How to Write Acknowledgement for Research Paper (5 Samples)
July 12, 2023
By Mohsin Khurshid
Writing acknowledgements is an essential part of crafting a comprehensive research paper. It allows you to express gratitude and recognize the contributions of individuals and institutions who have supported your work. In this article, we will delve into the art of writing acknowledgement for research papers, providing you with valuable insights, practical tips, and five sample acknowledgements to guide you in acknowledging the people and resources that have played a significant role in your research journey.
Table of Contents
- 1 Understanding the Role of Acknowledgements in Research Papers
- 2 Key Elements of an Effective Acknowledgement
- 3 10 Tips for Writing an Acknowledgement for a Research Paper
- 4.1 Sample 1: Acknowledgement for Collaborative Research:
- 4.2 Sample 2: Acknowledgement for Funding Support:
- 4.3 Sample 3: Acknowledgement for Mentorship and Guidance:
- 4.4 Sample 4: Acknowledgement for Institutional Support:
- 4.5 Sample 5: Acknowledgement for Peer Reviewers:
- 6 Conclusion
Understanding the Role of Acknowledgements in Research Papers
Acknowledgements serve as a platform to express appreciation and recognize the collective effort that goes into the completion of a research paper. They provide an opportunity to acknowledge the guidance, support, and assistance received throughout the research process. By including acknowledgements, you can demonstrate your gratitude and give credit to those who have contributed to your success.
Key Elements of an Effective Acknowledgement
Crafting an effective acknowledgement involves considering various elements to ensure its sincerity and clarity. It is crucial to mention specific individuals, institutions, and their contributions, while keeping the acknowledgement concise and relevant. By adhering to ethical considerations and cultural norms, you can create an acknowledgement that reflects your gratitude and professionalism.
10 Tips for Writing an Acknowledgement for a Research Paper
- Be sincere and genuine : Write your acknowledgements with heartfelt gratitude, expressing sincere appreciation for the support and contributions received during your research.
- Identify specific individuals and institutions: Mention the names of people who have played a significant role in your research, such as mentors, advisors, collaborators, and funding agencies. Also, acknowledge the contributions of institutions that provided resources or facilities.
- Be concise and focused: Keep your acknowledgements concise and to the point. Focus on the key individuals and organizations that have made a substantial impact on your research.
- Use a formal tone: Maintain a professional and formal tone throughout your acknowledgements. Remember that this section is a formal acknowledgment of support, not a casual conversation.
- Follow ethical considerations: Ensure that you acknowledge individuals and organizations according to ethical guidelines and norms. Respect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals who may prefer not to be mentioned.
- Include personal touches: If appropriate, you can include personal anecdotes or specific instances where individuals or organizations made a significant impact on your research.
- Tailor acknowledgements to your research context: Consider the nature of your research and tailor your acknowledgements accordingly. For example, if you conducted interdisciplinary research, acknowledge experts from different fields who provided valuable insights.
- Proofread and edit: Like any other section of your research paper, proofread and edit your acknowledgements for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Ensure that the acknowledgements are well-written and free of errors.
- Seek feedback if needed: If you’re uncertain about whom to acknowledge or how to express your gratitude, seek feedback from your mentors, advisors, or colleagues. They can provide valuable guidance and suggestions.
- Show appreciation beyond formal requirements: While it’s important to acknowledge the required individuals and institutions, also consider extending your appreciation to others who may have supported you indirectly, such as family, friends, or colleagues who provided emotional support during your research journey.
Remember, acknowledgements are an opportunity to express your gratitude and recognize the contributions of those who have helped you along the way. Take the time to craft a thoughtful and sincere acknowledgement section that reflects the support and collaborative spirit of your research endeavor.
5 Samples for Acknowledgment in Research Paper
Explore these 5 carefully crafted acknowledgment samples to effectively express gratitude in your research paper.
