open access aggregators) that were assessed in this study. Greater standardization is required, especially among members of ethics policy groups such as the Committee on Publication Ethics or the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Moreover, even though verification is an essential step of this process, it is difficult to achieve.

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“Big Science” refer to mega-projects involving very large collaborative interdisciplinary teams with moments in history of great exploration such as the Human Genome Project, the Large Hardon Collider and NASA’s international space station, to name a few. A physics paper about the Large Hardon Collider had 5154 authors [ 4 ], a classic case of hyper-authorship [ 5 ]. If those being acknowledged are seen as collaborators in research output, which they should be, then the lone wolf scholar is indeed an endangered species [ 6 , 7 ].

Cronin on page 19 states: “Who is to say whether the least significant co-author’s contributions were greater or less than those of the most helpful acknowledge?”.

In science research, there is strong evidence of division of work. Active participation to earn authorship is associated with one or more of the following tasks: analyzing the data, conceiving and designing the experiments, contributing to reagents, material and/or analysis tools, performing the experiment, and writing the paper [ 19 ]. Lack of contributorship statements reflect a lack of transparency and accountability according to Larivière et al. [ 19 ].

Some of these concepts were inferred by Cronin et al. [ 20 ], who indicated that one individual was named in 25 acknowledgements in Psychological Review , while three editors were also frequently acknowledged, the most frequent being in 20 papers. Cronin [ 3 ] highlighted multiple studies that formally analyzed the acknowledgements in journals such as Cell or Genetics , finding them to be a complex mixture of influences (personal, field-based, historical), often laced with thanks for laboratory gifts, and the need and expectation of reciprocity.

Cronin’s opinion is debatable, can an acknowledged person really be more important than a co-author?

This is based on our experience, and a thorough meta-analysis would be required to assess if being acknowledged has rewards in academic institutes across the globe.

Cronin [ 3 ] stated: “In a reward system of the academy, a mere acknowledgement, no matter how influential the acknowledged intellectual contribution is perceived to be, is not treated as equivalent to even the lowest form of citation” (p. 24).

There is a further tier system within the order of appearance of authors’ names and contribution. Evidence from PLOS journals suggested a U-shaped relationship between the order of authors’ names and contribution levels in which the first and last authors’ contributions are greater than those in the middle [ 19 ].

At the end of the abstract they concluded: “more accurate documentation of funding sources in published articles would benefit researchers, funders and journals, and enhance the reliability and usefulness of funding acknowledgements.

https://publicationethics.org/members .

http://www.icmje.org/journals-following-the-icmje-recommendations/ .

https://www.stm-assoc.org/membership/our-members/ .

https://oaspa.org/membership/members/ .

https://doaj.org/sponsors .

Listed publishers were: American Chemical Society, American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, Cambridge University Press, Emerald, IEEE, Institute of Physics, Karger, Nature Publishing Group, Optical Society of America, Oxford University Press, Reed-Elsevier, Royal Society of Chemistry, Sage Publications, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Thieme Publishing Group, Wiley-Blackwell, and Wolters Kluwer. In the Supplementary Table, Nature Research was considered separately to Springer Nature, even though they fall under the same publisher.

https://fairsharing.org/ .

For all these aspects, a comprehensive analysis of all journals within each publisher listed in the Supplementary Table would be needed in order to clearly quantify deviations from ICMJE recommendations.

The ICMJE lists journals that claim to follow its recommendations, but the veracity of entries on those lists have not been verified, nor can the scholarly nature of those journals be proved. Publishers are not listed. Since several of the publishers listed in the Supplementary Table have hundreds or even thousands of journals, it is humanly impossible to verify the number of journals that claim to follow ICMJE guidelines, but this analysis is necessary.

Since deviation among clauses were detected in journals, even within the same publisher, there is a high likelihood that a clause might exist for one or more journals in several of the publishers with large journal fleets.

Flexibility is not necessarily a good thing because it opens up exceptions to the rule, and allows authors to interpret clauses and rules differently. This issue becomes particularly important for authors who have their papers rejected in one journal/publisher with rule/clause A, and then resubmit to another journal of another publisher with a different rule/clause B.

“Despite five decades of analysis putting forward the potential value of acknowledgments as markers of scientific capital, the literature still lacks consensus as to the value and functions of acknowledgments within the reward system of science.” (p. 2821).

“Professional editors (e.g. medical writers) engaged to prepare scientific texts and graphics, or to put research findings into a form suitable for publication, are to be listed as authors if, by virtue of these activities, they influence the weight attached to the findings and the impact of the publication. If they are only responsible for purely linguistic and editorial improvements, they are not to be listed in the byline; it is appropriate to mention them in the Acknowledgements.” (p. 4).

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The authors acknowledge the feedback of an anonymous reviewer as well as the journal’s Editor-in-Chief.

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Panagiotis Tsigaris

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Quan-Hoang Vuong

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Teixeira da Silva, J.A., Tsigaris, P. & Vuong, QH. Acknowledgments in Scientific Papers. Pub Res Q 39 , 280–299 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12109-023-09955-z

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How to Draft the Acknowledgment Section of a Manuscript

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What is the Purpose of the Acknowledgements Section in a Research Paper?

The acknowledgment section is an integral part of all academic research papers. It provides appropriate recognition to all contributors for their hard work. We discuss here,  the relevant guidelines for acknowledging contributors.

Defining Who Is Acknowledged

The acknowledgment section helps identify the contributors responsible for specific parts of the project. It can include:

  • Non-authors (colleagues, friends, supervisor, etc.)
  • Funding sources
  • Editing services ,
  • Administrative staff

In academic writing, the information presented in the acknowledgment section should be kept brief. It should only mention people directly involved with the project. In other words, one should not consider thanking ones’ parents for moral and financial support.

Acknowledging contributors is necessary. However, you must know the difference between an author and a contributor . The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ( ICMJE ) defines four criteria to assign authorship.

He or she has to have

  • Made substantial conceptual or design contributions or gathered and analyzed important data, and
  • Either helped draft or critically revise the paper in keeping with important intellectual content, and
  • Provided final approval before publishing, and
  • Agreed to be accountable for the accuracy of the work

These authors and their affiliations will be listed at the beginning of the paper. The “corresponding author” will also be listed a second time and will directly correspond with the journal to ensure documentation requirements are met.

Many journals now ask that you provide the role of each author in your acknowledgment section. For example, a typical statement of authors’ contributions might be as follows (note that only last names are used unless ambiguous):

Smith conducted the data analysis and created the tables and figures. Jones provided his technological expertise for GIS tracking. Johnson provided a factual review and helped edit the manuscript.

This type of acknowledgment provides your reader with a good sense of who was responsible for each part of your research and manuscript.

Acknowledgment Section

Non-Author Contributors

There are many people involved in a research project who are not authors but have provided valuable contributions. For example, one person’s responsibility might be to seek project funding; another’s might be to supervise laboratory staff. A few others might have provided valuable services such as technical editing and writing or offering help in reviewing and revising the manuscript for grammar and syntax. These people should also be mentioned in the acknowledgment section of your manuscript.

Acknowledgment should also be provided  for  writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading . Therefore, editing companies need to be duly acknowledged in professionally edited manuscripts as per the  ICMJE guidelines.

It is necessary to acknowledge editing companies in professionally edited manuscripts, even though these companies are paid for their work.

Acknowledgment Format

Unlike the main body of your paper, the format for your acknowledgment section can be more personal. It is permissible to use personal pronouns in this section. For example,

I thank the following individuals for their expertise and assistance throughout all aspects of our study and for their help in writing the manuscript.

Keep in mind that many guidelines indicate that funding sources be listed separately from the acknowledgment section. In addition, the sources (funding agencies) might have specific guidelines that you must follow. Please be sure to comply with these sources and your author guidelines.

For more information on authors and contributors , read articles on the Enago Academy website.

What types and formats of acknowledgments have you incorporated into your manuscripts? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you need help with manuscript editing ? Make sure you visit enago.com today!

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  • Acknowledgements for PhD Thesis and Dissertations – Explained
  • Doing a PhD

The Purpose of Acknowledgements

The acknowledgement section of a thesis or dissertation is where you recognise and thank those who supported you during your PhD. This can be but is not limited to individuals, institutions or organisations.

Although your acknowledgements will not be used to evaluate your work, it is still an important section of your thesis. This is because it can have a positive (or negative for that matter) influence the perception of your reader before they even reach the main body of your work.

Who Should I Acknowledge?

Acknowledgements for a PhD thesis will typically fall into one of two categories – professional or personal.

Within these categories, who you thank will ultimately be your decision. However, it’s imperative that you pay special attention to the ‘professional’ group. This is because not thanking someone who has played an important role in your studies, whether it be intentional or accidental, will more often than not be seen as a dismissal of their efforts. Not only would this be unfair if they genuinely helped you, but from a certain political aspect, it could also jeopardise any opportunities for future collaborations .

Professional Acknowledgements

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Funding bodies/sponsorship providers
  • Supervisors
  • Research group and lab assistants
  • Research participants
  • Proofreaders

Personal Acknowledgements

  • Key family members and friends
  • Individuals who inspired you or directly influenced your academic journey
  • Anyone else who has provided personal support that you would like to mention

It should be noted that certain universities have policies which state only those who have directly supported your work, such as supervisors and professors, should be included in your acknowledgements. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you read your university guidelines before writing this section of your thesis.

How to Write Acknowledgements for PhD Thesis

When producing this section, your writing style can be more informal compared to the rest of your thesis. This includes writing in first person and using more emotive language. Although in most cases you will have complete freedom in how you write this section of your thesis, it is still highly advisable to keep it professional. As mentioned earlier, this is largely because it will be one of the first things your assessors will read, and so it will help set the tone for the rest of your work.

In terms of its structure, acknowledgements are expected to be ordered in a manner that first recognises the most formal support before moving onto the less formal support. In most cases, this follows the same order that we have outlined in the ‘Who Should I Thank’ section.

When thanking professionals, always write out their full name and provide their title. This is because although you may be on a first-name basis with them, those who read your thesis will not. By providing full names and titles, not only do you help ensure clarity, but it could also indirectly contribute to the credibility of your thesis should the individual you’re thanking be well known within your field.

If you intend to include a list of people from one institution or organisation, it is best to list their names in alphabetical order. The exception to this is when a particular individual has been of significant assistance; here, it would be advisable to list them.

How Long Should My Acknowledgements Be?

Acknowledgements vary considerably in length. Some are a single paragraph whilst some continue for up to three pages. The length of your acknowledgement page will mostly depend on the number of individuals you want to recognise.

As a general rule, try to keep your acknowledgements section to a single page. Although there are no word limits, creating a lengthy acknowledgements section dilutes the gratitude you’re trying to express, especially to those who have supported you the most.

Where Should My Acknowledgements Go?

In the vast majority of cases, your acknowledgements should appear directly after your abstract and before your table of contents.

However, we highly advise you to check your university guidelines as a few universities set out their own specific order which they will expect you to follow.

Phrases to Help You Get Started

Dissertation acknowledgements example for researchers and PhD students

We appreciate how difficult it can be to truly show how grateful you are to those who have supported you over the years, especially in words.

To help you get started, we’ve provided you with a few examples of sentences that you can complete or draw ideas from.

  • I am deeply grateful to XXX…
  • I would like to express my sincere gratitude to XXX…
  • I would like to offer my special thanks to XXX…
  • I would like to extend my sincere thanks to XXX…
  • …for their assistance at every stage of the research project.
  • …for their insightful comments and suggestions.
  • …for their contribution to XXX.
  • …for their unwavering support and belief in me.

Thesis Acknowledgement Examples

Below are three PhD thesis acknowledgment samples from which you can draw inspiration. It should be noted that the following have been extracted from theses which are freely available in the public domain. Irrespective of this, references to any individual, department or university have been removed for the sake of privacy.

First and foremost I am extremely grateful to my supervisors, Prof. XXX and Dr. XXX for their invaluable advice, continuous support, and patience during my PhD study. Their immense knowledge and plentiful experience have encouraged me in all the time of my academic research and daily life. I would also like to thank Dr. XXX and Dr. XXX for their technical support on my study. I would like to thank all the members in the XXX. It is their kind help and support that have made my study and life in the UK a wonderful time. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my parents, my wife and my children. Without their tremendous understanding and encouragement in the past few years, it would be impossible for me to complete my study.

I would like to thank my supervisors Dr. XXX and Dr. XXX for all their help and advice with this PhD. I would also like to thank my sisters, whom without this would have not been possible. I also appreciate all the support I received from the rest of my family. Lastly, I would like to thank the XXX for the studentship that allowed me to conduct this thesis.

I would like to thank my esteemed supervisor – Dr. XXX for his invaluable supervision, support and tutelage during the course of my PhD degree. My gratitude extends to the Faculty of XXX for the funding opportunity to undertake my studies at the Department of XXX, University of XXX. Additionally, I would like to express gratitude to Dr. XXX for her treasured support which was really influential in shaping my experiment methods and critiquing my results. I also thank Dr. XXX, Dr. XXX, Dr. XXX for their mentorship. I would like to thank my friends, lab mates, colleagues and research team – XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX for a cherished time spent together in the lab, and in social settings. My appreciation also goes out to my family and friends for their encouragement and support all through my studies.

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scientific paper acknowledgement sample

Acknowledgements Example for an Academic or Scientific Research Paper

Acknowledgements Example for an Academic or Scientific Research Paper This example of acknowledgements for a research paper is designed to demonstrate how intellectual, financial and other research contributions should be formally acknowledged in academic and scientific writing. As brief acknowledgements for a research paper, the example gathers contributions of different kinds – intellectual assistance, financial support, image credits etc. – into a single Acknowledgements section. Do note, however, that the formats preferred by some scholarly journals require the separation of certain contributions such as financial support of research into their own sections. Although authors often write acknowledgements hastily, the Acknowledgements section is an important part of a research paper. Acknowledging assistance and contributions establishes your integrity as a researcher as well as your connections and collaborations. It can also help your readers with their own research, affect the influence and impact of the researchers and other professionals you thank, and demonstrate the value and purpose of the agencies that fund your work. The contents of the example I have prepared here are appropriate for a research paper intended for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, but the author, the research project, the manuscript studied, the journal publishing the paper and all those to whom gratitude is extended are entirely fictional. They were created for the purpose of demonstrating the following key concerns when writing the acknowledgements for a formal research paper: PhD Thesis Editing Services • Writing in the first person (‘I’ for a single author or ‘we’ for two or more) to offer concise but sincere acknowledgements of specific contributions to your research. • Maintaining formal language, complete sentences and a professional tone to give specific and thorough information about contributions and convey collegial gratitude. • Expressing respect and appreciation in an appropriate fashion for each and every contribution and avoiding artificial or excessive flattery. • Using the complete names and preferred name formats for individuals, funding agencies, libraries, businesses and other organisations. Here, for example, I posit that the library holding the relevant manuscript has indicated that the name of the collection (lengthy though it is) should not be abbreviated. • Acknowledging contributions to your research and paper in the order that best represents the nature and importance of those contributions. The assistance of the author’s mentor comes first here, for instance, whereas the language editor is acknowledged much further down the list. • Meeting the requirements for acknowledgements set by the journal or other publisher of the research paper. For the example below, the goal is to record all relevant contributions to the research and paper in a single brief Acknowledgements section of 500 words or less – a set of parameters that would suit the acknowledgement requirements or expectations of many academic and scientific journals and even fit into a footnote or endnote if necessary. Example Acknowledgements for an Academic Research Paper This paper and the research behind it would not have been possible without the exceptional support of my supervisor, Lawrence Magister. His enthusiasm, knowledge and exacting attention to detail have been an inspiration and kept my work on track from my first encounter with the log books of British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77 to the final draft of this paper. Margaret Kempis and Matthew Brown, my colleagues at Western University, have also looked over my transcriptions and answered with unfailing patience numerous questions about the language and hands of British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77. Samantha McKenzie, head librarian of the Southern Region Central Collegiate Library Special Collections and Microfilms Department where British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77 currently resides, not only provided colour images of the manuscript overnight, but unexpectedly shared the invaluable information on the book that she has been gathering for almost twenty years. I am also grateful for the insightful comments offered by the anonymous peer reviewers at Books & Texts. The generosity and expertise of one and all have improved this study in innumerable ways and saved me from many errors; those that inevitably remain are entirely my own responsibility. Studying British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77 has proved extremely costly and I am most thankful for the Western University Doctoral Fellowship that has provided financial support for the larger project from which this paper grew. A travel grant from the Literary Society of the Southern Region turned the hope of working in person with British Naval Ships MS VII.2.77 into a reality, and the generous offer of free accommodation from Ms McKay (Samantha McKenzie’s aunt) allowed me to continue my research with the book much longer than I could have hoped. The final design of the complicated transcription tables in Appendices I–III is the creative and technical work of Sam Stone at A+AcaSciTables.com, and the language and format of the paper have benefited enormously from the academic proofreading services of Veronica Perfect. Finally, it is with true pleasure that I acknowledge the contributions of my amazing partner, Kendric James, who has given up many a Friday evening and Sunday afternoon to read every version of this paper and the responses it has generated with a combination of compassion and criticism that only he could muster for what he fondly calls ‘my odd obsession with books about the sea.’

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Research Article

Acknowledgements are not just thank you notes: A qualitative analysis of acknowledgements content in scientific articles and reviews published in 2015

Roles Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Validation, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

* E-mail: [email protected]

Affiliation École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal, Downtown Station, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

ORCID logo

Roles Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Methodology, Supervision, Validation, Writing – review & editing

  • Adèle Paul-Hus, 
  • Nadine Desrochers

PLOS

  • Published: December 19, 2019
  • https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226727
  • Reader Comments

Table 1

Acknowledgements in scientific articles can be described as miscellaneous, their content ranging from pre-formulated financial disclosure statements to personal testimonies of gratitude. To improve understanding of the context and various uses of expressions found in acknowledgements, this study analyses their content qualitatively. The most frequent noun phrases from a Web of Science acknowledgements corpus were analysed to generate 13 categories. When 3,754 acknowledgement sentences were manually coded into the categories, three distinct axes emerged: the contributions, the disclaimers, and the authorial voice. Acknowledgements constitute a space where authors can detail the division of labour within collaborators of a research project. Results also show the importance of disclaimers as part of the current scholarly communication apparatus, an aspect which was not highlighted by previous analyses and typologies of acknowledgements. Alongside formal disclaimers and acknowledgements of various contributions, there seems to remain a need for a more personal space where the authors can speak for themselves, in their own name, on matters they judge worth mentioning.

