How to Write an Acknowledgment Section
The aim of this article is to discuss different types of contributions warrant that should be included in the acknowledgments section of a paper. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) analyzes some roles that deserve acknowledgment rather than authorship, including “obtainment of financial backing, management of a research group or general administrative support, help with writing, formatting and language editing, and also proofreading”.
You also should be aware of such types of indirect technical assistance, such as assistance with animals, equipment, patients, procedures or the supply of data, equipment, reagents, or samples. There is also indirect assistance realized through intellectual communication.
The ICMJE points out that contributors may be cited personally or all together. Also, it is advisable to specify their contributions in details.
Mentioning institutional affiliations is not obligatory, but you may provide this information depending on the journal’s requirements. However, the ICMJE prefer written permission from recognized individuals to avoid misunderstandings.
The sources of financial support are mostly mentioned in the acknowledgment part. However, some target journals recommend putting this information into a separate part. You can also tell whether the financial support was partial or full, important grant numbers and the person who received a monetary contribution. Bear in mind that most funding agencies and research establishments want you to say about acknowledging grants and fellowship in your acknowledgment part as well.
The contributions that are not particularly related to your research work are not of high value. Therefore, your friends’ encouragement or laboratory manager who provided your research group with supplies are normally not cited. Moreover, anonymous editors help and peer reviewers are not mentioned in the acknowledgment section as well. Besides, many journals, including American Physical Society journals, disapprove of such help because it is very laborious to recognize all anonymous support.
The writing style of acknowledgment sections may differ depending on the journal, but mainly these sections are written in the first person and in a concise way. Every journal has its own requirements for the format of an acknowledgment section. Thus, having changed your target journal, do not forget to reformat this part according to new regulations.
Notwithstanding the fact that acknowledgment section is added at the end of your work or placed in a footnote part, it still carries much weight. You should understand that by acknowledging all the received assistance with your research work, you display your honesty as a researcher and also willingness to cooperate. By means of this, you can also further your colleagues’ career. But other from that, the information about your material and research support may be useful for other researchers in your field.
We hope that the information presented above shed some light on what to remember in your acknowledgments section of your research work and why this section is important.
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