Sample 1: Acknowledgement for Collaborative Research:
In this sample, we showcase an acknowledgement that acknowledges the collaborative efforts of research collaborators and team members. It highlights the importance of recognizing the joint contributions made towards the research project.
“I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the members of the research team, [Collaborators’ Names], for their invaluable contributions and collaborative spirit throughout this research project. Our collective efforts and synergistic teamwork have significantly enhanced the quality and depth of this study. Each member’s unique expertise and perspectives have brought forth diverse insights, resulting in a more comprehensive and well-rounded analysis.
I am grateful for the dedication, commitment, and professionalism demonstrated by each team member. The constructive discussions, intellectual debates, and shared enthusiasm have fostered an enriching research environment that has truly pushed the boundaries of our collective knowledge. This research project stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and the collective pursuit of knowledge.”
Sample 2: Acknowledgement for Funding Support:
This sample acknowledgement focuses on acknowledging the financial support received for the research. It emphasizes the significance of recognizing funding agencies or organizations that have provided the necessary resources for the research to take place.
“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the funding agencies and organizations that have provided financial support for this research. Their generous contributions have made it possible to conduct this study and have significantly contributed to its successful completion. The financial support has allowed for the procurement of necessary research materials, access to specialized equipment, and the opportunity to engage in valuable research experiences.
I would like to express my appreciation to [Name of Funding Agency/Organization 1] for their generous grant, which has played a crucial role in supporting this research project. Their belief in the significance of this study and their commitment to advancing knowledge in this field have been instrumental in its realization.
Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the support received from [Name of Funding Agency/Organization 2]. Their funding has been vital in facilitating data collection, analysis, and the dissemination of research findings. Their investment in this project has not only provided financial resources but has also validated the importance and potential impact of this research.”
Sample 3: Acknowledgement for Mentorship and Guidance:
Here, we present a sample acknowledgement that expresses gratitude towards mentors and advisors who have provided guidance and support throughout the research journey. It underscores the critical role of mentorship in academic and research endeavors.
“I am deeply grateful to my mentor, [Mentor’s Name], for their exceptional guidance and unwavering support throughout this research endeavor. Their expertise, insightful feedback, and continuous encouragement have been invaluable in shaping the direction and outcomes of this study. Their unwavering commitment to my academic growth and professional development has been truly inspiring.
I am indebted to [Mentor’s Name] for their generous allocation of time and resources, their willingness to share their wealth of knowledge, and their unwavering dedication to pushing me to new heights. Their mentorship has not only enriched the quality of this research but has also had a profound impact on my personal and intellectual growth. I am truly fortunate to have had the privilege of working under their guidance.”
Sample 4: Acknowledgement for Institutional Support:
In this sample, we illustrate an acknowledgement that acknowledges the support and resources provided by institutions. It emphasizes the institutional backing that has facilitated the research process and contributed to its success.
“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the faculty members and academic advisors who have provided guidance, feedback, and support throughout my academic journey. Their expertise, wisdom, and dedication to teaching and mentoring have been instrumental in shaping my research skills and scholarly pursuits.
I am grateful to [Name of Faculty Member/Advisor 1] for their unwavering support and invaluable insights. Their expertise and guidance have been critical in refining the research design, analyzing data, and interpreting findings. Their constructive feedback and intellectual discussions have truly enriched this study.
I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of [Name of Faculty Member/Advisor 2]. Their mentorship and encouragement have played a pivotal role in the development of my research abilities and have inspired me to reach for new heights. Their belief in my potential has been a constant source of motivation throughout this research journey.”
Sample 5: Acknowledgement for Peer Reviewers:
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the anonymous peer reviewers who have dedicated their time and expertise to provide valuable feedback and constructive criticism on this research paper. Their rigorous evaluation, insightful comments, and suggestions for improvement have immensely contributed to the quality and credibility of this work.