Citation: Paul-Hus A, Desrochers N (2019) Acknowledgements are not just thank you notes: A qualitative analysis of acknowledgements content in scientific articles and reviews published in 2015. PLoS ONE 14(12): e0226727. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226727

Editor: Cassidy Rose Sugimoto, Indiana University Bloomington, UNITED STATES

Received: July 12, 2019; Accepted: November 24, 2019; Published: December 19, 2019

Copyright: © 2019 Paul-Hus, Desrochers. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: Restrictions apply to the availability of the acknowledgement data, which is used under license from Clarivate Analytics. Readers can contact Clarivate Analytics at the following URL: http://clarivate.com/scientific-and-academic-research/research-discovery/web-of-science/ . References for the acknowledgement excerpts used are available in S1 Table .

Funding: APH was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ( http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/ ): Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships. ND was supported the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ( http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/ ): Insight Development [grant number 430-2014-0617]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Publisher's Note: The article involves the independent analysis of data from publications in PLOS ONE. PLOS ONE staff had no knowledge or involvement in the study design, funding, execution or manuscript preparation. The evaluation and editorial decision for this manuscript have been managed by an Academic Editor independent of PLOS ONE staff, per our standard editorial process. The findings and conclusions reported in this article are strictly those of the author(s).

Introduction

The idea of using acknowledgements as a source for bibliometric indicators has been surrounding their study since the 1990s. In 1991, Cronin was already asking, “why are acknowledgement counts excluded from formal assessments of individual merit or influence, such as tenure review?” ([ 1 ]: p. 236). In 1995, Cronin and Weaver were encouraging the development of an Acknowledgement Index, based on the model of the Science Citation Index [ 2 ]. Almost two decades later, Costas and van Leeuwen [ 3 ] suggested that it was perhaps time “to employ this sort of tool to facilitate development of the so-called ‘influmetrics’” ([ 3 ]: p. 1659). For their part, Díaz-Faes and Bordons [ 4 ] highlighted that the inclusion of acknowledgement information in the Web of Science (WoS) was offering new avenues to study collaboration in science, going beyond traditional bibliometric indicators. McCain [ 5 ] went further and assessed the feasibility of a formal Personal Acknowledgements Index. And yet, despite decades of studies positioning acknowledgements alongside citations and authorship in what Cronin called the “reward triangle” [ 6 ], the consideration of acknowledgements as an indicator of scientific credit has not materialized and, at best, remains a proposal at the exploratory stage, or even simply a rhetorical idea (see [ 7 ] for a meta-synthesis of this literature).

At the same time, many studies have used funding-related indicators based on acknowledgement data (e.g. [ 8 – 11 ]). In fact, acknowledgement studies can no longer be separated from the financial aspect of scientific research. In 2008, WoS started to collect and index funding sources found in the acknowledgements of scientific papers. These new data were added by WoS in response to many funding bodies’ requirement to acknowledge the sources supporting research. Since then, large-scale acknowledgement data have been used as a bibliometric tool to follow the money trail of research and funding-related analyses have become a dominant trend in recent acknowledgement literature [ 7 ]. To this day, acknowledgements have been more closely related to funding indicators than to any other kind of scientific credit indicators.

The literature also underlines the elusive nature of acknowledgements, pointing to their form and tone, which have been described as sometimes flowery, personal, and even manipulative:

  • Acknowledgements are permeated by hyperbole, effusiveness, overstatement, and exaggeration. ([ 12 ]: p. 64)
  • Acknowledgements have been discussed as a form of patronage in scholarly communication, where the reality of the past may be purposefully glossed over and where the author could be looking toward the possibility of receiving future favours. ([ 13 ]: p. 4)

Furthermore, several studies mention the lack of standardization of acknowledgements as one important limitation hindering their analyses:

  • The format of acknowledgement varies from field to field and from journal to journal. As noted, persons and institutional sources may be listed in the methods and materials section of an article or explicitly thanked in an acknowledgement section. ([ 14 ]: p. 506)
  • Since there are no established formats for acknowledgements in papers, as there are for citations, expressions of gratitude vary greatly and sometimes it was difficult to identify the correct type of support, and even more difficult, the correct funding organization. ([ 15 ]: p. 238)
  • The first source of simple error may arise through the misspelling of the names of funding bodies and potentially the names of grants and grant codes […]. A second difficulty will be that researchers will not correctly remember the funding bodies and grants that they used to support the research. ([ 16 ]: p. 368–369)

Acknowledgements may thus contain formally required statements of gratitude but have also been used as personal spaces of authorial expression, and as such, acknowledgement texts have been analysed as a genre per se. Several discourse and linguistic analyses have studied acknowledgements found in dissertations, theses, monographies, and research articles (e.g. [ 17 – 19 ]).

Acknowledgements analyses have also led to numerous typologies or classifications of the contributions acknowledged in scientific publications. In 1972, Mackintosh [ 20 ] proposed the first qualitative content analysis of acknowledgements based on a typology of the three main types of “services” acknowledged in scientific papers: facilities , access to data , and help of individuals . Twenty years later, McCain [ 14 ] offered a finer typology of acknowledgements, using five categories: access to research-related information , access to unpublished results and data , peer interactive communication , technical assistance , and manuscript preparation . The same year, Cronin introduced his first version of a six-part typology of acknowledgements ( paymaster , moral support , dogsbody , technical , prime mover , and trusted assessor ) which was created before encountering Mackintosh’s 1972 and McCain’s 1991 work [ 1 , 21 ]. Subsequent versions of this typology—developed with different collaborators through the years (namely McKenzie, Rubio and Weaver(-Wozniak))—include the peer interactive communication category borrowed from McCain [ 14 ] alongside moral support , access (to resources, materials and infrastructure), clerical support , technical support , and financial support [ 2 , 22 – 24 ]. Cronin’s model has since been adopted, adapted, and augmented in several studies (e.g. [ 25 – 30 ].

More recently, Giles and Councill [ 31 ] used natural language processing to extract named entities from more than 180,000 acknowledgements published in computer science research papers. In their content analysis, the most frequently acknowledged entities are classified into four categories: funding agencies , corporations , universities and individuals . Other studies have analysed the content of acknowledgements focusing on funding bodies and classifying them by sectors and subsectors (e.g. [ 10 , 32 – 35 ]).

Finally, linguistic studies have also used classifications of acknowledgements, focusing on the structure and patterns of dissertation acknowledgement texts (e.g. [ 18 , 36 – 40 ]) and on the socio-pragmatic construction of acknowledgements found in research articles and academic books [ 19 , 41 – 43 ].

Typologies and classifications aim to describe and categorize the content of acknowledgements in a synthetic manner. However, these taxonomies are based on small-scale samples of acknowledgements, the only exception being the work of Giles and Councill [ 31 ] which focused solely on named entities. More recently, a large-scale multidisciplinary analysis of acknowledgement texts was published by the authors and collaborators in PLOS One [ 44 ]. This analysis of acknowledgements from more than one million articles and reviews published in 2015, highlighted important variations in the practices of acknowledging. Focusing on the 214 most frequent noun phrases of that corpus, the study showed that acknowledgement practices truly do vary across disciplines. Noun phrases referring to technical support appeared more frequently in natural sciences while noun phrases related to peers (colleagues, editors and reviewers) were more frequent in earth and space, professional fields, and social sciences. Noun phrases referring to logistics and fieldwork-related tasks appeared prominently in biology. Pre-formulated statements used in the context of conflict of interest or responsibility disclosures were more frequently found in acknowledgements from clinical medicine, health, and psychology. However, this analysis also led to further questions concerning the interpretation of these noun phrases in their original context. Findings from this study showed that acknowledgements are not limited to credit attribution and that the numerous taxonomies and classifications found in the literature do not account for the current acknowledgement practices where pre-formulated statements of financial assistance and conflict of interest disclosures appear to be frequent [ 44 ]. Conclusions from this study raise further questions because these pre-formulated statements could have an influence on large-scale analyses that use automated linguistic methods, thus calling for a qualitative analysis of acknowledgements in the context of their use.

Objective and research questions

To improve understanding of the context and various uses of expressions found in acknowledgements, this study proposes to analyse their content qualitatively. More specifically, this study aims at answering the following research questions:

  • In which contexts are specific expressions used?
  • Do the contexts and meanings vary by discipline?
  • What does a qualitative analysis reveal in terms of offering avenues for a more contextualized use of acknowledgements in large-scale studies?

Data and methods

Data for this study were retrieved from WoS’s Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-E) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), which both include funding acknowledgement data. It bears repeating that acknowledgments are collected and indexed by WoS only if they include funding source information [ 45 ]. Access to WoS data in a relational database format was provided by the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies ( http://www.ost.uqam.ca ). The full text of acknowledgements from all 2015 articles and reviews indexed in the SCI-E and the SSCI were extracted. The original corpus includes a total of 1,009,411 acknowledgements for as many papers.

In a previous analysis, we identified the 214 most frequent noun phrases of that corpus of acknowledgement using natural language processing [ 44 ]. For the purpose the present qualitative analysis, these 214 noun phrases were reduced to single words (e.g. “technical assistance” was reduced to “technical” and “assistance”) and redundant words were excluded, for a final corpus of 154 single words. Each single word could therefore be found in context, no matter its proximity to other single words; this offered us the possibility to code various types of occurrences of each word, whether it was part of a noun phrase or not.

The coding was done in two steps. First, an initial codebook was established inductively by one researcher to classify each of the 154 words and revised by a second researcher. All words were then coded by both researchers and their work was reconciled through “negotiated agreement” ([ 46 ]: p. 305, see also [ 47 , 48 ]). Second, 20 words were selected from the corpus of 154 words by purposeful sampling, where cases for study are selected because “they offer useful manifestations of the phenomenon of interest” ([ 49 ]: p. 40). Selection of the words included in the final sample was based on the quantitative analysis findings [ 44 ], which highlighted the potential importance of pre-formulated statements such as “The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript” (ut 000367510900041). Special attention was given to the words frequently used in those statements (e.g. analysis, collection, design, preparation). Sampling decisions were also oriented towards potential polysemous words which could lead to different contextual meanings (e.g. “assistance”). The 20 words of the final sample were coded within the context of their original sentences, extracted from acknowledgements. Words were thus used as a seed to refer back to full acknowledgement sentences.

The coding process entails data reduction where the many meanings of a sentence must be reduced or summarized under one main category [ 50 ] in order to reflect a practice or a phenomenon on a humanly manageable scale. The principles of saturation and qualitative sampling, whereby the sample is “conceptually representative of the set of all possible units” ([ 51 ]: p. 84), ensures that the phenomenon is reflected in its full complexity. Therefore, acknowledgements were stratified by discipline to reflect potentially different disciplinary uses of a word. Coding was then performed on this sample of 20 words within their original acknowledgement contexts, using the sentence as the unit of analysis and adapting the codebook in an iterative manner as finer meanings emerged.

The final codebook is composed of 13 categories, presented in Table 1 . The coding was done by one researcher and guided by the question, “in which context is this word used?” One category was selected for each sentence coded, aiming at qualifying the context in which a word is used. Each word of the sample was coded in a minimum of 15 original sentences per discipline, for all 12 disciplines, resulting in a total of 3,754 sentences coded. Results are reported in “thick description” using sufficient descriptions and quotations to allow “thick interpretation”, which means connecting individual cases to the larger context without going into trivial details ([ 49 ]: p. 503).

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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226727.t001

The results of the coding process are summarized in Table 2 which presents, for each word of the sample, the percentage of all the occurrences attributed to a specific category. The analysis reveals the importance of three distinct axes: the contributions, the disclaimers, and the authorial voice. Moreover, disciplinary patterns bring another layer of analysis as divergent uses of the coded words emerge.

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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226727.t002

Contributions

Acknowledgements constitute a space where authors can detail “who has done what” during the research process. Most often, authors use this space to thank colleagues that contributed to the research, as in the following example: “The authors thank Colleen Dalton and four anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments that improved the manuscript. We thank Fan-Chi Lin for providing FTAN measurements for comparison, and Anna Foster, Jiayi Xie and Goran Ekstrom for informative discussion.” (ut 000355321800013; earth and space). However, in some cases acknowledgements can also include contributorship statements from the authors in order to reflect the distribution of labour: “A.P., V.M. and V.P were involved in writing the manuscript. A.B.G and Y.A.K. were responsible for conception of the idea” (ut 000365808000014; clinical medicine).

The categories peer communication, investigation and analysis, materials and resources, and writing refer to specific types of contribution to research. These categories, taken together, represent half (50%) of the sample coded, confirming the importance of the contributions axis within the acknowledgements’ context. Moreover, some words are used most often to refer to specific categories of contribution, such as “access” which is used mainly in the category materials and resources (70% of the occurrences coded), “discussion” which is almost exclusively associated to the peer communication category (98% of the occurrences coded), and “assistance”, “experiment”, “help”, and “measurement”, which are all mainly associated to the category investigation and analysis (more than 60% of the occurrences coded).

Disclaimers

Acknowledgements are not necessarily thank-you notes or recognition of responsibility. Financial disclosure, conflict of interest, disclaimer, and ethics account for more than 40% of the sample coded. In fact, the categories financial disclosure and disclaimer are among the most frequent in the sample, accounting respectively for 22% and 18% of all occurrences coded. The words “analysis”, “collection”, “decision”, “design”, “interpretation”, “preparation”, and “writing”, which could all seemingly refer to types of contributions, were in fact used in the context of responsibility statements in a substantial share of the cases analysed. Moreover, the words “decision”, “design” and “interpretation” also are mostly found in those kinds of responsibility disclaimers (in respectively 65%, 55% and 61% of the occurrences coded for these specific words).

Non-responsibility statements of funding bodies are the most frequent disclaimers. The following example presents a typical statement: “The funding source had no role in the design of the study, the analysis and interpretation of the data or the writing of, nor the decision to publish the manuscript.” (ut 000352854700010). However, we found declarations of non-responsibility for other types of contributors regarding some part of a research project, as in the following sentence: “The data collectors have no responsibility over the analysis and interpretations presented in this study.” (ut 000349266800011). Furthermore, disclaimers are not always non-responsibility statements and can, on the contrary, disclose the specific responsibility of an organization, such as: “This study was funded by Xi'an Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd (Beijing, People's Republic of China) who was responsible for study design and data collection, analysis, and interpretation.” (ut 000356594900001).

Contributions and disclaimers crossovers

In many cases, the disciplinary stratification provided a further level of analysis. The words “analysis”, “assistance”, and “code” present clear disciplinary patterns where the coding highlights the distinction between the two main contextual uses: the contributions axis and the disclaimers axis. For instance, the word “analysis” is used primarily in the sample to describe an investigation and analysis type of contribution: “We are grateful to Nahoko Adachi for her help in conducting the statistical analysis” (ut 000353959400005; psychology). However, for biomedical research, clinical medicine, and health, “analysis” is used mainly within the category disclaimer (example: “The funding agencies did not have any role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript” [ut 000346498800018; clinical medicine]). Mathematics is a divergent discipline, where the dominant category for “analysis” is financial disclosure, as exemplified by the following sentence: “This work was supported by the International Max-Planck Research School, 'Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Bio-chemical Process Engineering', Otto-von-Guericke-Universitat Magdeburg” (ut 000362588800005; mathematics).

Similarly, the word “assistance” is generally used across disciplines to describe a contribution pertaining to the category investigation and analysis (example: “The authors thank S. Watmough and K. Finder for assistance with field sampling at Dorset, and A. McDonough for assistance with the classification of plant species” [ut 000347756900044; earth and space]), except in engineering and technology and in mathematics where “assistance” is used to disclose financial help (financial disclosure) in the majority of the cases examined, as in this sentence: “The financial assistance of the National Research Foundation (NRF grant: Unlocking the future- FA2007043000003) towards this research is hereby acknowledged” (ut 000350024900008; mathematics).

Two distinct contextual uses emerge for the word “code”: it is found most often within the disclaimers axis (financial disclosure category) in biology, biomedical research, chemistry, health, psychology and social sciences (example: “The research (project code: TSY-11-3820) was supported by the Research Fund of Erciyes University” [ut 000363704000011; biology]) while it is used to describe a specific contribution (investigation and analysis category) in the majority of the cases studied in earth and space, engineering and technology, mathematics, physics and professional fields (example: “We thank Prof. D. Karaboga and Dr. B. Basturk for providing their excellent ABC MATLAB codes to implement this research” [ut 000361400900022; earth and space]).

In the case of the word “review”, the coding process also highlights two dominant uses, varying with the discipline: in biology, biomedical research, earth and space, mathematics, physics, and in the professional fields, “review” is used primarily to describe some part of the peer communication process (peer communication category), as in the following example: “We would like to express our gratitude to the anonymous referee for his or her careful review and insightful comments, in particular, for pointing out a simple proof of Lemma 1.8.” (ut 000347714700003; engineering and technology). However, in clinical medicine, a different use is made of the word “review,” mainly to refer to the document per se (dissemination category), as in this example: “We are grateful to Dr. Mozzetta for critically reading the manuscript and all members of the lab for stimulating discussions during the preparation of this review” (ut 000352374400001; clinical medicine). For all the remaining disciplines (chemistry, health, psychology, and social sciences), both categories (peer communication and dissemination) appear frequently.

The word “data” also presents distinct disciplinary patterns in the sample coded. “Data” is used mainly within the contributions axis (materials and resources category) in biology, clinical medicine, earth and space, engineering and technology, and social sciences (example: “The authors thank Chesapeake Energy for providing access to the VSP data we used” [ut 000364362900035; earth and space]). Moreover, the word “data” refers to a task within the investigation and analysis category in an important share of the cases coded in chemistry, physics, professional fields, and psychology (example: “We thank all graduate research assistants who helped with data collection” [ut 000348882900009; psychology]). However, “data” is mainly found within the disclaimers axis in clinical medicine and health (disclaimer category) as in the following example: “The funding agencies had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, the decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript” [ut 000345586900003; clinical medicine].