The meticulous review process conducted by the peer reviewers has helped shape and refine the content, methodology, and interpretation of this study. Their expertise in the field and their commitment to upholding scholarly standards have been crucial in ensuring the accuracy, validity, and relevance of the research findings.
I am sincerely grateful for the time and effort invested by each reviewer in thoroughly assessing this paper. Their detailed comments and recommendations have not only helped enhance the clarity and coherence of the manuscript but have also encouraged further reflection and refinement of the research.
The contributions of the peer reviewers are invaluable in the advancement of scientific knowledge and the improvement of academic publications. Their commitment to maintaining the rigor and integrity of the research process plays a pivotal role in fostering academic excellence and promoting the dissemination of high-quality research outcomes.”
When writing an acknowledgement in a research paper, begin by expressing gratitude to individuals, institutions, or organizations who have contributed to the research. Provide a sincere and concise acknowledgement, mentioning their specific contributions and the impact they made on the study.
While specific examples may vary depending on the research context, an acknowledgement section in a journal article typically acknowledges the contributions of individuals, funding sources, or institutions involved in the research process. It expresses gratitude for their support, guidance, or resources.
The purpose of the acknowledgement section in a research paper is to recognize and express gratitude to individuals or entities who have supported the research. It acknowledges their contributions, whether through funding, mentorship, technical assistance, data provision, or other forms of support.
When writing acknowledgements for a publication , start by identifying the key individuals or entities that have contributed to the research. Express gratitude for their support, mentioning specific contributions and the value they added to the study. Keep the acknowledgements concise and focused on the research context.
The acknowledgement section of a research paper should include acknowledgements for individuals or entities that have contributed to the research process. This may include mentors, advisors, funding agencies, research collaborators, or others who have provided valuable support, guidance, or resources.
While including an acknowledgement section in a research paper is not mandatory, it is a common practice in academic publishing. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of individuals or entities who have supported the research.
When writing an acknowledgements section for a literature review, acknowledge individuals or sources that have influenced and contributed to your understanding of the topic. Express gratitude for their insights, guidance, or resources that have shaped your literature review.
The terms “acknowledgement” and “acknowledgment” are both correct and interchangeable. The choice of spelling (with or without the “e”) may depend on regional or personal preferences.
To acknowledge a source in a research paper, use proper citation and referencing techniques according to the specific citation style guidelines. Include in-text citations and a corresponding entry in the reference list or bibliography to give credit to the original source.
Yes, you can acknowledge individuals who provided personal support in the acknowledgement section, such as family, friends, or loved ones. Recognize their emotional support, encouragement, or understanding during the research process.
Writing acknowledgements for a research paper allows you to express gratitude and acknowledge the invaluable contributions of individuals and institutions who have supported your work. By following the tips and utilizing the sample acknowledgements provided in this article, you can effectively and sincerely express your appreciation. Remember, acknowledgements are an opportunity to show your gratitude and give credit where it is due.
Acknowledgement for Paper Publication (10 Samples)
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How to Write the Acknowledgements Section of Your Research Paper
- 24th July 2023
After a substantial amount of time and effort, you’ve finally completed your research paper – and now you want to recognize all the individuals and organizations that supported you throughout your research and writing processes. In this post, we’ll show you how to write the acknowledgements section of your research paper, covering how to structure the section, whom you should thank, and what tone to use when writing it. Keep reading to get started.
What to Include in the Acknowledgements Section
Below are the general guidelines for how to structure an acknowledgements section and whom you should expressly thank.
How to Structure the Acknowledgements
Keep your acknowledgements section concise, ideally no more than one page long. No minimum length is required for acknowledgements; the length will vary based on the individual research project.