Authorial voice

Although details of contributions and various disclaimers represent a substantive share of their content, acknowledgements also constitute a space for personal testimony. Notwithstanding the expectations of funders and ethical considerations, acknowledgements remain the subjective presentation of researchers’ practices and of research contexts. The authors are the voice of the acknowledgements and as such, the word “author” is one of the most frequent with more than 339,000 occurrences in our dataset. Moreover, even when the word “author” is absent, the concept is not. In fact, the authorial voice cannot be reduced to a single category, because it pervades the acknowledgements whether the authors speak in the first or third persons:

  • “ I would like to thank Iliana Flores, Amy Harrison, and Shannon Kahlden for their help with data collection.” (ut 000361977300090)
  • “ We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers for the contributions to this manuscript.” (ut 000364777400031)
  • “Also, our thanks go to Mr Vit Hanousek who designed an original computer tool suitable for making all the above-discussed measurements.” (ut 000346267600010)
  • “The authors declare that they have no competing interests.” (ut 000369908800022)
  • “The authors wish to express their appreciation to the National Iranian Copper Industry Company (NICICO) for funding this work.” (ut 000344595900005)
  • “Schuster is profoundly grateful to all the families who hosted her but especially Hasidullah, his wife, son and grandson who were unfailingly patient and kind with the strange cuckoo in their nest and to the Leverhulme Trust for funding her time in Afghanistan.” (ut 000350285300006)
  • “This review is dedicated to the memory of my father who was a source of inspiration.” (ut 000349637500005)

Furthermore, as exemplified by the cases presented above, the varied nature of the testimonies found in acknowledgements underlines a need for a “free space” within research publications. Alongside formal disclaimers and acknowledgements of various contributions, authors seem to require a more personal space where they can speak for themselves, in their own name, on matters they judge worth mentioning.

Discussion and conclusion

In the last decades, acknowledgements have become a “constitutive element of academic writing” ([ 52 ]: p. 160). However, the acknowledgement section is not a mandatory part of a scientific article and its content could certainly be described as miscellaneous, ranging from pre-formulated financial disclosure statements to personal testimonies of gratitude. Moreover, acknowledgements’ content and practices have evolved over time, just as citations and authorship attribution practices have changed following the transformations that are affecting the whole reward system of science [ 53 ].

Typologies and classifications of acknowledgements have been a consistent topic in the acknowledgement literature [ 7 ]. Most of these typologies and classifications revolve around the contributions axis of acknowledgements, focusing on “who gets thanked for what” and “what types of contributions are acknowledged”. This qualitative analysis of acknowledgement content confirms the importance of the contributions axis: acknowledgements are indeed still a space where authors can detail the division of labour within all collaborators of a research project. Our findings also reveal the importance of disclaimers as part of the current scholarly communication apparatus, an aspect which was not highlighted by previous analyses and typologies.

It should be noted that our analysis was restricted to a corpus of single words, sampled from noun phrases identified by correspondence analysis [ 44 ]. Further research could now seek to recombine those single words into noun phrases that present variations in meaning around a common concept, such as “assistance” (e.g. “technical assistance” and “financial assistance”). Furthermore, our coding of acknowledgement sentences was done using mutually exclusive categories, an epistemological choice. Given the fact that sentences can perform more than one kind of action, another avenue would be to use open coding and place occurrences in non-exclusive, mutually complementary categories.

Our qualitative results show that caution should be used when working with acknowledgement data. Large-scale acknowledgement data are limited to funded research, given that in the two main bibliographic databases, Web of Science and Scopus, acknowledgements are collected with the intended objective of identifying funding sponsors and tracking funded research [ 54 , 55 ]. The indexation of acknowledgements are thus limited to acknowledgements that contain some kind of funding information; this could in turn induce a potential bias toward funding-related aspects within acknowledgements’ content [ 45 ]. This indexation bias could then, at least in part, explain the importance of funding disclosures in the dataset analysed here, but also elsewhere in large-scale studies.

Yet, our findings show that acknowledgements cannot be described as having one single and homogeneous purpose; they can include expected, if not imposed, acknowledgement of financial resources as well as infrastructure alongside very personal testimonies of gratitude, all at the same time, as the following excerpt exemplifies: “Data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. […]. The authors wish to extend special thanks to those of Hawaiian ancestry, on whose sacred mountain we are privileged to be guests. Without their generous hospitality, the observations would not have been possible” (ut 000363471600015). On rare occasions, personal matters discussed in the acknowledgements become the center of attention, such as when an author proposed to his girlfriend in the acknowledgement of a paper: “C.M.B. would specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O’Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?” [ 56 ]. This particular paper was covered by many news outlets and online media sites when it was published, ranking in the 20 th position of the Altmetrics Top100 ranking for the year 2015. Such a case highlights the potential unexpected effect an acknowledgement can have on the visibility of a paper.

Clearly delimited and dedicated spaces for funding information, conflict of interest disclosures and contributorship statements are already implemented in some scientific journals (e.g. PLOS One , The Lancet , Science ). Nonetheless, such examples are far from the norm at the moment. In light of our findings, if an effort of standardization of acknowledgements is to be made, acknowledgements should at least include three main sections: ethics of research (financial disclosure, conflict of interest and responsibility disclaimers), contributions made to research, and personal testimony. These three indexation fields would, in turn, allow large-scale analysis of acknowledgements without the equivocality that currently characterizes these texts, yet without narrowing the space left for the authorial voice. The question remains as to whether there is a real wish within the scientific community to delineate such acknowledgement sections; if not, acknowledgement data are likely destined to remain simple tracking devices for science funding, the contributions and the authorial voices lost in large-scale analyses of scientific credit.

Supporting information

S1 table. references of the acknowledgement excerpts cited..

References are presented in order of in-text appearance.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226727.s001

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Vincent Larivière for his comments and the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful suggestions and careful reading of the manuscript. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships (Paul-Hus) and, Insight Development [grant number 430-2014-0617] (Desrochers).

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  • 15. Jeschin D, Lewison G, Anderson J. A bibliometric database for tracking acknowledgements of research funding. In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics. 1995. p. 235–44.
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How to Write the Acknowledgements Section of Your Paper

scientific paper acknowledgement sample

Quick Takeaways:

  • The Acknowledgements section names who helped or supported you, and how, during your research or study
  • Use our checklist as a guide to drafting the Acknowledgements of your dissertation or journal manuscript, and
  • Download our example Acknowledgements and use it as a template

The English language has a rich history of borrowing words from other languages, especially from Latin. Latin abbreviations such as ‘a.m.’, ‘p.m.’ and ‘CV’ have become part of our everyday vocabulary. Such abbreviations are also frequently used in academic writing, from the ‘Ph.D.’ in the affiliation section to the ‘i.e.’, ‘e.g.’, ‘et al.’, and ‘QED’ in the rest of the paper.

This guide explains when and how to correctly use ‘et al.’ in a research paper.

In this guide:

  • 1) Meaning of ‘et al.’
  • a) Table: Correct use of ‘et al.’ by style guide
  • b) Unusual scenarios

A global requirement in scholarly coursework and research is that the intellectual and practical work, as well as the write-up, must be done entirely by the scholar or researcher.

For that reason, sources of any text, ideas, or data that were not your own need to be clearly cited. Any reproduced or adapted material also needs copyright permission. Similarly, if you were allowed to receive specific types of help during your study, you must declare that support in a special section titled ‘Acknowledgements’.

The Acknowledgements section reflects academic honesty and transparency. It shows your professionalism by publicly giving credit to individuals or groups who substantially contributed to your work, whether for free or paid for. It also shows that you know how to be a courteous member of your academic network. After all, you’d expect similar recognition for helping your peers in the future.

You need to declare support in an Acknowledgements section, in both:

  • University degree projects that are submitted as theses or dissertations. In general, ‘thesis’ and ‘dissertation’ are the names of the project write-ups for, respectively, taught degrees and research degrees in the US, but the reverse order in the UK. (From now, just the word ‘dissertation’ will be used.)
  • Research manuscripts that are submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, books, monographs, or chapters.

This guide will provide general advice on how to prepare the Acknowledgements section for dissertations and journal manuscripts. We’ll discuss the two document types according to the following six steps.

A. Writing the Acknowledgements for Your Dissertation or Manuscript

Step 1: List who directly helped you and how Step 2: List who else supported you and how Step 3: Take responsibility for your work Step 4: Consider research and publication ethics Step 5: Check document guidelines Step 6: Edit and proofread Putting it all together: A quick checklist

B. Example Acknowledgements for (1) a dissertation and (2) a journal article  [ Free Download ] 

Quick aside.

The US spelling is ‘Acknowledgments’, whereas the UK spelling is ‘Acknowledgements’. The singular word can be used as the section heading if you’re thanking only one person, group, or institution.

Step 1: List who directly helped you and how

The first step is to transparently and accurately list specific external (non-author) contributions and support necessary to complete your work. Clearly identifying the source of materials or data is particularly important for other researchers wishing to repeat or build on your findings.

Provide full names of the people or institutions that helped you. Omit titles of people, such as Mr or Ms, but you may use Dr or Prof (or Dr. or Prof., depending on whether you’re following US, UK, or other convention in your report). If possible, include the institution of each person and, if required by a journal, also their job title and specialty or department.

Specific support that must normally be acknowledged in both dissertations and manuscripts include:

  • Funding, sponsorship, or fellowship, including the name of the funding agency and award or grant number, and a statement of whether the funder was involved in the study and reporting (some journals require a separate funding section for this declaration)
  • People, institutions, or organisations that gave access to facilities or equipment
  • Study participants (e.g., interviewees, patients, staff of an institution)
  • People who supplied special materials, reagents, or samples
  • Providers of technical assistance or services (name the specific method and extent of help received)
  • Source and permission to use specific datasets, or copyright permission to reproduce or adapt illustrations or other material
  • People who collected data, transcribed or translated interviews, or performed data entry, coding, or statistical analysis
  • People who discussed, critiqued, or advised on an earlier draft
  • People who helped with language (e.g., translation, editing, proofreading) or artwork during report preparation

There are several options for acknowledging support in a formal and polite way in dissertations and manuscripts. A direct way is to start with a relevant verb or noun, such as ‘We thank X [person] for Y [contribution as verb+ing or noun]’, ‘We appreciate the Y [contribution as noun] of X’, ‘Thanks are due/owed to X…’, or, simply, ‘Thanks go to X…’:

We sincerely thank Dr Alan Pan (Department of Surgery, ABC University) for assisting with case selection.

I thank Prof Kate Chang of the University of ABC for permission to use and reproduce the survey instrument.

We appreciate the assistance of the staff of the ABC Division of ABC University, who recruited the volunteers.

Special thanks go to Mari Beer (ABC Editing Company) for useful comments on and for editing an earlier draft of this manuscript.

An indirect, and weaker, way is to use an adjective or a noun conveying thanks, such as ‘We are thankful/grateful to’ or ‘We express/extend our thanks/gratitude/appreciation to’:

I am grateful to the ABC University Core Research Unit for providing DNA sequencing services.

We extend our gratitude to Prof. Mike Jackson (Director, Centre for ABC, University of ABC) for providing the samples used in this study.

An even more indirect, and also ambiguous, way of thanking is to start with a verb of intention, as in ‘I would like to’, ‘I wish to’, and ‘I want to’:

We would like to thank the patients at ABC Medical Centre who participated in this study.

I wish to express my gratitude to Julia Punn for drawing the graph in Figure 2.

Use of the verb ‘acknowledge’ (as in ‘acknowledge X for Y’ or ‘acknowledge Y by/from X’) may imply a sense of obligation or reluctance:

I acknowledge the ABC Department at ABC University for permission to use the data.

We gratefully acknowledge the copyediting performed by Dr Ruth Cone, Associate Professor in English at the University of ABC.

The grammatical subject for thanking in the Acknowledgements can usually be ‘I’ (or ‘We’ for multi-authored journal manuscripts). If the publication style is to avoid personal pronouns, you can use ‘The author/s’ as the subject:

The author is thankful to Louis Grey of ABC Language Services for proofreading the manuscript.

Alternatively, the acknowledged party can be the subject of sentences using either the active or passive voice.

Jeff Smith, Head Librarian at ABC University, deserves special thanks for providing access to the university archives.

The staff at the Institute of ABC are thanked for providing technical advice and facilities throughout the project.

Funding is commonly acknowledged first or last and in a factual, impersonal way in the passive voice:

This study was supported in part by the ABC University Grants Committee (Award No. 123456).

Research funding for this project was provided by the ABC University Grants Committee (Award No. 123456).

Check your institution, publisher, or funder policy for types and extent of support allowed. For example, most universities strictly do not allow writing assistance, but might allow editing and proofreading assistance under certain conditions. Some journals consider that people who wrote drafts qualify as authors.

Step 2: List who else supported you and how

Journal manuscripts and dissertations commonly acknowledge indirect practical assistance and general intellectual support. Dissertations allow a wider range of indirect, non-research acknowledgements written in a more personal style. Examples of indirect support are given below:

  • Academic or project supervision
  • Obtaining research grants
  • Academic discussion or training
  • General administrative, logistic, or practical help
  • Mentorship and inspirational lecturers, tutors, or other people
  • Guidance or support in applying for the studentship
  • General training, discussion, or advice (e.g., from teachers, the research group, support staff, or fellow students)
  • Moral or emotional support from peers, friends, family, or even pets
  • Spiritual or religious support
  • Dedication to a family member, friend, or inspirational person
  • Dedication to a community, study participants, readers, or other group
  • Dedication to a deceased supervisor or close acquaintance such as a family member, friend, or colleague
  • Dedications may go at the start or end of the Acknowledgements but may be limited to a deceased co-author of the manuscript
  • Useful comments, or a specific useful suggestion, from one or more ‘anonymous reviewers/referees’

The typical order for the Acknowledgements is to mention direct then indirect support. Alternatively, the order can reflect decreasing importance of contributions regardless of category.

It’s best to group similar roles together. Introduce a series of acknowledgements in a list, followed by a colon. You may need to use semicolons as ‘super commas’ to clarify each contribution. For example:

This article has benefited from the contributions of the following people: my former primary supervisor, Dr A (ABC University), who obtained project funding and reviewed multiple drafts; Prof B (DEF University), who provided useful discussion on theoretical frameworks; and Dr C (GHI University), who tutored me in advanced research methods.

For dissertations , non-technical acknowledgements often use a semi-formal, expressive style with positive adjectives and adverbs:

Many thanks go to my supervisor, Prof Jane Wong, for advice, encouragement, and support throughout my degree. Without her immensely valuable and motivational feedback at weekly meetings and on multiple drafts, this dissertation would never have been completed.

Last but not least, I am indebted to my family for their unfailing love and unconditional support. Their strong belief in me kept me going through both thick and thin in my studies.

This dissertation is dedicated to my grandparents, Naomi Tanaka and the late Tom Tanaka. They are my constant guiding light.

In journal manuscripts , use a formal style. Don’t thank co-authors, and thank supervisors only if they don’t meet the journal’s authorship criteria. Examples of non-technical acknowledgements:

I am grateful to my supervisor, Prof Gladys Cho, for her encouragement and guidance.

We thank the two anonymous journal reviewers and the handling editor, Dr Andy Harris, for helpful comments on an earlier draft.

This article is dedicated to the memory of Dr Yvonne Koo, the third co-author, who died during the preparation of this manuscript.

To avoid repeating the same thanking phrase, use a variety of phrases, as well as signal words such as ‘In addition,’ ‘Furthermore,’ and ‘also’. You may end with the most meaningful or special contribution following phrases such as ‘In particular, I am most grateful for’, ‘Most importantly, I thank’ ‘I especially thank’, or ‘Finally, special thanks go to’.

Step 3: Take responsibility for your work

A sentence that is often included near the end of the Acknowledgements, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, is about accepting sole responsibility for the work, text, content, interpretations, opinions, or conclusions presented. This sentence commonly comes after thanking people who gave reviewing, editing, or proofreading assistance. It publicly removes blame from non-authors for any potential problems, deficiencies, or mistakes in the work and implies they may not necessarily agree with the content.

The statement also allows the author/s to explicitly claim that the final version is their own work. For example:

All opinions, omissions, and errors remain my own.

The responsibility for the content and any remaining errors remains exclusively with the authors.

In addition, authors may be required (e.g., by their funder) to explicitly say the content is entirely their own. For example:

The views and opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of their institutions, employers, or funders.

Acknowledgements for dissertations can end, or begin, with a brief statement of the researcher’s personal reflections of their degree course, about how they have become a credible and mature member of the research community. For example:

This degree has taught me both academic and personal lessons, including how to be a responsible, resilient, and professional researcher.

Step 4: Consider research and publication ethics

You may be required to include specific additional statements in the Acknowledgements that are related to research and reporting ethics. Such declarations may be required in separate itemised sections of a manuscript or dissertation, but if there are no specific instructions, they can go in the Acknowledgments. The following are some examples:

  • Ethics approval for conducting human or animal studies, and details of how human participants gave their informed consent
  • Prior journal or online publication of the work or presentation at conferences; also for journal manuscripts: prior presentation in a dissertation/thesis
  • Authors’ financial or non-financial conflicts of interest, also called competing interests (identify specific authors by initials); or say ‘All authors declare they have no competing interests’
  • Conflicts of interest or sources of funding for anyone else who helped in the research or reporting (e.g., copyeditors paid for by industry sponsors)
  • Authors’ specific contributions to the research and publication. The contributions may be organised by author (using initials) or by contribution, for example, according to categories in the Contributor Roles Taxonomy ( CRediT ) or authorship criteria of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ( ICMJE ):

[By author] Author contributions. A.B.C.: study conception and design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of results, drafting. D.E.F: data collection, analysis and interpretation of results, drafting. G.H.I: analysis and interpretation of results, drafting. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

[By contribution] Author contributions. Conceptualisation: A.B.C.; Methodology: A.B.C.; Investigation: A.B.C., D.E.F.; Formal analysis: A.B.C., D.E.F., G.H.I.; Writing – original draft: A.B.C.; Writing – review & editing: D.E.F., G.H.I. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Thank only people who genuinely helped you complete your work. Don’t use the Acknowledgements to ‘name drop’ or thank famous people who didn’t help. Journals usually require that all people who are named in the Acknowledgements have given their written permission to be thanked.

Step 5: Check document guidelines

Acknowledgments normally go at the front of a dissertation but the end of a manuscript; however, check relevant guidelines of your institution or journal for the exact placement. Also check guidelines for other content and formatting requirements, such as:

  • If the Acknowledgements go on a new page, in a separate section, or in a footnote or endnote
  • Types of activity to be acknowledged, or not
  • Length of the Acknowledgements
  • If only one paragraph is expected, or multiple paragraphs
  • If subsections with headings are allowed
  • Format of names, titles, institutions
  • Whether or not reviewers can be thanked
  • Order of support to be thanked (e.g., people before funding sources)
  • Whether dedications are allowed

Academic books and monographs may have overall Acknowledgements at the beginning or end of the book, and specific Acknowledgements at the end of each chapter. The content can cover categories of acknowledgements found in both manuscript and dissertations but can be much longer and written in a more personal and expressive style.