Generally, the acknowledgements should begin with the people who made the most significant contributions to your research . Typically, these individuals include your department chair/advisor, mentors, and those who directly helped with data collection, analyses, or other critical aspects of your research. Following that, list those who provided general support or assistance. There’s no hard-and-fast rule on whom to include here, but many researchers like to thank (in no particular order):
● Funding organizations
● Librarians or other research staff
● Research assistants
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● Human subjects and participants (be sure to respect confidentiality )
● Department staff and supervisors
You usually don’t have to thank university employees such as the general building staff, whose job is to assist the school/department, unless they had a direct impact on your work. And although some universities may want acknowledgements kept strictly professional, some researchers prefer to thank their family and friends briefly for their support. It’s best to keep these mentions general rather than thanking individual members of your family or specific friends unless, of course, they directly contributed to your research results or writing process.
Tone of Voice
Since the acknowledgements section is considered separate from your overall work, you can write it in the active voice using the first-person perspective. However, be sure to use a professional, formal tone of voice and avoid overly effusive, emotional language. The following table demonstrates examples of appropriate and inappropriate language to use in your acknowledgements:
Example Sentence Starters
To summarize, although you want to accurately express your gratitude to those who contributed to your research, be sure to use reserved language and avoid overly informal language and slang .
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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 .
This may include, but is not limited to:
- Funding bodies/sponsorship providers
- Research group and lab assistants
- Research participants
- 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
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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Acknowledgments and References
This usually follows the Discussion and Conclusions sections. Its purpose is to thank all of the people who helped with the research but did not qualify for authorship (check the target journal’s Instructions for Authors for authorship guidelines). Acknowledge anyone who provided intellectual assistance, technical help (including with writing and editing), or special equipment or materials.
TIP: The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors has detailed guidelines on who to list as an author and who to include in the Acknowledgments that are useful for scientists in all fields.
Some journals request that you use this section to provide information about funding by including specific grant numbers and titles. Check your target journal’s instruction for authors for specific instructions. If you need to include funding information, list the name(s) of the funding organization(s) in full, and identify which authors received funding for what.
As references have an important role in many parts of a manuscript, failure to sufficiently cite other work can reduce your chances of being published. Every statement of fact or description of previous findings requires a supporting reference.
TIP: Be sure to cite publications whose results disagree with yours. Not citing conflicting work will make readers wonder whether you are really familiar with the research literature. Citing conflicting work is also a chance to explain why you think your results are different.
It is also important to be concise. You need to meet all the above needs without overwhelming the reader with too many references—only the most relevant and recent articles need to be cited. There is no correct number of references for a manuscript, but be sure to check the journal’s guidelines to see whether it has limits on numbers of references.
TIP: Never cite a publication based on what you have read in a different publication (such as a review), or based only on the publication’s abstract. These may mislead you and readers. Read the publication itself before you cite it, and then check the accuracy of the citation again before submitting your manuscript.
You should reference other work to:
- Establish the origin of ideas
When you refer to an idea or theory, it is important to let your readers know which researcher(s) came up with the idea. By citing publications that have influenced your own work, you give credit to the authors and help others evaluate the importance of particular publications. Acknowledging others’ contributions is also an important ethical principle.
- Justify claims
In a scientific manuscript, all statements must be supported with evidence. This evidence can come from the results of the current research, common knowledge, or from previous publications. A citation after a claim makes it clear which previous study supports the claim.
- Provide a context for your work
By highlighting related works, citations help show how a manuscript fits into the bigger picture of scientific research. When readers understand what previous studies found and what puzzles or controversies your study relates to, they will better understand the meaning of your work.
- Show there is interest your field of research
Citations show that other researchers are performing work similar to your own. Having current citations will help journal editors see that there is a potential audience for your manuscript.
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How to Write Acknowledgements
Last Updated: September 12, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 743,396 times.
Any time you publish work or are recognized publicly, it's good form to thank the people who've helped you along the way with an acknowledgment. It can be a tricky piece of writing, though. What tone to use? How formal should your thanks be? Who should you thank? Whether it be academic acknowledgments, public thanks, or other reasons for thanking people, wikiHow can help you offer your gratitude in style. See Step 1 for more information.