Step 6: Edit and proofread

Your Acknowledgements are your opportunity to thank non-authors who helped you in your scholarly work. Acknowledgements follow certain conventions and patterns, and have academic, ethical, and social roles that contribute to the credibility of your work and to your identity as a competent researcher.

So, remember to carefully edit and proofread your Acknowledgements, ensuring the following:

  • Keep the tone modest, sincere, and professional
  • Fact-check names, titles, and current institutions of people you mention
  • Remove any exaggerations or potentially offensive language
  • Clarify any possibly ambiguous, misleading, or confusing phrases
  • Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation

Putting it all together: A quick checklist

If you’ve followed our guidelines above, you should have an effective Acknowledgements section. Good luck with drafting your dissertation or manuscript! Reach out to [email protected] should you require any editorial assistance.

Example Acknowledgements [Free Download]

This downloadable Acknowledgements, in UK style, is customisable for dissertations and journal manuscripts and is annotated with helpful Comments. Please edit or replace text as needed and delete all Comments when finalising your text. Remember to use non-technical, jargon-free but formal language, and avoid abbreviations, or spell them out at first mention.

Our long-term partner, to deliver an online workshop for their professors and researchers. The workshop, held on 19 August 2021, was aimed at writing successful General Research Fund (GRF) and Early Career Scheme (ECS) applications.

When and how to use ‘et al’.

Our latest online workshop built on the success of face-to-face workshops we developed specifically for local universities. Over 30 faculty members joined the session, presented by our Chief Operating Officer, Mr Nick Case, to learn from our case studies on editing research proposals.

The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out.

Nick also focused on the “Pathways to Impact” section, a relatively new section that is often the most problematic area for applicants.

scientific paper acknowledgement sample

Wondering why some abbreviations such as ‘et al.’ and ‘e.g.’ use periods, whereas others such as CV and AD don’t? Periods are typically used if the abbreviations include lowercase or mixed-case letters. They’re usually not used with abbreviations containing only uppercase letters.

Unusual Scenarios

The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out. The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out. The response to our workshop, which included a constructive and insightful Q&A session, was very positive.Drawing on our extensive experience working with hundreds of Hong Kong researchers targeting the GRF and ECS every year, we used examples of poor and subsequently improved proposals to show the attendees how they can make their applications stand out.

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Dr Trevor Lane  is a publishing and education consultant and an elected Council Member of the Committee on Publication Ethics. He has 25 years of experience helping authors publish their research in peer-reviewed academic journals.

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Acknowledgements are not just thank you notes: A qualitative analysis of acknowledgements content in scientific articles and reviews published in 2015

Adèle paul-hus.

École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal, Downtown Station, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Nadine Desrochers

Associated data.

Restrictions apply to the availability of the acknowledgement data, which is used under license from Clarivate Analytics. Readers can contact Clarivate Analytics at the following URL: http://clarivate.com/scientific-and-academic-research/research-discovery/web-of-science/ . References for the acknowledgement excerpts used are available in S1 Table .

Acknowledgements in scientific articles can be described as miscellaneous, their content ranging from pre-formulated financial disclosure statements to personal testimonies of gratitude. To improve understanding of the context and various uses of expressions found in acknowledgements, this study analyses their content qualitatively. The most frequent noun phrases from a Web of Science acknowledgements corpus were analysed to generate 13 categories. When 3,754 acknowledgement sentences were manually coded into the categories, three distinct axes emerged: the contributions, the disclaimers, and the authorial voice. Acknowledgements constitute a space where authors can detail the division of labour within collaborators of a research project. Results also show the importance of disclaimers as part of the current scholarly communication apparatus, an aspect which was not highlighted by previous analyses and typologies of acknowledgements. Alongside formal disclaimers and acknowledgements of various contributions, there seems to remain a need for a more personal space where the authors can speak for themselves, in their own name, on matters they judge worth mentioning.

Introduction

The idea of using acknowledgements as a source for bibliometric indicators has been surrounding their study since the 1990s. In 1991, Cronin was already asking, “why are acknowledgement counts excluded from formal assessments of individual merit or influence, such as tenure review?” ([ 1 ]: p. 236). In 1995, Cronin and Weaver were encouraging the development of an Acknowledgement Index, based on the model of the Science Citation Index [ 2 ]. Almost two decades later, Costas and van Leeuwen [ 3 ] suggested that it was perhaps time “to employ this sort of tool to facilitate development of the so-called ‘influmetrics’” ([ 3 ]: p. 1659). For their part, Díaz-Faes and Bordons [ 4 ] highlighted that the inclusion of acknowledgement information in the Web of Science (WoS) was offering new avenues to study collaboration in science, going beyond traditional bibliometric indicators. McCain [ 5 ] went further and assessed the feasibility of a formal Personal Acknowledgements Index. And yet, despite decades of studies positioning acknowledgements alongside citations and authorship in what Cronin called the “reward triangle” [ 6 ], the consideration of acknowledgements as an indicator of scientific credit has not materialized and, at best, remains a proposal at the exploratory stage, or even simply a rhetorical idea (see [ 7 ] for a meta-synthesis of this literature).

At the same time, many studies have used funding-related indicators based on acknowledgement data (e.g. [ 8 – 11 ]). In fact, acknowledgement studies can no longer be separated from the financial aspect of scientific research. In 2008, WoS started to collect and index funding sources found in the acknowledgements of scientific papers. These new data were added by WoS in response to many funding bodies’ requirement to acknowledge the sources supporting research. Since then, large-scale acknowledgement data have been used as a bibliometric tool to follow the money trail of research and funding-related analyses have become a dominant trend in recent acknowledgement literature [ 7 ]. To this day, acknowledgements have been more closely related to funding indicators than to any other kind of scientific credit indicators.

The literature also underlines the elusive nature of acknowledgements, pointing to their form and tone, which have been described as sometimes flowery, personal, and even manipulative:

  • Acknowledgements are permeated by hyperbole, effusiveness, overstatement, and exaggeration. ([ 12 ]: p. 64)
  • Acknowledgements have been discussed as a form of patronage in scholarly communication, where the reality of the past may be purposefully glossed over and where the author could be looking toward the possibility of receiving future favours. ([ 13 ]: p. 4)

Furthermore, several studies mention the lack of standardization of acknowledgements as one important limitation hindering their analyses:

  • The format of acknowledgement varies from field to field and from journal to journal. As noted, persons and institutional sources may be listed in the methods and materials section of an article or explicitly thanked in an acknowledgement section. ([ 14 ]: p. 506)
  • Since there are no established formats for acknowledgements in papers, as there are for citations, expressions of gratitude vary greatly and sometimes it was difficult to identify the correct type of support, and even more difficult, the correct funding organization. ([ 15 ]: p. 238)
  • The first source of simple error may arise through the misspelling of the names of funding bodies and potentially the names of grants and grant codes […]. A second difficulty will be that researchers will not correctly remember the funding bodies and grants that they used to support the research. ([ 16 ]: p. 368–369)

Acknowledgements may thus contain formally required statements of gratitude but have also been used as personal spaces of authorial expression, and as such, acknowledgement texts have been analysed as a genre per se. Several discourse and linguistic analyses have studied acknowledgements found in dissertations, theses, monographies, and research articles (e.g. [ 17 – 19 ]).

Acknowledgements analyses have also led to numerous typologies or classifications of the contributions acknowledged in scientific publications. In 1972, Mackintosh [ 20 ] proposed the first qualitative content analysis of acknowledgements based on a typology of the three main types of “services” acknowledged in scientific papers: facilities , access to data , and help of individuals . Twenty years later, McCain [ 14 ] offered a finer typology of acknowledgements, using five categories: access to research-related information , access to unpublished results and data , peer interactive communication , technical assistance , and manuscript preparation . The same year, Cronin introduced his first version of a six-part typology of acknowledgements ( paymaster , moral support , dogsbody , technical , prime mover , and trusted assessor ) which was created before encountering Mackintosh’s 1972 and McCain’s 1991 work [ 1 , 21 ]. Subsequent versions of this typology—developed with different collaborators through the years (namely McKenzie, Rubio and Weaver(-Wozniak))—include the peer interactive communication category borrowed from McCain [ 14 ] alongside moral support , access (to resources, materials and infrastructure), clerical support , technical support , and financial support [ 2 , 22 – 24 ]. Cronin’s model has since been adopted, adapted, and augmented in several studies (e.g. [ 25 – 30 ].

More recently, Giles and Councill [ 31 ] used natural language processing to extract named entities from more than 180,000 acknowledgements published in computer science research papers. In their content analysis, the most frequently acknowledged entities are classified into four categories: funding agencies , corporations , universities and individuals . Other studies have analysed the content of acknowledgements focusing on funding bodies and classifying them by sectors and subsectors (e.g. [ 10 , 32 – 35 ]).

Finally, linguistic studies have also used classifications of acknowledgements, focusing on the structure and patterns of dissertation acknowledgement texts (e.g. [ 18 , 36 – 40 ]) and on the socio-pragmatic construction of acknowledgements found in research articles and academic books [ 19 , 41 – 43 ].

Typologies and classifications aim to describe and categorize the content of acknowledgements in a synthetic manner. However, these taxonomies are based on small-scale samples of acknowledgements, the only exception being the work of Giles and Councill [ 31 ] which focused solely on named entities. More recently, a large-scale multidisciplinary analysis of acknowledgement texts was published by the authors and collaborators in PLOS One [ 44 ]. This analysis of acknowledgements from more than one million articles and reviews published in 2015, highlighted important variations in the practices of acknowledging. Focusing on the 214 most frequent noun phrases of that corpus, the study showed that acknowledgement practices truly do vary across disciplines. Noun phrases referring to technical support appeared more frequently in natural sciences while noun phrases related to peers (colleagues, editors and reviewers) were more frequent in earth and space, professional fields, and social sciences. Noun phrases referring to logistics and fieldwork-related tasks appeared prominently in biology. Pre-formulated statements used in the context of conflict of interest or responsibility disclosures were more frequently found in acknowledgements from clinical medicine, health, and psychology. However, this analysis also led to further questions concerning the interpretation of these noun phrases in their original context. Findings from this study showed that acknowledgements are not limited to credit attribution and that the numerous taxonomies and classifications found in the literature do not account for the current acknowledgement practices where pre-formulated statements of financial assistance and conflict of interest disclosures appear to be frequent [ 44 ]. Conclusions from this study raise further questions because these pre-formulated statements could have an influence on large-scale analyses that use automated linguistic methods, thus calling for a qualitative analysis of acknowledgements in the context of their use.

Objective and research questions

To improve understanding of the context and various uses of expressions found in acknowledgements, this study proposes to analyse their content qualitatively. More specifically, this study aims at answering the following research questions:

  • In which contexts are specific expressions used?
  • Do the contexts and meanings vary by discipline?
  • What does a qualitative analysis reveal in terms of offering avenues for a more contextualized use of acknowledgements in large-scale studies?

Data and methods

Data for this study were retrieved from WoS’s Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-E) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), which both include funding acknowledgement data. It bears repeating that acknowledgments are collected and indexed by WoS only if they include funding source information [ 45 ]. Access to WoS data in a relational database format was provided by the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies ( http://www.ost.uqam.ca ). The full text of acknowledgements from all 2015 articles and reviews indexed in the SCI-E and the SSCI were extracted. The original corpus includes a total of 1,009,411 acknowledgements for as many papers.

In a previous analysis, we identified the 214 most frequent noun phrases of that corpus of acknowledgement using natural language processing [ 44 ]. For the purpose the present qualitative analysis, these 214 noun phrases were reduced to single words (e.g. “technical assistance” was reduced to “technical” and “assistance”) and redundant words were excluded, for a final corpus of 154 single words. Each single word could therefore be found in context, no matter its proximity to other single words; this offered us the possibility to code various types of occurrences of each word, whether it was part of a noun phrase or not.

The coding was done in two steps. First, an initial codebook was established inductively by one researcher to classify each of the 154 words and revised by a second researcher. All words were then coded by both researchers and their work was reconciled through “negotiated agreement” ([ 46 ]: p. 305, see also [ 47 , 48 ]). Second, 20 words were selected from the corpus of 154 words by purposeful sampling, where cases for study are selected because “they offer useful manifestations of the phenomenon of interest” ([ 49 ]: p. 40). Selection of the words included in the final sample was based on the quantitative analysis findings [ 44 ], which highlighted the potential importance of pre-formulated statements such as “The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript” (ut 000367510900041). Special attention was given to the words frequently used in those statements (e.g. analysis, collection, design, preparation). Sampling decisions were also oriented towards potential polysemous words which could lead to different contextual meanings (e.g. “assistance”). The 20 words of the final sample were coded within the context of their original sentences, extracted from acknowledgements. Words were thus used as a seed to refer back to full acknowledgement sentences.

The coding process entails data reduction where the many meanings of a sentence must be reduced or summarized under one main category [ 50 ] in order to reflect a practice or a phenomenon on a humanly manageable scale. The principles of saturation and qualitative sampling, whereby the sample is “conceptually representative of the set of all possible units” ([ 51 ]: p. 84), ensures that the phenomenon is reflected in its full complexity. Therefore, acknowledgements were stratified by discipline to reflect potentially different disciplinary uses of a word. Coding was then performed on this sample of 20 words within their original acknowledgement contexts, using the sentence as the unit of analysis and adapting the codebook in an iterative manner as finer meanings emerged.

The final codebook is composed of 13 categories, presented in Table 1 . The coding was done by one researcher and guided by the question, “in which context is this word used?” One category was selected for each sentence coded, aiming at qualifying the context in which a word is used. Each word of the sample was coded in a minimum of 15 original sentences per discipline, for all 12 disciplines, resulting in a total of 3,754 sentences coded. Results are reported in “thick description” using sufficient descriptions and quotations to allow “thick interpretation”, which means connecting individual cases to the larger context without going into trivial details ([ 49 ]: p. 503).

The results of the coding process are summarized in Table 2 which presents, for each word of the sample, the percentage of all the occurrences attributed to a specific category. The analysis reveals the importance of three distinct axes: the contributions, the disclaimers, and the authorial voice. Moreover, disciplinary patterns bring another layer of analysis as divergent uses of the coded words emerge.

Words are presented in the table in descending order of their frequency in the corpus.

* “Other” regroups the following categories: Supervision and Management, Combination, and Vague or other.

Contributions

Acknowledgements constitute a space where authors can detail “who has done what” during the research process. Most often, authors use this space to thank colleagues that contributed to the research, as in the following example: “The authors thank Colleen Dalton and four anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments that improved the manuscript. We thank Fan-Chi Lin for providing FTAN measurements for comparison, and Anna Foster, Jiayi Xie and Goran Ekstrom for informative discussion.” (ut 000355321800013; earth and space). However, in some cases acknowledgements can also include contributorship statements from the authors in order to reflect the distribution of labour: “A.P., V.M. and V.P were involved in writing the manuscript. A.B.G and Y.A.K. were responsible for conception of the idea” (ut 000365808000014; clinical medicine).

The categories peer communication, investigation and analysis, materials and resources, and writing refer to specific types of contribution to research. These categories, taken together, represent half (50%) of the sample coded, confirming the importance of the contributions axis within the acknowledgements’ context. Moreover, some words are used most often to refer to specific categories of contribution, such as “access” which is used mainly in the category materials and resources (70% of the occurrences coded), “discussion” which is almost exclusively associated to the peer communication category (98% of the occurrences coded), and “assistance”, “experiment”, “help”, and “measurement”, which are all mainly associated to the category investigation and analysis (more than 60% of the occurrences coded).

Disclaimers

Acknowledgements are not necessarily thank-you notes or recognition of responsibility. Financial disclosure, conflict of interest, disclaimer, and ethics account for more than 40% of the sample coded. In fact, the categories financial disclosure and disclaimer are among the most frequent in the sample, accounting respectively for 22% and 18% of all occurrences coded. The words “analysis”, “collection”, “decision”, “design”, “interpretation”, “preparation”, and “writing”, which could all seemingly refer to types of contributions, were in fact used in the context of responsibility statements in a substantial share of the cases analysed. Moreover, the words “decision”, “design” and “interpretation” also are mostly found in those kinds of responsibility disclaimers (in respectively 65%, 55% and 61% of the occurrences coded for these specific words).

Non-responsibility statements of funding bodies are the most frequent disclaimers. The following example presents a typical statement: “The funding source had no role in the design of the study, the analysis and interpretation of the data or the writing of, nor the decision to publish the manuscript.” (ut 000352854700010). However, we found declarations of non-responsibility for other types of contributors regarding some part of a research project, as in the following sentence: “The data collectors have no responsibility over the analysis and interpretations presented in this study.” (ut 000349266800011). Furthermore, disclaimers are not always non-responsibility statements and can, on the contrary, disclose the specific responsibility of an organization, such as: “This study was funded by Xi'an Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd (Beijing, People's Republic of China) who was responsible for study design and data collection, analysis, and interpretation.” (ut 000356594900001).

Contributions and disclaimers crossovers

In many cases, the disciplinary stratification provided a further level of analysis. The words “analysis”, “assistance”, and “code” present clear disciplinary patterns where the coding highlights the distinction between the two main contextual uses: the contributions axis and the disclaimers axis. For instance, the word “analysis” is used primarily in the sample to describe an investigation and analysis type of contribution: “We are grateful to Nahoko Adachi for her help in conducting the statistical analysis” (ut 000353959400005; psychology). However, for biomedical research, clinical medicine, and health, “analysis” is used mainly within the category disclaimer (example: “The funding agencies did not have any role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript” [ut 000346498800018; clinical medicine]). Mathematics is a divergent discipline, where the dominant category for “analysis” is financial disclosure, as exemplified by the following sentence: “This work was supported by the International Max-Planck Research School, 'Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Bio-chemical Process Engineering', Otto-von-Guericke-Universitat Magdeburg” (ut 000362588800005; mathematics).

Similarly, the word “assistance” is generally used across disciplines to describe a contribution pertaining to the category investigation and analysis (example: “The authors thank S. Watmough and K. Finder for assistance with field sampling at Dorset, and A. McDonough for assistance with the classification of plant species” [ut 000347756900044; earth and space]), except in engineering and technology and in mathematics where “assistance” is used to disclose financial help (financial disclosure) in the majority of the cases examined, as in this sentence: “The financial assistance of the National Research Foundation (NRF grant: Unlocking the future- FA2007043000003) towards this research is hereby acknowledged” (ut 000350024900008; mathematics).