Academic Acknowledgment and Thank You Speech Templates
Writing Academic Acknowledgements
- The acknowledgment page can either be a list or a more fluid paragraph. It would be fine to write, "I would like to thank Professor Henderson, Dr. Matthews, etc." until you've worked your way through the list.
- It would also be perfectly acceptable to address each person individually and more personally: "I would like to thank Professor Henderson for her expert advice and encouragement throughout this difficult project, as well as Dr. Matthews for his brilliance in the lab."  X Research source
- Some people feel uncomfortable emphasizing certain people's help over other people's help, in which case the list form in alphabetical order is a perfectly acceptable method of writing an Acknowledgment.
- In general, it's helpful to think in groups, even going to far as to format all the thank-yous of a particular group in a single sentence: "I would like to thank Dr. Stevens, Dr. Smith, and Professors Clemons for their extraordinary support in this thesis process."
- If you worked with a small committee, it's customary and thoughtful to thank each person for the specific things they contributed to your work.
- If your scholarship at the University was supported by any fellowships or scholarships, it would also be appropriate to name them in this section: "This project would have been impossible without the support of the Katherine G. Katherine Foundation, the Reese's Peanut Butter scholarship, and the Guggenheim Group."
- Remember that your friendships and romances may change over the years, so it might be best to keep particularly mushy romances and declarations of love out of your acknowledgment page, so you won't have to see it later if it doesn't work out.
- It's generally best to avoid overtly personal anecdotes and inside jokes in an academic acknowledgements page. If you want to reference other students' constant joking around in the lab, say, it would be better to say, "Thanks to Joe and Katherine for their friendship in the lab" than "Thanks to Joe and Katherine for dunking my slides in Jell-O when I was hungover."  X Research source
Writing a Thank-You Speech
- Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame induction speech was widely criticized for being tone deaf and spiteful, talking down to many former opponents and somewhat tarnishing his great legacy. Don't fall in the same trap.
Writing Other Acknowledgements
- Like an academic publication, it's also important to remember to address any financial support you received during the publication of your book. If you received any artist residencies, grants, or fellowships while working on your book, you need to list them in the acknowledgments.
- Use your writing skills to approach the acknowledgment creatively. Authors like Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, J.D. Salinger, and others have used the form for witty and usually-self deprecating anecdotes about the friends and cohorts they choose to thank.
- Friends and family
- Other bands who helped you along the way, lending gear or instruments
- Recording engineers and label folk
- Musical inspirations
- In the letter, explain your desire to thank them and explain the publication or event at which you'd like to thank them. Express your gratitude for their assistance and encourage them to get in touch to approve your acknowledgment. More often than not, they'll be flattered.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- Look at samples. Evaluating someone else's existing acknowledgements can help, especially if you are writing a specific kind of acknowledgement such as a thesis acknowledgement or other academic item. Thanks Helpful 46 Not Helpful 8
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://esl.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/LI/li-how_to_write_acknowledgements_in_a_dissertation.pdf
- ↑ https://www.awelu.lu.se/referencing/writing-acknowledgements/
- ↑ https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/funding-acknowledgements
- ↑ https://www.ref-n-write.com/blog/research-paper-example-writing-acknowledgements-appendix-sections-academic-phrasebank-vocabulary/
- ↑ https://gradschool.unc.edu/academics/thesis-diss/guide/ordercomponents.html#dedication
- ↑ http://www.katemessner.com/think-before-you-thank-writers-acknowledgments/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/index.html
About This Article
If you’ve published an academic work and you want to write acknowledgments, dedicate one page at the end of the document to thanking your supporters. You can write out your acknowledgments as a heartfelt paragraph thanking each person individually, or you can write a list in order of those who helped you the most, or even an alphabetical list if you’re uncomfortable emphasizing certain people over others. Include teachers, anyone who contributed to the project, personal supporters, and organizations or foundations which provided you with financial aid. For tips on writing acknowledgments for a literary work, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Draft the Acknowledgment Section of a Manuscript
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.