Two distinct contextual uses emerge for the word “code”: it is found most often within the disclaimers axis (financial disclosure category) in biology, biomedical research, chemistry, health, psychology and social sciences (example: “The research (project code: TSY-11-3820) was supported by the Research Fund of Erciyes University” [ut 000363704000011; biology]) while it is used to describe a specific contribution (investigation and analysis category) in the majority of the cases studied in earth and space, engineering and technology, mathematics, physics and professional fields (example: “We thank Prof. D. Karaboga and Dr. B. Basturk for providing their excellent ABC MATLAB codes to implement this research” [ut 000361400900022; earth and space]).

In the case of the word “review”, the coding process also highlights two dominant uses, varying with the discipline: in biology, biomedical research, earth and space, mathematics, physics, and in the professional fields, “review” is used primarily to describe some part of the peer communication process (peer communication category), as in the following example: “We would like to express our gratitude to the anonymous referee for his or her careful review and insightful comments, in particular, for pointing out a simple proof of Lemma 1.8.” (ut 000347714700003; engineering and technology). However, in clinical medicine, a different use is made of the word “review,” mainly to refer to the document per se (dissemination category), as in this example: “We are grateful to Dr. Mozzetta for critically reading the manuscript and all members of the lab for stimulating discussions during the preparation of this review” (ut 000352374400001; clinical medicine). For all the remaining disciplines (chemistry, health, psychology, and social sciences), both categories (peer communication and dissemination) appear frequently.

The word “data” also presents distinct disciplinary patterns in the sample coded. “Data” is used mainly within the contributions axis (materials and resources category) in biology, clinical medicine, earth and space, engineering and technology, and social sciences (example: “The authors thank Chesapeake Energy for providing access to the VSP data we used” [ut 000364362900035; earth and space]). Moreover, the word “data” refers to a task within the investigation and analysis category in an important share of the cases coded in chemistry, physics, professional fields, and psychology (example: “We thank all graduate research assistants who helped with data collection” [ut 000348882900009; psychology]). However, “data” is mainly found within the disclaimers axis in clinical medicine and health (disclaimer category) as in the following example: “The funding agencies had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, the decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript” [ut 000345586900003; clinical medicine].

Authorial voice

Although details of contributions and various disclaimers represent a substantive share of their content, acknowledgements also constitute a space for personal testimony. Notwithstanding the expectations of funders and ethical considerations, acknowledgements remain the subjective presentation of researchers’ practices and of research contexts. The authors are the voice of the acknowledgements and as such, the word “author” is one of the most frequent with more than 339,000 occurrences in our dataset. Moreover, even when the word “author” is absent, the concept is not. In fact, the authorial voice cannot be reduced to a single category, because it pervades the acknowledgements whether the authors speak in the first or third persons:

  • “ I would like to thank Iliana Flores, Amy Harrison, and Shannon Kahlden for their help with data collection.” (ut 000361977300090)
  • “ We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers for the contributions to this manuscript.” (ut 000364777400031)
  • “Also, our thanks go to Mr Vit Hanousek who designed an original computer tool suitable for making all the above-discussed measurements.” (ut 000346267600010)
  • “The authors declare that they have no competing interests.” (ut 000369908800022)
  • “The authors wish to express their appreciation to the National Iranian Copper Industry Company (NICICO) for funding this work.” (ut 000344595900005)
  • “Schuster is profoundly grateful to all the families who hosted her but especially Hasidullah, his wife, son and grandson who were unfailingly patient and kind with the strange cuckoo in their nest and to the Leverhulme Trust for funding her time in Afghanistan.” (ut 000350285300006)
  • “This review is dedicated to the memory of my father who was a source of inspiration.” (ut 000349637500005)

Furthermore, as exemplified by the cases presented above, the varied nature of the testimonies found in acknowledgements underlines a need for a “free space” within research publications. Alongside formal disclaimers and acknowledgements of various contributions, authors seem to require a more personal space where they can speak for themselves, in their own name, on matters they judge worth mentioning.

Discussion and conclusion

In the last decades, acknowledgements have become a “constitutive element of academic writing” ([ 52 ]: p. 160). However, the acknowledgement section is not a mandatory part of a scientific article and its content could certainly be described as miscellaneous, ranging from pre-formulated financial disclosure statements to personal testimonies of gratitude. Moreover, acknowledgements’ content and practices have evolved over time, just as citations and authorship attribution practices have changed following the transformations that are affecting the whole reward system of science [ 53 ].

Typologies and classifications of acknowledgements have been a consistent topic in the acknowledgement literature [ 7 ]. Most of these typologies and classifications revolve around the contributions axis of acknowledgements, focusing on “who gets thanked for what” and “what types of contributions are acknowledged”. This qualitative analysis of acknowledgement content confirms the importance of the contributions axis: acknowledgements are indeed still a space where authors can detail the division of labour within all collaborators of a research project. Our findings also reveal the importance of disclaimers as part of the current scholarly communication apparatus, an aspect which was not highlighted by previous analyses and typologies.

It should be noted that our analysis was restricted to a corpus of single words, sampled from noun phrases identified by correspondence analysis [ 44 ]. Further research could now seek to recombine those single words into noun phrases that present variations in meaning around a common concept, such as “assistance” (e.g. “technical assistance” and “financial assistance”). Furthermore, our coding of acknowledgement sentences was done using mutually exclusive categories, an epistemological choice. Given the fact that sentences can perform more than one kind of action, another avenue would be to use open coding and place occurrences in non-exclusive, mutually complementary categories.

Our qualitative results show that caution should be used when working with acknowledgement data. Large-scale acknowledgement data are limited to funded research, given that in the two main bibliographic databases, Web of Science and Scopus, acknowledgements are collected with the intended objective of identifying funding sponsors and tracking funded research [ 54 , 55 ]. The indexation of acknowledgements are thus limited to acknowledgements that contain some kind of funding information; this could in turn induce a potential bias toward funding-related aspects within acknowledgements’ content [ 45 ]. This indexation bias could then, at least in part, explain the importance of funding disclosures in the dataset analysed here, but also elsewhere in large-scale studies.

Yet, our findings show that acknowledgements cannot be described as having one single and homogeneous purpose; they can include expected, if not imposed, acknowledgement of financial resources as well as infrastructure alongside very personal testimonies of gratitude, all at the same time, as the following excerpt exemplifies: “Data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. […]. The authors wish to extend special thanks to those of Hawaiian ancestry, on whose sacred mountain we are privileged to be guests. Without their generous hospitality, the observations would not have been possible” (ut 000363471600015). On rare occasions, personal matters discussed in the acknowledgements become the center of attention, such as when an author proposed to his girlfriend in the acknowledgement of a paper: “C.M.B. would specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O’Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?” [ 56 ]. This particular paper was covered by many news outlets and online media sites when it was published, ranking in the 20 th position of the Altmetrics Top100 ranking for the year 2015. Such a case highlights the potential unexpected effect an acknowledgement can have on the visibility of a paper.

Clearly delimited and dedicated spaces for funding information, conflict of interest disclosures and contributorship statements are already implemented in some scientific journals (e.g. PLOS One , The Lancet , Science ). Nonetheless, such examples are far from the norm at the moment. In light of our findings, if an effort of standardization of acknowledgements is to be made, acknowledgements should at least include three main sections: ethics of research (financial disclosure, conflict of interest and responsibility disclaimers), contributions made to research, and personal testimony. These three indexation fields would, in turn, allow large-scale analysis of acknowledgements without the equivocality that currently characterizes these texts, yet without narrowing the space left for the authorial voice. The question remains as to whether there is a real wish within the scientific community to delineate such acknowledgement sections; if not, acknowledgement data are likely destined to remain simple tracking devices for science funding, the contributions and the authorial voices lost in large-scale analyses of scientific credit.

Supporting information

References are presented in order of in-text appearance.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Vincent Larivière for his comments and the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful suggestions and careful reading of the manuscript. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships (Paul-Hus) and, Insight Development [grant number 430-2014-0617] (Desrochers).

Funding Statement

APH was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ( http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/ ): Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships. ND was supported the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ( http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/ ): Insight Development [grant number 430-2014-0617]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Data Availability

Publisher's Note: The article involves the independent analysis of data from publications in PLOS ONE. PLOS ONE staff had no knowledge or involvement in the study design, funding, execution or manuscript preparation. The evaluation and editorial decision for this manuscript have been managed by an Academic Editor independent of PLOS ONE staff, per our standard editorial process. The findings and conclusions reported in this article are strictly those of the author(s).

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Thesis & Dissertation Acknowledgements | Tips & Examples

Published on 4 May 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on 4 November 2022.

Acknowledgements-section

The acknowledgements section is your opportunity to thank those who have helped and supported you personally and professionally during your thesis or dissertation process.

Thesis or dissertation acknowledgements appear between your title page and abstract  and should be no longer than one page.

In your acknowledgements, it’s okay to use a more informal style than is usually permitted in academic writing , as well as first-person pronouns . Acknowledgements are not considered part of the academic work itself, but rather your chance to write something more personal.

To get started, download our step-by-step template in the format of your choice below. We’ve also included sample sentence starters to help you construct your acknowledgments section from scratch.

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Table of contents

Who to thank in your acknowledgements, how to write acknowledgements, acknowledgements section example, acknowledgements dos and don’ts, frequently asked questions.

Generally, there are two main categories of acknowledgements: professional and personal .

A good first step is to check your university’s guidelines, as they may have rules or preferences about the order, phrasing, or layout of acknowledgements. Some institutions prefer that you keep your acknowledgements strictly professional.

Regardless, it’s usually a good idea to place professional acknowledgements first, followed by any personal ones. You can then proceed by ranking who you’d like to thank from most formal to least.

  • Chairs, supervisors, or defence committees
  • Funding bodies
  • Other academics (e.g., colleagues or cohort members)
  • Editors or proofreaders
  • Librarians, research/laboratory assistants, or study participants
  • Family, friends, or pets

Typically, it’s only necessary to mention people who directly supported you during your thesis or dissertation. However, if you feel that someone like a secondary school physics teacher was a great inspiration on the path to your current research, feel free to include them as well.

Professional acknowledgements

It is crucial to avoid overlooking anyone who helped you professionally as you completed your thesis or dissertation. As a rule of thumb, anyone who directly contributed to your research should be mentioned.

A few things to keep in mind include:

  • Even if you feel your chair didn’t help you very much, you should still thank them first to avoid looking like you’re snubbing them.
  • Be sure to follow academic conventions, using full names with titles where appropriate.
  • If several members of a group or organisation assisted you, mention the collective name only.
  • Remember the ethical considerations around anonymised data. If you wish to protect someone’s privacy, use only their first name or a generic identifier (such as ‘the interviewees’).

Personal acknowledgements

There is no need to mention every member of your family or friend group. However, if someone was particularly inspiring or supportive, you may wish to mention them specifically. Many people choose to thank parents, partners, children, friends, and even pets, but you can mention anyone who offered moral support or encouragement, or helped you in a tangible or intangible way.

Some students may wish to dedicate their dissertation to a deceased influential person in their personal life. In this case, it’s okay to mention them first, before any professional acknowledgements.

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After you’ve compiled a list of who you’d like to thank, you can then sort your list into rank order. Separate everyone you listed into ‘major thanks’, ‘big thanks’, and ‘minor thanks’ categories.

  • ‘Major thanks’ are given to people who your project would be impossible without. These are often predominantly professional acknowledgements, such as your advisor , chair, and committee, as well as any funders.
  • ‘Big thanks’ are an in-between, for those who helped you along the way or helped you grow intellectually, such as classmates, peers, or librarians.
  • ‘Minor thanks’ can be a catch-all for everyone else, especially those who offered moral support or encouragement. This can include personal acknowledgements, such as parents, partners, children, friends, or even pets.

How to phrase your acknowledgements

To avoid acknowledgements that sound repetitive or dull, consider changing up your phrasing. Here are some examples of common sentence starters you can use for each category.

Note that you do not need to write any sort of conclusion or summary at the end. You can simply end the acknowledgements with your last thank-you.

Here’s an example of how you can combine the different sentences to write your acknowledgements.

A simple construction consists of a sentence starter (in purple highlight ), followed by the person or entity mentioned (in green highlight ), followed by what you’re thanking them for (in yellow highlight .)

Acknowledgements

Words cannot express my gratitude to my professor and chair of my committee for her invaluable patience and feedback. I also could not have undertaken this journey without my defense committee, who generously provided knowledge and expertise. Additionally, this endeavor would not have been possible without the generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, who financed my research .

I am also grateful to my classmates and cohort members, especially my office mates, for their editing help, late-night feedback sessions, and moral support. Thanks should also go to the librarians, research assistants, and study participants from the university, who impacted and inspired me.

Lastly, I would be remiss in not mentioning my family, especially my parents, spouse, and children. Their belief in me has kept my spirits and motivation high during this process. I would also like to thank my cat for all the entertainment and emotional support.

  • Write in first-person, professional language
  • Thank your professional contacts first
  • Include full names, titles, and roles of professional acknowledgements
  • Include personal or intangible supporters, like friends, family, or even pets
  • Mention funding bodies and what they funded
  • Appropriately anonymise or group research participants or non-individual acknowledgments

Don’t:

  • Use informal language or slang
  • Go over one page in length
  • Mention people who had only a peripheral or minor impact on your work

You may acknowledge God in your thesis or dissertation acknowledgements , but be sure to follow academic convention by also thanking the relevant members of academia, as well as family, colleagues, and friends who helped you.

Yes, it’s important to thank your supervisor(s) in the acknowledgements section of your thesis or dissertation .

Even if you feel your supervisor did not contribute greatly to the final product, you still should acknowledge them, if only for a very brief thank you. If you do not include your supervisor, it may be seen as a snub.

In the acknowledgements of your thesis or dissertation, you should first thank those who helped you academically or professionally, such as your supervisor, funders, and other academics.

Then you can include personal thanks to friends, family members, or anyone else who supported you during the process.

The acknowledgements are generally included at the very beginning of your thesis or dissertation, directly after the title page and before the abstract .

In a thesis or dissertation, the acknowledgements should usually be no longer than one page. There is no minimum length.

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Acknowledgement for Paper Publication (10 Samples)

July 11, 2023

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By Mohsin Khurshid

Acknowledgement for paper publication is a crucial aspect that recognizes the contributions and support received throughout the research process. It holds significant value in academic papers, showcasing appreciation for the individuals and institutions that have played a role in the study’s success. In this article, we will delve into the importance of acknowledgement in paper publication and provide 10 comprehensive samples to guide you in crafting impactful acknowledgements for your own research. Whether you wish to acknowledge research collaborators, funding sources, mentors, or other individuals who have contributed to your work, these samples will assist you in expressing your gratitude effectively. Join us as we explore the art of acknowledgement and discover how to create acknowledgements that resonate with the collaborative nature of scholarly endeavors.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Understanding the Importance of Acknowledgement
  • 2.1 Sample 1 – Acknowledgement for Research Collaboration
  • 2.2 Sample 2 – Acknowledgement for Funding Support
  • 2.3 Sample 3 – Acknowledgement for Mentorship and Guidance
  • 2.4 Sample 4 – Acknowledgement for Institutional Support
  • 2.5 Sample 5 – Acknowledgement for Peer Reviewers
  • 2.6 Sample 6 – Acknowledgement for Data and Materials
  • 2.7 Sample 7 – Acknowledgement for Technical Assistance
  • 2.8 Sample 8 – Acknowledgement for Editorial or Proofreading Assistance
  • 2.9 Sample 9 – Acknowledgement for Inspiration and Support
  • 2.10 Sample 10 – Acknowledgement for Personal Support
  • 4 Conclusion

Understanding the Importance of Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement plays a crucial role in academic papers, serving multiple purposes within the scholarly community. Firstly, it provides an opportunity for authors to express gratitude and appreciation towards individuals, organizations, or institutions that have contributed to the research project in various ways. These contributions can include financial support, data collection assistance, intellectual guidance, or access to resources.

Beyond mere gratitude, acknowledgement serves as a means of giving credit where it is due. It recognizes the valuable input and collaboration of others, ensuring that their contributions are acknowledged and acknowledged by the academic community. By acknowledging the efforts of others, researchers uphold the principles of academic integrity and promote transparency in the research process.

Ethical considerations are also an integral part of writing an acknowledgement section. Authors must carefully navigate issues such as conflicts of interest, ensuring that they disclose any potential conflicts and maintain objectivity in their acknowledgements. Additionally, it is essential to respect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals mentioned in the acknowledgement, seeking their permission before including their names or affiliations.

Conventions related to acknowledgement may vary across disciplines and academic journals. Authors should familiarize themselves with the specific guidelines and requirements of their target journal to ensure compliance. Some journals may provide templates or specific instructions on how to structure the acknowledgement section, while others may have specific word limits or content restrictions.

In summary, understanding the importance of acknowledgement in academic papers is crucial for researchers. It serves as a means of expressing gratitude, giving credit to contributors, upholding academic integrity, and adhering to ethical considerations. By following conventions and guidelines specific to their field, authors can effectively convey their appreciation and recognition in the acknowledgement section of their paper.

10 Samples of Acknowledgement for Paper Publication

Explore these detailed samples of acknowledgements to effectively acknowledge contributors in your research papers.

Sample 1 – Acknowledgement for Research Collaboration

Acknowledging the collaborative efforts and contributions of research team members is a crucial aspect of the acknowledgement section in academic papers. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge research collaborators and team members:

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the members of the research team who contributed to the successful completion of this study. Their dedication, expertise, and commitment were instrumental in the realization of our research objectives. I am thankful for their valuable insights, collaborative spirit, and unwavering support throughout the project.

I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to [Name], [Name], and [Name] for their invaluable contributions to the data collection process. Their meticulous efforts ensured the accuracy and reliability of our research findings. Additionally, I am grateful to [Name] for their assistance in data analysis and interpretation, which greatly enhanced the depth and quality of our research outcomes.

Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the guidance and mentorship provided by [Name]. Their expertise in [area of expertise] was invaluable in shaping the direction of this research and refining our methodology. Their constructive feedback and insightful suggestions played a pivotal role in elevating the overall quality of this study.

I am also indebted to the support staff and administrators who facilitated the smooth operation of our research activities. Their assistance in securing necessary permissions, organizing logistics, and managing administrative tasks was vital to the success of this project.

Lastly, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the funding agency or organization that provided financial support for this research. Their investment in our work enabled us to conduct this study and make meaningful contributions to the field.