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.
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 Example for an Academic Research Paper
Posted by Rene Tetzner | Sep 1, 2021 | How To Get Published | 0 |
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:
• 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 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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Acknowledgements are not just thank you notes: A qualitative analysis of acknowledgements content in scientific articles and reviews published in 2015
École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal, Downtown Station, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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.
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.
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).
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].
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.
References are presented in order of in-text appearance.
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).
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.
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).
Recognizing Contributions: Acknowledge In Research Paper
Learn how to acknowledge in research paper with our simple guide, and ensure that your work gains recognition.
When we work on any project, it’s not just about our individual effort, it’s about teamwork as well. It’s important to acknowledge the contributions of others who have helped you along the way. This is where the acknowledgment section comes in. In this part of your paper, you can express your gratitude to those who have supported you throughout the research process, such as funders, advisors, assistants, collaborators, participants, and editors.
However, it’s important to be mindful of ethical considerations and avoid any promotion or advertising of specific individuals or organizations. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about acknowledgments, including how to acknowledge in research paper , tips for writing them, common mistakes to avoid, and ethical considerations. So, let’s get started!
What Is Acknowledgement In A Research Paper?
The acknowledgment section in a research paper credits individuals, institutions, or organizations that aided in the research or manuscript preparation. It’s usually found after the conclusion.
While optional, acknowledgments are commonly added to recognize and thank contributors for their efforts. This section typically starts with a statement thanking those who funded or supported the project, along with colleagues, research assistants, or other contributors who provided valuable feedback or assistance.
Being specific and detailing the contributions of each individual or organization is crucial to show their importance in the research process. However, it’s unnecessary to acknowledge everyone who helped, and acknowledgments should be kept brief and relevant to the project.
Why Is Acknowledgment Important?
Acknowledgment holds significant importance in research as it acknowledges and provides credit to individuals or organizations who have contributed to the research project. It expresses gratitude for their guidance, support, and assistance during the research process.
Acknowledgments are commonly included in research papers to build relationships and encourage future collaborations with those who have supported the research. By acknowledging their contributions, researchers demonstrate their appreciation for the input of others and the importance of collaboration in the research process.
Moreover, the acknowledgment section ensures academic integrity by recognizing and crediting all contributors to the research project. It also prevents any potential issues related to plagiarism or lack of attribution.
Who Should Be Acknowledged?
Acknowledgments in a research paper should recognize and give credit to individuals, organizations, or institutions that contributed to the research project in some way. This can include:
- Funding sources: Acknowledge those who provided financial support for the research project.
- Academic advisors or mentors: Acknowledge those who provided guidance or supervision throughout the research process.
- Research assistants: Acknowledge those who provided technical or administrative support during the research.
- Participants : Acknowledge those who took part in the research study, such as survey respondents.
- Collaborators : Acknowledge colleagues or other researchers who contributed to the research project in some way.
- Editors or proofreaders: Acknowledge those who helped with editing or proofreading the manuscript .
- Institutions or organizations: Acknowledge the institution or organization that provided resources or support for the research project.
Types Of Acknowledgement
Acknowledgment in a research paper can take various forms, depending on the purpose and context of the project. Here are some common types of acknowledgments:
1. Formal Acknowledgments
These are typically written in a formal tone and are used to recognize and give credit to people, organizations, or institutions that provide financial or technical support to the research project. These acknowledgments often appear at the beginning or end of the research paper and may include formal language and formatting.
2. Informal Acknowledgments
These acknowledgments are often more personal and informal in tone. They may include acknowledging friends, family members, or colleagues who provided emotional support or helped in some way during the research process.
3. Professional Acknowledgments
These acknowledgments are typically used in academic or professional settings and are aimed at giving credit to individuals or organizations that contributed to the research project. These acknowledgments may include thanking mentors, colleagues, research assistants, or funding agencies.
4. Collaborative Acknowledgments
These acknowledgments are used to recognize the collaborative nature of research projects. They may include acknowledging co-authors, collaborators, or other researchers who contributed to the project in some way.
Tips For Writing An Acknowledgement
When writing acknowledgment in a research paper, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind:
- Be specific: Clearly mention the contributions made by individuals or organizations, and how they helped in the research process.
- Use appropriate tone: Write in a professional tone and avoid using overly emotional language.
- Keep it concise: Avoid lengthy paragraphs and keep the acknowledgment section brief and relevant.
- Follow the required format: Check the guidelines provided by the journal or institution and ensure that you follow the required format.
- Proofread: Carefully proofread the acknowledgment section for any errors or typos.
- Be grateful: Show appreciation and gratitude to the individuals or organizations who contributed to the research project.
- Avoid self-promotion: The acknowledgment section should not be used to promote oneself or one’s organization.
Examples Of Acknowledgement
Examples of acknowledgments in a research paper include thanking the funding sources, academic advisors or mentors, research assistants, participants, collaborators, editors or proofreaders, and institutions or organizations that provided support. Here are some sample acknowledgments that are concise and relevant to the research project:
Acknowledge In Research Paper: Example 1
“I would like to thank Dr. Ram for his invaluable guidance and support throughout this project. I am also grateful to my research assistant, Priya, for her technical expertise and administrative assistance. This project would not have been possible without the generous financial support of the XYZ Foundation. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the study participants who generously shared their time and insights.”
Acknowledge In Research Paper: Example 2
“I am indebted to Dr. Mary for her continuous support and feedback throughout the research process. I also want to thank my colleagues, Shahin and Sarah, for their valuable input and suggestions. The editorial assistance provided by XYZ Editing Services was also greatly appreciated. I am also grateful to the ABC Institution for providing the necessary resources for this research project.”
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing An Acknowledgement
When writing acknowledgment, it’s important to avoid certain mistakes, such as:
- Forgetting to acknowledge someone who contributed to the research project.
- Using vague language instead of specific details about how someone contributed.
- Focusing too much on personal anecdotes or stories, rather than keeping the acknowledgment concise and relevant to the research project.
- Using the acknowledgment section to promote or advertise specific individuals or organizations.
- Forgetting to proofread the acknowledgment section for errors in grammar or spelling.
- Including acknowledgments that are not relevant to the research project.
- Making it too formal or too casual, rather than matching the tone of the rest of the research paper.
To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to carefully consider who should be acknowledged, what specific contributions they made, and to keep the language concise and relevant to the research project. It’s also helpful to have someone else review the acknowledgment section to ensure that it’s free of errors and strikes the right tone.
How To Acknowledge In Research Paper?
- When citing an acknowledgment in a research paper, it should be listed as a separate section at the end of the paper, following the references section. It should be titled “Acknowledgement” and be placed after the conclusion but before the reference list.
- Acknowledgment section should not be included within the text citation or reference list. However, if a person or organization mentioned in the acknowledgment section was cited within the text, it should be included in the in-text citation and reference list.
- It’s important to make sure that acknowledgments are cited correctly in order to give credit to those who contributed to the research project. This will help to ensure academic integrity and avoid plagiarism. Learn more about Plagiarism here .
Ethical Considerations For Acknowledging Others In Your Research Paper
It is essential to consider ethical principles when acknowledging others in your research paper. First and foremost, ensure that you acknowledge all individuals and organizations that made significant contributions to your research. This acknowledgment must be honest and accurate and should not falsely claim credit for the work of others.
Additionally, it is crucial to obtain consent from individuals before acknowledging them in your research paper, particularly when using their personal information. Ensure that you have informed them about how their contribution will be acknowledged and seek their permission to do so.