In conclusion, I am immensely grateful to all the individuals who contributed to this research collaboration. Their dedication, expertise, and unwavering support have been instrumental in the accomplishment of our research goals. Without their invaluable contributions, this study would not have been possible.

Sample 2 – Acknowledgement for Funding Support

Acknowledging the financial support received for research is an important aspect of the acknowledgement section in academic papers. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge funding support:

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to [Funding Agency/Organization] for their generous financial support of this research project. Their funding played a crucial role in the successful execution of this study and the attainment of our research goals.

The support provided by [Funding Agency/Organization] enabled us to conduct data collection, analysis, and interpretation, as well as cover expenses related to research materials, participant recruitment, and travel, where applicable. Their investment in our work has significantly contributed to the quality and impact of our research findings.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to the grant administrators and program officers at [Funding Agency/Organization] for their guidance and assistance throughout the grant application and management process. Their expertise and support were invaluable in ensuring a smooth and efficient funding experience.

Furthermore, I am grateful to my research team members and collaborators who have contributed their time, expertise, and efforts to this project. Their dedication and hard work have been instrumental in the successful completion of this research.

In conclusion, I am deeply thankful to [Funding Agency/Organization] for their financial support, without which this research would not have been possible. Their investment in our work has made a significant impact and has contributed to advancements in the field. I am truly grateful for their commitment to supporting research and fostering academic growth.

Sample 3 – Acknowledgement for Mentorship and Guidance

Acknowledging the contributions of mentors and advisors is essential in recognizing the guidance and support they have provided throughout the research process. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge mentorship and guidance:

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my mentor, [Mentor’s Name], for their invaluable guidance, expertise, and support throughout the course of this research. Their extensive knowledge, insightful feedback, and unwavering encouragement have been instrumental in shaping the direction and quality of this study.

I am truly grateful for [Mentor’s Name]’s dedication and commitment to my academic growth. Their mentorship has not only expanded my understanding of the subject matter but has also enhanced my research skills and critical thinking abilities. Their willingness to invest their time and effort in providing guidance and constructive criticism has greatly contributed to the successful completion of this research project.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to [Advisor’s Name] for their valuable input and advice throughout the research process. Their expertise in [specific field or area] has been invaluable in shaping the methodology and interpretation of the findings. Their constructive feedback and thoughtful suggestions have significantly enhanced the quality and rigor of this study.

Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of other members of my research committee, [Committee Member 1’s Name] and [Committee Member 2’s Name]. Their expertise and insights have provided valuable perspectives and have contributed to the overall excellence of this research.

In conclusion, I am sincerely grateful to my mentor, [Mentor’s Name], and my advisor, [Advisor’s Name], for their unwavering support and guidance. Their mentorship and expertise have been transformative in my academic journey, and I am privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from their wisdom and experience.

Sample 4 – Acknowledgement for Institutional Support

Acknowledging the support and resources provided by institutions is crucial in recognizing their contribution to the research project. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge institutional support:

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to [Institution’s Name] for their unwavering support and provision of resources throughout the course of this research. The research facilities and infrastructure provided by [Institution’s Name] have played a significant role in the successful completion of this study.

I am grateful for the access to state-of-the-art laboratories, research materials, and technological resources offered by [Institution’s Name]. These resources have been instrumental in conducting experiments, gathering data, and analyzing findings. The research environment provided by [Institution’s Name] has fostered an atmosphere of innovation and collaboration, allowing for the pursuit of academic excellence.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to the administrative staff and personnel at [Institution’s Name] for their assistance and support throughout the research process. Their responsiveness and willingness to provide guidance on administrative matters have been invaluable.

Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by [Institution’s Name]. The research grants and scholarships awarded by [Institution’s Name] have enabled the realization of this project and have alleviated the financial constraints associated with conducting research.

In conclusion, I am deeply grateful to [Institution’s Name] for their unwavering support, provision of resources, and financial assistance. Their commitment to promoting research and academic excellence has been instrumental in the successful completion of this study.

Sample 5 – Acknowledgement for Peer Reviewers

Acknowledging the contributions of peer reviewers is essential in recognizing their valuable feedback and input towards improving the quality of the research. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge peer reviewers:

I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the anonymous peer reviewers who generously dedicated their time and expertise to review and provide constructive feedback on this research paper. Their insightful comments and suggestions have significantly enhanced the quality and rigor of this study.

The meticulous review process conducted by the peer reviewers has played a crucial role in strengthening the methodology, refining the arguments, and improving the overall clarity and coherence of the research. Their expertise and critical evaluation have helped in identifying and addressing potential gaps, ensuring the accuracy and validity of the findings.

I am grateful for the valuable contributions made by the peer reviewers in shaping this paper into its final form. Their commitment to scholarly excellence and their dedication to advancing the field have been instrumental in improving the quality and impact of this research.

While their identities remain anonymous, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each and every peer reviewer who played a part in the review process. Their time, expertise, and feedback are deeply appreciated.

Sample 6 – Acknowledgement for Data and Materials

Acknowledging the sources of data, materials, or tools used in the research is crucial to give proper credit and recognition. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge data and materials:

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to [Name/Organization] for providing access to the [Specify the data/materials/tools] used in this research. Their contribution has been invaluable in facilitating the data collection process and enabling the analysis conducted in this study.

The [Specify the data/materials/tools] have played a pivotal role in the success of this research, providing essential insights, information, and resources that have contributed to the depth and quality of the findings. Without their support and cooperation, this research would not have been possible.

I am deeply appreciative of the efforts made by [Name/Organization] in making the [Specify the data/materials/tools] available and ensuring their reliability and relevance to the research objectives. Their commitment to data sharing and collaborative research has greatly enriched the outcomes of this study.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to the individuals involved in the collection, organization, and maintenance of the [Specify the data/materials/tools]. Their dedication and professionalism have been instrumental in making these resources accessible and usable for this research.

Sample 7 – Acknowledgement for Technical Assistance

Acknowledging the individuals or organizations that provided technical assistance is essential to recognize their contributions. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge technical support:

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to [Name/Organization] for their invaluable technical assistance throughout the course of this research. Their expertise and support have played a crucial role in the successful execution of this project.

The technical assistance provided by [Name/Organization] has been instrumental in overcoming various challenges and ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the experimental procedures. Their guidance and knowledge have greatly enhanced the quality of the data collected and the interpretation of the results.

I am grateful for their willingness to share their expertise and resources, providing guidance on experimental techniques, troubleshooting technical issues, and offering valuable insights into data analysis. Their assistance has significantly contributed to the overall success of this research endeavor.

I would also like to express my gratitude to the individuals within [Name/Organization] who have directly contributed to this project. Their dedication, professionalism, and prompt response to queries have made the research process smoother and more efficient.

Sample 8 – Acknowledgement for Editorial or Proofreading Assistance

Acknowledging the individuals who have contributed to the editing and proofreading process is essential to recognize their valuable contributions. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge editorial or proofreading assistance:

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to [Name/Names] for their invaluable assistance in the editing and proofreading of this manuscript. Their keen attention to detail, expertise in language and grammar, and commitment to improving the clarity and readability of the content have significantly enhanced the quality of this work.

The diligent efforts of [Name/Names] in meticulously reviewing the manuscript, suggesting revisions, and providing valuable feedback have played a crucial role in refining the overall structure, organization, and coherence of the document. Their editorial skills have helped to ensure the accuracy and precision of the scientific content, enhancing the credibility and impact of the research findings.

I am deeply appreciative of their dedication and professionalism throughout the editing process. Their constructive criticism, insightful suggestions, and meticulous proofreading have greatly contributed to the refinement of the language, grammar, and style of this manuscript.

I would also like to extend my thanks to [Name/Names] for their timely and efficient collaboration, as well as their willingness to accommodate multiple rounds of revisions. Their commitment to excellence and their commitment to producing a polished final product are greatly appreciated.

Sample 9 – Acknowledgement for Inspiration and Support

Acknowledging the individuals or sources of inspiration that have contributed to the research is important in recognizing their impact on the project. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge inspiration and support:

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to [Name/Names] for their unwavering support and inspiration throughout this research endeavor. Their encouragement, guidance, and insightful discussions have been instrumental in shaping the direction and depth of this study.

The unwavering support of [Name/Names] has been a constant source of motivation, providing the necessary encouragement to overcome challenges and pursue innovative ideas. Their expertise, wisdom, and constructive feedback have played a pivotal role in refining the research objectives, methodology, and interpretation of findings.

I am also indebted to [Source/Event/Book/Quote] for serving as a source of inspiration and influencing the conceptual framework of this study. The [Source/Event/Book/Quote] has provided valuable insights and perspectives that have guided my thinking and contributed to the overall development of this research.

Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the support and understanding of my family, friends, and colleagues, whose unwavering belief in my abilities has sustained me throughout this research journey. Their encouragement, understanding, and patience have been invaluable, providing the necessary emotional support and creating an environment conducive to pursuing this endeavor.

Sample 10 – Acknowledgement for Personal Support

Acknowledging the emotional support provided by family, friends, and loved ones is essential in recognizing their role in the research process. The following is a detailed sample acknowledgement that demonstrates how to acknowledge personal support:

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to my family, friends, and loved ones for their unwavering support throughout this research journey. Their love, understanding, and encouragement have been the pillars that have kept me motivated and focused during challenging times.

To my [Family Member(s)], your unwavering belief in me and your constant encouragement have been the driving force behind my pursuit of this research. Your sacrifices, understanding, and patience have provided me with the necessary space and time to dedicate myself to this endeavor. I am forever grateful for your unconditional love and support.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to my dear friends who have been a source of inspiration and motivation. Your unwavering belief in my abilities, your listening ear, and your words of encouragement have given me the strength and confidence to overcome obstacles and pursue this research with dedication.

In addition, I am grateful to [Name(s)] for their continuous support, understanding, and patience. Their presence and unwavering support have provided me with the emotional stability and reassurance needed to navigate through the challenges of this research journey.

Finally, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all the participants who generously shared their time, experiences, and insights for this research. Without their willingness to contribute, this study would not have been possible.

Sample Acknowledgement for Personal Support in Paper Publication

Also, read tips and samples on writing acknowledgement for your internship report .

Writing an acknowledgement for a paper involves expressing gratitude to individuals or entities who have contributed to the research. It typically includes mentioning the names, roles, and specific contributions of those being acknowledged.

To acknowledge means to recognize and show appreciation for the contributions or support received. In the context of paper publication, it refers to acknowledging the individuals or organizations that have played a role in the research process.

In an acknowledgement section, you can express gratitude to individuals, institutions, or funding agencies that have supported or contributed to the research. You can mention their names, roles, and specific contributions in a sincere and respectful manner.

The correct spelling of “acknowledge” is A-C-K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E.

An acknowledgement statement refers to a written expression of gratitude and appreciation towards individuals or organizations for their contributions or support. It is a way to formally recognize their involvement in the research process and show gratitude for their assistance.

In conclusion, acknowledgement plays a vital role in paper publication, allowing researchers to express gratitude and recognize the contributions of individuals and institutions who have supported their work. By acknowledging research collaborators, mentors, funding sources, peer reviewers, and others, researchers demonstrate their appreciation and foster a sense of community within the academic sphere.

It is important to tailor acknowledgements to the specific research context, considering the unique contributions and support received throughout the research process. Each acknowledgement should reflect the genuine appreciation and recognition of those who have played a significant role in the success of the research.

As researchers, let us not underestimate the power of acknowledgement. It not only acknowledges the contributions of others but also serves as a reminder of the collaborative and interconnected nature of academic work. By expressing gratitude and recognizing the efforts of those who have supported us, we contribute to a positive research culture and encourage further collaboration and support in the academic community . In closing, let us remember that acknowledgement is not just a formality but a sincere gesture of appreciation. It is a way to honor the collaborative nature of research and the individuals and institutions that have contributed to our academic journey. May we continue to acknowledge and support one another as we advance knowledge and make meaningful contributions to our respective fields.

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  • Academic Writing Skills

Most academic papers have many people who have helped in some way in the preparation of the written version or the research itself. This could be someone from a sponsoring institution, a funding body, other researchers, or even family, friends or colleagues who have helped in the preparation. These people need to be mentioned in the Acknowledgments section of the paper.

Acknowledgments section in different academic documents

The Acknowledgments section is present in both a paper and an academic thesis . For papers, the Acknowledgments section is usually presented at the back, whereas in a thesis, this section is located towards the front of the manuscript and is commonly placed somewhere between the abstract and Introduction . However, the exact location varies between each university , as each establishment possesses its own style guide for theses and student submissions. So, it is always worthwhile consulting your university’s academic style guide before writing a manuscript for undergraduate/postgraduate submission.

Acknowledgments section in theses

For academic theses, there is no right or wrong way to acknowledge people, and who you want to acknowledge is down to personal preference. However, the common types of people authors acknowledge in their academic theses include:

  • Supervisor’s contributions
  • Research group (especially if the thesis in question is a master’s and the work is helped along by a PhD student)
  • Support staff (laboratory technicians, etc.)
  • Any students who undertook side projects with them (e.g. final year undergraduates, summer students, master’s students)
  • Administrative staff (there can be a lot of bureaucracy for thesis submissions)
  • Referees that got them onto the course (postgraduate only)
  • Funding bodies
  • Any collaboration with industry and the people they worked with at said establishment(s)

Acknowledgments section in journal papers

Now, whilst university manuscripts can include any combination of the above (including all and none in some cases), academic publications in journals more commonly acknowledge the same kind of people/organizations, but again it is up to the author(s) what they feel should be acknowledged; not every piece of help needs to be acknowledged, just the most useful/prevalent help. Also, acknowledgments should be written in the first person .

Examples of whom and what should be acknowledged in a journal publication are listed below:

  • Direct technical help (e.g. supply of animal subjects, cells, equipment setup, methods , statistics/data manipulation, samples, chemicals/reagents, analytical/spectroscopy techniques)
  • Indirect assistance (topical and intellectual discussions about the research which can lead to generation of new ideas)
  • Affiliated institutions
  • Grant numbers
  • Who received the funding (if not the author, e.g. a supervisor)
  • Any associated fellowships

Whom to acknowledge - and whom not to acknowledge

  • Other authors/contributors : It is not common practice for the lead paper writer (i.e. the person writing and publishing the manuscript) to acknowledge the other authors/direct contributors to the paper. Only those who are not recognized as authors may be thanked and acknowledged.
  • Reviewers : Authors are also not allowed to thank reviewers personally, or those who inspire them but cannot directly receive their appreciation – although reviewers can be thanked if they are kept anonymous .
  • Friends and family : Unlike university manuscripts, journal manuscripts should not include help and guidance from family and friends.

Other acknowledgments

  • Titles and institutions : Titles such as Mr, Mrs, Miss, etc. are not commonly included, but honorary titles such as Dr, Professor, etc. are. The institutions of the acknowledged people are usually mentioned.

For example, the following would not be acceptable:

We dedicate this work to the deceased Prof. Bloggs.

However, the following would be acceptable:

We acknowledge Prof. Bloggs for discovering the secret of anonymity.

Additional pointers for writing the Acknowledgments section

  • The  tone  of the section should be in an active voice.
  • Do not use pronouns indicating possession (i.e. his, her, their, etc.).
  • Terms associated with specific companies should be written out in full, e.g. Limited, Corporation, etc.
  • If the results have been published elsewhere, then this should also be acknowledged.
  • Any abbreviations should be expanded unless the abbreviation appears in the main body of the text.

Below are examples of the Acknowledgments sections taken from a couple of papers from Nature Communications :

caption

Duan L., Hope J., Ong Q., Lou H-Y., Kim N., McCarthy C., Acero V., Lin M., Cui B., Understanding CRY2 interactions for optical control of intracellular signalling, Nature Communications, 2017,  8:547

Xu Q., Jensen K., Boltyanskiy R., Safarti R., Style R., Dufresne E., Direct measurement of strain-dependent solid surface stress, Nature Communications, 2017,  8:555

Many people think that the Acknowledgments section of a manuscript is a trivial and unimportant component. However, it constitutes a vital means to ensure that all affiliated support for the paper can be duly and transparently mentioned. By acknowledging people for their efforts and contributions, you demonstrate your integrity as an academic researcher. In addition, crediting other people for their help can also increase their presence in the academic world and possibly help to boost their career as well as your own.

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Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Acknowledgements

Characteristics of acknowledgements.

  • Lists names of scientists who contributed to the research but did not provide substantial contribution that would justify authorship.  
  • Lists the funding sources (e.g., grant number, U.S. Government Agency) that made the research possible.
  • Lists names of research centers, institutions and organizations where research was conducted.  

One of the hallmarks of good science is to be open about the research and provide as much information as possible.   This is also true when acknowledging the funding source for the research and names of scientists who contributed to the research.   The Acknowledgements section typically appears last in a poster ( Figs. 2 and 9 ) and is where an author will list the people who contributed to the research, but did not provide substantial contribution to the work that they should appear as a co-author on the poster.   The Acknowledgments is also the section of the poster where the authors list the financial support for their research.   These can include grants, contracts, fellowships or scholarships.   The name of funding agencies who provided support for the research should be listed in this section.   For example, an author may write:   “Financial support was provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation, grant number EAR-012345”.      

Scientific Posters: A Learner's Guide Copyright © 2020 by Ella Weaver; Kylienne A. Shaul; Henry Griffy; and Brian H. Lower is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Acknowledgement Sample

Acknowledgement Sample

Writing acknowledgement in scientific papers and publications

scientific paper acknowledgement sample

As you already know acknowledgement stands for formal statement recognizing individuals and institutions that made certain contribution to you work. However not everyone who supported you should be acknowledged in the scientific work, instead you should only quote those that contributed directly to your research.  Acknowledgement should be just simple statement of gratitude, not dedication or very emotional testimonial. Therefore you should mention following persons/institutions:

  • Those who provided scientific guidance,
  • Those who shared unpublished results
  • Persons that provided you facilities / equipment
  • Persons which have participated in the discussions
  • Technicians, lab assistants
  • Funding agency, grant number, institution

Having in mind specific scientific setting, it is not appropriate and common to acknowledge the work of:

1. Pre-press operators – graphic designers

2. Persons who provided emotional support

3. Other individuals whose support was non-technical

When quoting individuals whose contribution you intend to acknowledge only use their names without titles. For example write only John Smith, instead Professor John Smith, Chair in IT management department.

  • About NSF’s NOIRLab

Scientific Acknowledgments

  • Introduction
  • Publications List
  • Helpful Links
  • NOIRLab Staff
  • REU/PIA Students
  • Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI)
  • WIYN Observatory
  • 4m (Blanco) telescope using an instrument other than DECam
  • 4m (Blanco) telescope using DECam, community users with time granted by NOIRLab
  • 4m (Blanco) telescope using DECam as part of the Dark Energy Survey
  • SMARTS Consortium Telescopes (0.9m; 1.0m; 1.3m; 1.5m)
  • Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope
  • Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT)
  • Las Cumbres Observatory
  • CHARA Array
  • Keck I and II
  • Magellan I and II
  • Hale Telescope
  • MINERVA-Australis
  • Astro Data Archive survey program data (other than Dark Energy Survey data)

DECam Community Pipeline

  • Legacy Surveys
  • DECam (Dark Energy Camera) data on the Blanco telescope (see below for Dark Energy Survey data usage)
  • Dark Energy Survey public archival data
  • Other Services and Data in the Astro Data Archive
  • IRAF (Image Reduction and Analysis Facility)
  • Astro Data Lab
  • ANTARES Event Broker
  • Papers Based on Data from the Gemini Observatory
  • General Acknowledgement
  • For Observations from Subaru
  • For Observations from Gemini
  • Papers about Gemini
  • Papers by Gemini staff not using Gemini data
  • Papers by Gemini staff using Gemini data
  • Papers Based on Data from GRACES
  • Papers Based on Data from `Alopeke and/or Zorro
  • Papers Based on Data from IGRINS
  • Maunakea Acknowledgement
  • Vera C. Rubin Observatory Operations

1. Introduction

Observers using NOIRLab facilities and observers using community-access time granted by NOIRLab at other facilities are expected to produce publications describing their research activity at these facilities. This web page sets out how to acknowledge the use of specific telescopes, surveys, and data archives at NOIRLab.

Please note that we use the NOIRLab Prop. ID for an observing run to track and document publications that cite usage of our data and data products. Please include this Prop. ID in the acknowledgments section of your publication, as detailed in the examples below.

2. Assistance

If you have questions, please contact  [email protected] .

3. Publications Lists

Information on NOIRLab publications tracking, including links to our ADS public libraries for our facilities and our publications metrics dashboard, can be found on  NOIRLab Publications  webpage. 

Notification:  Please notify the NOIRLab  Tucson Headquarters Librarian  of any publication based on MSO archival research, use of MSO telescopes, use of community-access time granted by NOIRLab on non-NOIRLab telescopes, and use of Community Science and Data Center data products and services (Astro Data Archive, ANTARES, NOIRLab Source Catalog, Astro Data Lab). Please notify the NOIRLab  Gemini Librarian  at NOIRLab of any publication based on Gemini archival research and use of the Gemini telescopes.

Media Contacts:  Please notify the NOIRLab Communication, Education, and Engagement group ( [email protected] ) if you think your scientific results or supporting imagery have the potential to be interesting to the news media. Our staff can help you prepare a press release package and work with your press office.

4. Helpful Links

NOIRLab Approved Survey Programs

  • NOIRLab Survey Programs
  • NOAO Survey Data (Historic)
  • Approved NOIRLab Programs - for Prop. IDs and PIs, search by semester(s) under  Approved Programs Lists

Telescope Schedules

  • CTIO Telescope Schedules (1998A–present) (includes Blanco 4m, SOAR)
  • KPNO Telescope Schedules (1997B–present) (includes 2.1m, Mayall 4m, WIYN 0.9m, WIYN 3.5m)
  • Gemini Telescope Schedules and Queue
  • SMARTS Consortium Telescope Schedules

Telescopes and Instruments

  • NOIRLab Current Telescopes/Instruments (NOIRLab telescopes; community-access and exchange time on non-NOIRLab telescopes)
  • Gemini Observatory Instrumentation
  • AAS Journals Facility Keywords

5. Researchers/Observers and NOIRLab Staff

5.1 noirlab staff, 5.1.1 noirlab scientific and technical staff affiliations.

NOIRLab staff should include both NOIRLab and (where applicable) their Program’s name in their affiliation statement, using the forms shown below:

  • NAME, NSF’s NOIRLab, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
  • NAME, Kitt Peak National Observatory/NSF’s NOIRLab, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
  • NAME, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory/NSF’s NOIRLab, Casilla 603, La Serena, Chile
  • NAME, Community Science and Data Center/NSF’s NOIRLab, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
  • NAME, Gemini Observatory/NSF’s NOIRLab, 670 N. A’ohoku Place, Hilo, Hawai’i, 96720, USA
  • NAME, Gemini Observatory/NSF’s NOIRLab, Casilla 603, La Serena, Chile
  • NAME, Gemini Observatory/NSF’s NOIRLab, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
  • NAME, Mid-Scale Observatories/NSF’s NOIRLab, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
  • NAME, SOAR Telescope/NSF’s NOIRLab, Casilla 603, La Serena, Chile

5.1.2 Acknowledgments Statement for NOIRLab Staff Not Using NOIRLab Data or Telescopes

Papers authored or co-authored by NOIRLab staff not using NOIRLab data or telescopes should acknowledge funding from NSF by using the following statement in the acknowledgments section at the end of their paper:

The work of [name or initials] is supported by NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Please note that, regardless of placement in the author list (as in first or last author), this credit line must be included.

Also see  section 8.5 Papers Authored or Co-Authored by Gemini Staff .

5.2 REU/PIA Students

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program and Práctica en Investigación en Astronomía (PIA) Program, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). Place the appropriate statements in the Acknowledgments Section:

REU Students

This project was conducted within the framework of the CTIO Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, which was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant AST-1062976.

PIA Students

This project was conducted within the framework of the CTIO Práctica en Investigación en Astronomía (PIA) Program. This was a CTIO-funded summer student program run in parallel with the CTIO Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, which was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant AST-1062976.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO)

FY03–FY07: REU student(s) funded by AST-0243875

[Last Name OR Initials] was/were supported by the NOAO/KPNO Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, which was funded by the National Science Foundation through Scientific Program Order No. 3 (AST- 0243875) of the Cooperative Agreement No. AST-0132798 between the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and NSF.

FY08-FY12: REU students funded by AST-0754223

[Last Name OR Initials] was/were supported by the NOAO/KPNO Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, which was funded by the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program and the Department of Defense ASSURE program through Scientific Program Order No. 3 (AST-0754223) of the Cooperative Agreement No. AST0132798 between the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and NSF.

FY13–FY16: REU students funded by AST-1262829

[Last Name OR Initials] was/were supported by the NOAO/KPNO Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, which was funded by the US National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (AST-1262829).

6. Mid-Scale Observatories (MSO): KPNO and CTIO

6.1. kitt peak national observatory (kpno).

If you are the primary author on a publication citing data in the Astro Data Archive from KPNO telescopes, please see the acknowledgments statements under  Astro Data Archive .

If you are the primary author on a publication that includes data derived from your use of KPNO telescopes, please include the following statements and information in your publication, as appropriate.

6.1.1 4m (Mayall) Telescope

Please see below additional, specific instructions for DESI.

Footnote to name on the title page

Visiting astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab, managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Acknowledgments Section  (please insert the NOIRLab Prop. ID and PI name in the statement below)

Based on observations at Kitt Peak National Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID XXXXX-XXXX; PI: first initial last name), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The authors are honored to be permitted to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham.

Based in part on observations … [the rest as above]

For NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs: Search by semester(s) under  Approved Programs Lists  on  NOIRLab Time Allocation Committee (TAC)  OR contact the  Tucson Headquarters Librarian . 

Based on observations at Kitt Peak National Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID 2020B-6001; PI: T. Rector), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The authors are honored to be permitted to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham.

Observations Section

Include dates of observations and names of telescopes and instruments used.

AAS Journals Facility Tracking

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the KPNO telescopes with the following keywords:

4m (Mayall) = Mayall

Authors may include additional text in parentheses after the facility keyword to cite facility instruments or telescope configurations.  Example:  Mayall (Mosaic)

ASS Instructions for Facility Keywords and AASTeX Markup

6.1.1.1 Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI)

Short form (standard)

This research is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE–AC02–05CH1123, and by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a DOE Office of Science User Facility under the same contract; additional support for DESI is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation, Division of Astronomical Sciences under Contract No. AST-0950945 to NOAO; the Science and Technologies Facilities Council of the United Kingdom; the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; the Heising-Simons Foundation; the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA); the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico; the Ministry of Economy of Spain, and by the DESI Member Institutions.

The authors are honored to be permitted to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Detailed Form

DESI is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of High Energy Physics; the U.S. National Science Foundation, Division of Astronomical Sciences under contract to NSF’s NOIRLab; the Science and Technologies Facilities Council of the United Kingdom; the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; the Heising-Simons Foundation; the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA); the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico; the Ministry of Economy of Spain; and DESI member institutions. The DESI scientists are honored to be permitted to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Current DESI Member Institutions include Aix-Marseille University; Argonne National Laboratory; Barcelona-Madrid Regional Participation Group; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Boston University; Brazil Regional Participation Group; Carnegie Mellon University; CEA-IRFU, Saclay; China Participation Group; Cornell University; Durham University; École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; Granada-Madrid-Tenerife Regional Participation Group; Harvard University; Kansas State University; Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute; Korea Institute for Advanced Study; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et de Hautes Énergies; Max Planck Institute; Mexico Regional Participation Group; NSF's NOIRLab; Ohio University; Perimeter Institute; Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Siena College; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Southern Methodist University; Swinburne University; The Ohio State University; Universidad de los Andes; University College London; University of Arizona; University of Barcelona; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Florida; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; University of Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; University of Portsmouth; University of Queensland; University of Rochester; University of Toronto; University of Utah; University of Waterloo; University of Wyoming; University of Zurich; UK Regional Participation Group; Yale University.

For more information, visit  desi.lbl.gov .

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes.

The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit  www.lbl.gov .

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit  science.energy.gov .

NSF’s NOIRLab is the national center for ground-based nighttime astronomy in the United States and is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation Division of Astronomical Sciences.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. Please refer to  www.nsf.gov .

Established in 2007 by Mark Heising and Elizabeth Simons, the Heising-Simons Foundation ( www.heisingsimons.org ) is dedicated to advancing sustainable solutions in the environment, supporting groundbreaking research in science, and enhancing the education of children.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation, patient care and scientific research. The Foundation’s Science Program aims to make a significant impact on the development of provocative, transformative scientific research, and increase knowledge in emerging fields.

For more information, visit  www.moore.org .

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom coordinates research on some of the most significant challenges facing society, such as future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security. It offers grants and support in particle physics, astronomy and nuclear physics, visit  www.stfc.ac.uk .

6.1.2 WIYN Observatory

If you are the primary author on a publication including data derived from your use of the WIYN Observatory Telescopes (0.9m, 3.5m) obtained through time granted by NOIRLab, please include the following statements and information in your publication.

Note: The WIYN Consortium founding members were the University of Wisconsin-Madison (W), Indiana University (I), Yale University (Y), and the National Optical Astronomical Observatory (N). In 2014, Yale University withdrew from the WIYN consortium. Purdue University joined in 2017. However, the acronym WIYN has been maintained.

Visiting astronomer, Kitt Peak National Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Footnote to the first mention of WIYN in the paper

The WIYN Observatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Indiana University, NSF’s NOIRLab, the Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and Princeton University

The WIYN Board also encourages the mention of WIYN in the title or abstract of the paper.

Acknowledgments Section for other than NN-EXPLORE telescope time  (please insert the NOIRLab Prop. ID and PI name to the statement below; see below for NN-EXPLORE acknowledgments)

Based on observations at Kitt Peak National Observatory, NSF’s NOIRLab (Prop. ID XXXXX-XXXX; PI: first initial last name), managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The authors are honored to be permitted to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham.

For NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs: Search by semester(s) under Approved Programs List  on  NOIRLab Time Allocation Committee (TAC)  OR contact the  Tucson Headquarters Librarian .

Example: 

Acknowledgments Section for publications resulting from NN-EXPLORE telescope time

Data presented were obtained by the NEID spectrograph built by Penn State University and operated at the WIYN Observatory by NOIRLab, under the NN-EXPLORE partnership of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.

Include dates of observations; names of telescopes and instruments used.

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the WIYN telescopes with the following keywords:

WIYN 0.9m = WIYN:0.9m

WIYN 3.5m = WIYN

Authors should include additional text in parentheses after the facility keyword to cite facility instruments or telescope configurations.  Examples:  WIYN (Hydra); WIYN (ODI)

AAS Instructions for Facility Keywords and AASTeX Markup

6.2. Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO)

If you are the primary author on a publication citing data in the Astro Data Archive from CTIO telescopes, including Dark Energy Survey data, please see the acknowledgments statements under  Astro Data Archive .

If you are the primary author on a publication that includes data derived from your use of the CTIO Blanco telescope, please include the following statements and information in your publication:

6.2.1 4m (Blanco) telescope using an instrument other than DECam

Visiting astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, NSF’s NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Acknowledgments Section  (please insert the NOIRLab Prop. ID and PI name in the statement below)

Based on observations made at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID; PI: first initial last name), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Example:  Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID 2020B-0536; PI: L. Allen), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Include dates of observations and names of Blanco 4m telescope and instruments used.

AAS Journals Facility Tracking:  The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the CTIO 4m (Blanco) telescope with the following keyword:

Authors should include additional text in parentheses after the facility keyword to cite facility instruments or telescope configurations.  Example:  Blanco (Mosaic)

6.2.2 4m (Blanco) telescope using DECam, community users with time granted by NOIRLab

Acknowledgments Section (include both DECam Acknowledgments and CTIO Acknowledgment; please insert NOIRLab Prop. ID and PI name in the CTIO acknowledgments statement):

Regular-length articles

This project used data obtained with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which was constructed by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the US Department of Energy, the US National Science Foundation, the Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at the Ohio State University, the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos, Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico and the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Collaborating Institutions in the Dark Energy Survey.

The Collaborating Institutions are Argonne National Laboratory, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Cambridge, Centro de Investigaciones Enérgeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas–Madrid, the University of Chicago, University College London, the DES-Brazil Consortium, the University of Edinburgh, the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEC/CSIC), the Institut de Física d’Altes Energies, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München and the associated Excellence Cluster Universe, the University of Michigan, NSF’s NOIRLab, the University of Nottingham, the Ohio State University, the OzDES Membership Consortium, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Portsmouth, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, the University of Sussex, and Texas A&M University.

Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, NSF’s NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID XXXXX-XXXX; PI: first initial last name), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

For articles in a Letters journal ONLY, community users of DECam may use the following acknowledgments statement:

This project used data obtained with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which was constructed by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the DOE and NSF (USA), MISE (Spain), STFC (UK), HEFCE (UK), NCSA (UIUC), KICP (U. Chicago), CCAPP (Ohio State), MIFPA (Texas A&M), CNPQ, FAPERJ, FINEP (Brazil), MINECO (Spain), DFG (Germany) and the Collaborating Institutions in the Dark Energy Survey, which are Argonne Lab, UC Santa Cruz, University of Cambridge, CIEMAT-Madrid, University of Chicago, University College London, DES-Brazil Consortium, University of Edinburgh, ETH Zürich, Fermilab, University of Illinois, ICE (IEEC-CSIC), IFAE Barcelona, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, LMU München and the associated Excellence Cluster Universe, University of Michigan, NOIRLab, University of Nottingham, Ohio State University, OzDES Membership Consortium, University of Pennsylvania, University of Portsmouth, SLAC National Lab, Stanford University, University of Sussex, and Texas A&M University.

Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory atNSF’s NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID XXXXX-XXXX; PI: first initial last name), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Include dates of observations and names of telescopes and instruments used

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the CTIO 4m (Blanco) telescope using DECam with the following keyword:

Blanco (DECam)

6.2.3 4m (Blanco) telescope using DECam as part of the Dark Energy Survey

Acknowledgments Section  (DECam Acknowledgments and CTIO Acknowledgment; please insert the NOIRLab Prop. ID and PI name in the CTIO acknowledgments statement)

Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the US Department of Energy, the US National Science Foundation, the Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, the Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at the Ohio State University, the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos, Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Conselho 12 Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico and the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Collaborating Institutions in the Dark Energy Survey.

Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID 2012B-0001; PI: J. Frieman), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

6.2.4 SMARTS Consortium Telescopes (0.9m; 1.0m; 1.3m; 1.5m)

Please notify the SMARTS Principal Scientist  of your publication or the successful completion of Ph.D. work by graduate students, with the student's name, dissertation title, and date of Ph.D.

If you are the primary author on a publication that includes data derived from use of the SMARTS telescopes obtained through time granted by NOIRLab, please include the following statements and information in your publication to help continue the success of SMARTS:

When appropriate, a reference to SMARTS in the abstracts of papers is appreciated.

Visiting astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Acknowledgments Section

This research has used data from the SMARTS [1.5m/1.3m/1.0m/0.9m] telescope, which is operated as part of the SMARTS Consortium.

Investigators who obtained time through NOIRLabshould also use the usual NOIRLab acknowledgment:

Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID XXXXX-XXXX; PI: first initial last name), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

For NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs: Search by semester(s) under  Approved Programs Lists  on  NOIRLab Time Allocation Committee (TAC)  OR contact the  Tucson Headquarters Librarian .   

NN-EXPLORE NASA Telescope Time

Include the following statement in the acknowledgments:

Data presented herein were obtained at the SMARTS/Chiron from telescope time allocated under the NN-EXPLORE program with support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Include dates of observations and specific telescope(s)/instrument(s) you used operated by the SMARTS Consortium.

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the SMARTS Consortium telescopes with the following keywords:

CTIO:0.9m CTIO:1.0m CTIO:1.3m CTIO:1.5m

6.2.5 Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope

If you are the primary author on a publication including data derived from your use of the SOAR telescope obtained through time granted by NOIRLab, please include the following statements and information in your publication (also see the SOAR guidelines available at  SOAR publications: acknowledgements and lists )

The SOAR Board encourages the mention of SOAR in the title or abstract.

Footnote to name on title page

To properly acknowledge the use of data obtained with the SOAR telescope in publications, whether partially or entirely based on SOAR data, please include an asterisk by the paper title referring to a footnote stating the following:

Based on observations obtained at the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope, which is a joint project of the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (MCTI/LNA) do Brasil, the US National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and Michigan State University (MSU).

Here is the LaTeX code for the above acknowledgment statement:

Based on observations obtained at the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope, which is a joint project of the Minist\'{e}rio da Ci\^{e}ncia, Tecnologia e Inova\c{c}\~{o}es (MCTI/LNA) do Brasil, the US National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and Michigan State University (MSU).

The above instructions apply to all of the following publications: refereed papers, conference proceedings, SPIE Conference Series, PhD and Master theses, Bachelor theses and other undergraduate work, meeting (AAS) abstracts, circulars, and all ArXiv publications. Please note that when submitting to ArXiv, make sure you include the SOAR acknowledgement at the end of your submitted abstract.

We encourage observers to cite the papers describing the instruments they have used successfully. The ADS links to the appropriate papers are on the SOAR website .

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the SOAR Telescope with the following keyword:

Authors should include additional text in parentheses after the facility keyword to cite facility instruments or telescope configurations.  Example:  SOAR (OSIRIS)

6.3 Community-Access Time Granted by NOIRLab on Non-NOIRLab Telescopes

If you are the primary author on a publication including data derived from your community-access time granted by NOIRLab on non-NOIRLab telescopes, please include the following statements and information in your publication:

6.3.1 Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT)

Include NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs in the Observations Section or Acknowledgments Section.

Example : (NOIRLab Prop. ID 2020A-0493; PI: L. Prato)

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the AAT Telescope with the following keyword:

Authors may include additional text in parentheses after the facility keyword to cite facility instruments or telescope configurations.

6.3.2 Las Cumbres Global Telescope

Please acknowledge NSF-MSIP support by including the following in all publications relating to MSIP observing time.

This work makes use of observations from the LCOGT network. Part of the LCOGT telescope time was granted by NOIRLab through the Mid-Scale Innovations Program (MSIP). MSIP is funded by NSF.

6.3.3 CHARA Array

CHARA Array time was granted through the NOIRLab community-access program (NOIRLab Prop. ID: XXXXX-XXXX ; PI: First Initial Last Name).

The CHARA Array is funded by the National Science Foundation through NSF grant AST-1211129 and by Georgia State University through the College of Arts and Sciences.

For NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs: Search by semester(s) under  Approved Programs Lists  on  NOIRLab Time Allocation Committee (TAC)  OR contact the  Tucson Headquarters Librarian .  Example:  (NOIRLab Prop. ID 2020A-0493; PI: L. Prato)

Please acknowledge NSF-MSIP support by including the following in all publications relating to MSIP observing time (preferably as a footnote on the title page).

CHARA telescope time was granted by NOIRLab through the Mid-Scale Innovations Program (MSIP). MSIP is funded by NSF.

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the CHARA Array with the following keyword:

Authors should include additional text in parentheses after the facility keyword to cite facility instruments or telescope configurations.

6.3.4 Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP): Keck I; Keck II; Magellan I; Magellan II; MMT; Hale telescope; MINERVA-Australia

6.3.4.1 keck i and ii.

Footnote on title page

Keck telescope time was granted by NOAO, through the Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP). TSIP was funded by NSF.

For NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs: Search by semester(s) under  Approved Programs Lists  on  NOIRLab Time Allocation Committee (TAC)  OR contact the  Tucson Headquarters Librarian . Example: (Prop. ID 2020A-0493; PI: L. Prato)

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the Keck Telescopes with the following keywords:

Keck:1(TSIP) Keck:2(TSIP) Keck:Interferometer(TSIP)

6.3.4.3 Magellan I and II

Magellan telescope time was granted by NSF’s NOIRLab, through the Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP). TSIP was funded by NSF.

Include Prop. IDs and PIs in Observations Section or Acknowledgments Section.

For NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs: Search by semester(s)s under  Approved Programs Lists  on  NOIRLab Time Allocation Committee (TAC)  OR contact the  Tucson Headquarters Librarian .  Example : (NOIRLab Prop. ID 2020A-0493; PI: L. Prato)

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the Magellan telescopes with the following keywords:

Magellan:Baade(TSIP) Magellan:Clay(TSIP)

6.3.4.3 MMT

The observations reported here were obtained [in part] at the MMT Observatory, a facility operated jointly by the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona. MMT telescope time was granted by NSF’s NOIRLab, through the Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP). TSIP was funded by NSF.

Include NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs in Observations Section or Acknowledgments Section.

For NOIRLab Prop. IDs and PIs: Search by semester(s) under  Approved Programs Lists  on  NOIRLab Time Allocation Committee (TAC)  OR contact the  Tucson Headquarters Librarian .   Example:  (NOIRLab Prop. ID 2020A-0493; PI: L. Prato)

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to tag the MMT telescopes with the following keyword:

6.3.4.4 Hale Telescope

Any publication that results from time allocated by NOIRLab on the 200-inch Hale telescope should acknowledge the NSF/NOIRLab ReSTAR program:

This material is based upon work supported by AURA through the National Science Foundation under AURA Cooperative Agreement AST-0132798 as amended.

6.3.4.5 MINERVA-Australis

Data presented herein were obtained at the MINERVA-Australis from telescope time allocated under the NN-EXPLORE program with support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

7. Community Science and Data Center (CSDC)

7.1 astro data archive.

If you are the primary author on a publication citing data from the Astro Data Archive, please include the following acknowledgments in your publication.

7.1.1 Astro Data Archive survey program data (other than Dark Energy Survey data)

This research is based on data obtained from the Astro Data Archive at NSF’s NOIRLab. These data are associated with observing program(s) [Prop. ID] (PI [First Initial Last Name]). NOIRLab is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

The name of the “Survey PI” may be obtained from the NOAO Survey Data (Historic)  web page. Survey information is also available from  Tucson Headquarters Librarian

The Astrophysical Journal ,  The Astrophysical Journal Supplement , and  The Astronomical Journal  allow you to use keywords to tag the CTIO and KPNO telescopes. Authors may include additional text in parentheses after the facility keyword to cite facility instruments or telescope configurations. Example: Mayall (Mosaic).

See  AAS Instructions for Facility Keywords and AASTeX Markup  for information and appropriate keywords.

If appropriate, please add a statement acknowledging use of the DECam Community Pipeline.

Raw imaging data were processed with the DECam Community Pipeline (Valdes 2014).

Citation: Valdes, F., Gruendl, R., and DES Project 2014 ASP Conf. Series 485 Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIII ed. N. Manset and P. Forshay (San Francisco, CA: ASP) 379.

ADS bibcode for Valdes publication is 2014ASPC..485..379V .

7.1.2 Legacy Surveys

http://legacysurvey.org/acknowledgment/

When using data from the Legacy Surveys in papers, please use the following acknowledgment

The Legacy Surveys consist of three individual and complementary projects: the Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey (DECaLS; Proposal ID #2014B-0404; PIs: David Schlegel and Arjun Dey), the Beijing-Arizona Sky Survey (BASS; NOAO Prop. ID #2015A-0801; PIs: Zhou Xu and Xiaohui Fan), and the Mayall z-band Legacy Survey (MzLS; Prop. ID #2016A-0453; PI: Arjun Dey). DECaLS, BASS and MzLS together include data obtained, respectively, at the Blanco telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, NSF’s NOIRLab; the Bok telescope, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona; and the Mayall telescope, Kitt Peak National Observatory, NOIRLab. The Legacy Surveys project is honored to be permitted to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham Nation.

NOIRLab is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

This project used data obtained with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which was constructed by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at the Ohio State University, the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos, Fundacao Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos, Fundacao Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico and the Ministerio da Ciencia, Tecnologia e Inovacao, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Collaborating Institutions in the Dark Energy Survey. The Collaborating Institutions are Argonne National Laboratory, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Cambridge, Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas-Madrid, the University of Chicago, University College London, the DES-Brazil Consortium, the University of Edinburgh, the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Institut de Ciencies de l’Espai (IEEC/CSIC), the Institut de Fisica d’Altes Energies, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Ludwig Maximilians Universitat Munchen and the associated Excellence Cluster Universe, the University of Michigan, NSF’s NOIRLab, the University of Nottingham, the Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Portsmouth, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, the University of Sussex, and Texas A&M University.

BASS is a key project of the Telescope Access Program (TAP), which has been funded by the National Astronomical Observatories of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (the Strategic Priority Research Program “The Emergence of Cosmological Structures” Grant # XDB09000000), and the Special Fund for Astronomy from the Ministry of Finance. The BASS is also supported by the External Cooperation Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant # 114A11KYSB20160057), and Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (Grant # 11433005).

The Legacy Survey team makes use of data products from the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), which is a project of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. NEOWISE is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The Legacy Surveys imaging of the DESI footprint is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH1123, by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a DOE Office of Science User Facility under the same contract; and by the U.S. National Science Foundation, Division of Astronomical Sciences under Contract No. AST-0950945 to NOAO.

When using data from the Photometric Redshifts for the Legacy Surveys (PRLS) catalog, please include the following additional acknowledgment

The Photometric Redshifts for the Legacy Surveys (PRLS) catalog used in this paper was produced thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics via grant DE-SC0007914.

7.1.3 DECam (Dark Energy Camera) data on the Blanco telescope (see below for Dark Energy Survey data usage)

Acknowledgments Section  (include both DECam Acknowledgments and CTIO Acknowledgment; please insert NOIRLab Prop. ID and PI name in the CTIO acknowledgments statement):

This research draws upon DECam data as distributed by the Astro Data Archive at NSF's NOIRLab. NOIRLab is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a program of NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID XXXXX-XXXX; PI: First initial Last name), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

For articles in a Letters journal only, users of DECam data from the Astro Data Archive may use the following acknowledgments statement .

Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a program of NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID; PI First initial Last Name), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

7.1.4 Dark Energy Survey public archival data

Acknowledgments Section  (please insert the NOIRLab Prop. ID and PI name in the CTIO acknowledgments statement below)

This project used public archival data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) as distributed by the Astro Data Archive at NSF's NOIRLab. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the US Department of Energy, the US National Science Foundation, the Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics at the Ohio State University, the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos, Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico and the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Collaborating Institutions in the Dark Energy Survey.

The Collaborating Institutions are Argonne National Laboratory, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Cambridge, Centro de Investigaciones Enérgeticas, 22 Medioambientales y Tecnológicas- Madrid, the University of Chicago, University College London, the DES-Brazil Consortium, the University of Edinburgh, the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEC/CSIC), the Institut de Física d’Altes Energies, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München and the associated Excellence Cluster Universe, the University of Michigan, the  NSF’s NOIRLab, the University of Nottingham, the Ohio State University, the OzDES Membership Consortium, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Portsmouth, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, the University of Sussex, and Texas A&M University.

Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a program of NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. 2012B-0001; PI J. Frieman), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

For articles in a Letters journal only , users of Dark Energy Survey public archival data from the Astro Data Archive may use the following acknowledgments statement:

This project used public archival data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) as distributed by the Astro Data Archive at NSF's NOIRLab. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the DOE and NSF (USA), MISE (Spain), STFC (UK), HEFCE (UK), NCSA (UIUC), KICP (U. Chicago), CCAPP (Ohio State), MIFPA (Texas A&M), CNPQ, FAPERJ, FINEP (Brazil), MINECO (Spain), DFG (Germany) and the collaborating institutions in the Dark Energy Survey, which are Argonne Lab, UC Santa Cruz, University of Cambridge, CIEMAT-Madrid, University of Chicago, University College London, DESBrazil Consortium, University of Edinburgh, ETH Zürich, Fermilab, University of Illinois, ICE (IEECCSIC), IFAE Barcelona, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, LMU München and the associated Excellence Cluster Universe, University of Michigan, NOIRLab, University of Nottingham, Ohio State University, OzDES Membership Consortium, University of Pennsylvania, University of Portsmouth, SLAC National Lab, Stanford University, University of Sussex, and Texas A&M University.

Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a program of NOIRLab (NOIRLab Prop. ID 2012B-0001; PI: J. Frieman), which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

The Astrophysical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement, and Astronomical Journal allow you to tag the CTIO 4m (Blanco) Telescope using DECam with the following keyword:

7.1.5 Other Services and Data in the Astro Data Archive

7.1.6 iraf (image reduction and analysis facility).

IRAF web page

If you are the primary author on a paper citing the use of NOIRLab IRAF, please include the following in the Acknowledgments section in your publication:

NOIRLab IRAF is distributed by the Community Science and Data Center at NSF's NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Also, please include the following articles in the reference section of your paper: Tody (1986) ›     Tody (1993) ›     Fitzpatrick et al. (2024) 

7.2. Astro Data Lab

If you use the Astro Data Lab in your published research, including the NOIRLab Source Catalog, please include the text below in the Acknowledgments section of your paper in addition to any archival data use acknowledgments as indicated above.

This research uses services or data provided by the Astro Data Lab at NSF’s NOIRLab. NOIRLab is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Acknowledgment of survey datasets: Note that specific datasets in the Astro Data Lab request additional acknowledgments. Please consult the specific survey websites for specific wording.

7.3. ANTARES Event Broker

If you use the ANTARES event broker  in your research, please include the following citation and the following acknowledgment. 

Matheson et al. 2021 AJ 161 107

Acknowledgment:

The ANTARES project has been supported by the National Science Foundation through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for the operation of NOIRLab, through an NSF INSPIRE grant to the University of Arizona (CISE AST1344024, PI: R. Snodgrass), and through a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation.

ZTF is supported by National Science Foundation grant AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches ElektronenSynchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW.

8. Gemini Observatory

8.1 papers based on data from the gemini observatory.

Please notify the Gemini Librarian at the Gemini Observatory at NSF’s NOIRLab:  [email protected]

8.2. General Acknowledgment

Papers containing data from the Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab (e.g., an ApJ paper), should include the following general acknowledgment as a footnote on the first page or in the last section before the references:

Based on observations obtained at the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab [ include additional acknowledgment here, see section below ], which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation on behalf of the Gemini Observatory partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Argentina), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea).

If appropriate, please also acknowledge the provision of visiting instrument(s) as described in the relevant “documents” web pages for that instrument.

Authors are also asked to give the identification number (“Program ID”) of the program(s) under which their data were obtained.

Example: GN-2004A-Q-10, or GS-2003B-C-1, or GN-2002B-SV-78, or GS-2005A-DD-96.

We recommend that this reference to the Program ID be made in the acknowledgment section at the end of the paper or in the Observations section of the paper.

The “documents” sections also list reference(s) that should be cited to describe the facility and visiting instruments.

Latex version

Based on observations obtained at the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation on behalf of the Gemini Observatory partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigaci\'{o}n y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnolog\'{i}a e Innovaci\'{o}n (Argentina), Minist\'{e}rio da Ci\^{e}ncia, Tecnologia, Inova\c{c}\~{o}es e Comunica\c{c}\~{o}es (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea).

Additional Acknowledgment

If appropriate, please include an additional acknowledgment:

(acquired through the Gemini Observatory Archive at NSF’s NOIRLab*),

(processed using the Gemini IRAF package [, Disco-Stu (Distortion Correction and Stacking Utility), and/or DRAGONS (Data Reduction for Astronomy from Gemini Observatory North and South)], or

(acquired through the Gemini Observatory Archive at NSF’s NOIRLab* and processed using the Gemini IRAF package [and/or DRAGONS (Data Reduction for Astronomy from Gemini Observatory North and South)])

*or the Gemini Science Archive prior to December 2015

8.3 Papers Based on Data from Gemini-Subaru Exchange Time

8.3.1 for observations from subaru.

Based [in part] on data collected at the Subaru Telescope, via the time exchange program between Subaru and the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab. The Subaru Telescope is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

8.3.2 For Observations from Gemini

Based [in part] on data obtained at the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab, via the time exchange program between Gemini and the Subaru Telescope [include additional acknowledgment here, see above]. The international Gemini Observatory at NOIRLab is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Argentina), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea).

8.4 Papers About Gemini

Papers published about Gemini (for example, SPIE papers on an instrument) should have the following acknowledgment as a footnote on the first page or in the last section before the references:

The international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab, is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Argentina), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea).

8.5 Papers Authored or Co-Authored by Gemini Staff

8.5.1 papers by gemini staff not using gemini data.

Papers authored or co-authored by Gemini staff not using Gemini data should acknowledge funding from the agencies by using the following statement in the acknowledgment section at the end of their paper:

Supported by the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation, on behalf of the Gemini partnership of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America.

Please note that, regardless of placement in the author list (as in, first or last author), this credit line must be included.

8.5.2 Papers by Gemini staff using Gemini data

For papers by Gemini staff using Gemini data, use the general acknowledgment listed above.

8.6. Papers Based on Data from GRACES

Based on observations obtained through the Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph (GRACES). ESPaDOnS is located at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawai’i. ESPaDOnS is a collaborative project funded by France (CNRS, MENESR, OMP, LATT), Canada (NSERC), CFHT and ESA. ESPaDOnS was remotely controlled from the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Argentina), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea).

8.7. Papers Based on Data from `Alopeke and/or Zorro

(Some of the) Observations in the paper made use of the High-Resolution Imaging instrument(s) ‘Alopeke (and/or Zorro). ‘Alopeke (and/or Zorro) was funded by the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program and built at the NASA Ames Research Center by Steve B. Howell, Nic Scott, Elliott P. Horch, and Emmett Quigley. ‘Alopeke (and/or Zorro) was mounted on the Gemini North (and/or South) telescope of the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Argentina), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea).

8.8 Papers Based on Data from IGRINS

This work used the Immersion Grating Infrared Spectrometer (IGRINS) that was developed under a collaboration between the University of Texas at Austin and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) with the financial support of the US National Science Foundation 27 under grants AST-1229522 and AST-1702267, of the University of Texas at Austin, and of the Korean GMT Project of KASI.

8.9 Maunakea Acknowledgement

This work was enabled by observations made from the Gemini North telescope, located within the Maunakea Science Reserve and adjacent to the summit of Maunakea. We are grateful for the privilege of observing the Universe from a place that is unique in both its astronomical quality and its cultural significance.

9. Vera C. Rubin Observatory Operations

For acknowledgments to the Rubin Observatory Construction Project in the period until operations begin in 2024, please see the guidelines at https://www.lsst.org/scientists/citing-lsst.

For acknowledgments related to the pre-operations of Rubin Observatory, please use the following:

This material or work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation through Cooperative Agreement AST-1258333 and Cooperative Support Agreement AST1836783 managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), and the Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515 with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory managed by Stanford University.

Updated on January 16, 2024, 11:18 am

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  23. Scientific Acknowledgments

    1. Introduction. Observers using NOIRLab facilities and observers using community-access time granted by NOIRLab at other facilities are expected to produce publications describing their research activity at these facilities. This web page sets out how to acknowledge the use of specific telescopes, surveys, and data archives at NOIRLab.