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About Sowjanya Pedada
Sowjanya is a passionate writer and an avid reader. She holds MBA in Agribusiness Management and now is working as a content writer. She loves to play with words and hopes to make a difference in the world through her writings. Apart from writing, she is interested in reading fiction novels and doing craftwork. She also loves to travel and explore different cuisines and spend time with her family and friends.
How to Write Acknowledgement: The 3-Minute Guide for Students
Writing acknowledgements is an important part of completing any academic project, from a dissertation to a school project. It is an opportunity to thank those who have helped you on the journey to completing your work.
In this guide, we will give you just enough information you will need to complete your acknowledgement section for your writing. Nothing more and nothing less. Let’s dive right in!
What is 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.
The acknowledgement section 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.
Acknowledgement are commonly found in academic writings such as:
- School/college projects
- Research papers
More Definitions on Acknowledgement
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- Acknowledgement vs Agreement Is Acknowledgement the Same as Agreement?
- Acknowledgement Receipts vs Official Receipts What’s the Difference Between Acknowledgement Receipts and Official Receipts?
“Acknowledgement” vs “Acknowledgment”… …what the hack?
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.
Why should I include an acknowledgement section in my writing?
Acknowledging assistance and contributions from others can establish your integrity as a researcher. This will eventually make your work more credible.
Where to put the acknoweldgement section?
Generally, the acknowledgements should be put right after the title page and before the table of contents.
For term papers, you can also write your acknowledgement at the end, after the conclusion, and before the reference section.
How long should an acknowledgement be?
The length of an acknowledgement should not be more than one page if you are writing for your thesis or dissertation. You should keep your acknowledgement as short as possible thanking all the individuals helping your throughout the project.
For a simple college or school project, you should write at least a paragraph or two thanking at least your college/school and teachers/instructors. A s hort 1-2 paragraph or 100-150 words for your acknowledgement section is fine.
What should be acknowledged about?
In your acknowledgement section, 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 help is obviously related to monetary support
Who should I include in the acknowledgement?
In general, there are two main categories of acknowledgements: professional and personal . And sometimes people would include a spiritual acknowledgement to the higher power.
It’s a common practice to put professional acknowledgements first, followed by any personal ones. And in the case of spiritual acknowledgement, it will be out up front regardless.
- Your Supervisor/ Teacher
- Lab assistants
- Academic staff of your school/college
- Your college/school
- Your faculty/department
- Friends/Your colleagues
- Family members
Start by listing all the people whom you wish to thank for helping or collaborating with your project. It could be your teacher, your friends, your families, and others. List everyone whom you think has helped you achieve your project goals.
Then you would have to organize them, starting with those people who helped you the most with the project. After that, you can thank your college or university as well.
When thanking professionals, always write out their full names and provide their titles. For example, “I would like to thank Dr. Steve Kerr, Professor Matt Simms for their support in this project.”
If you intend to include a list of people from one institution or organization, it is best to list their names in alphabetical order .
What is the tone and format of the acknowledgement section?
You should write your acknowledgement in formal language with complete sentences. Although the first person is not used in academic research projects, you can use it in the acknowledgement for the thesis section. In other words, p ersonal pronouns such as “I, my, me …”are nearly always used in the acknowledgements.
The information supplied in the acknowledgement section of academic writing should be kept concise. It should only include persons who are directly involved with the project.
Phrases to use while writing an acknowledgement
Strong ‘Thank You’
(You will use these lines for those who have helped you the most.)
- I’m extremely grateful to …
- I’d like to express my deepest thanks to…
- This project would not have been possible without…
- I cannot begin to express my thanks to……, who…
- I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to…
- I would like to pay my special regards to …
- I would like to recognize the invaluable assistance of…..
Medium ‘Thank You’
- I would also like to thank…
- I must also thank…
- I’d also like to express my gratitude to…
- Especially, I would like to thank…
- I am very grateful to…
- I should also appreciate…
Weaker ‘Thank You’
- I’d also like to acknowledge the help of…
- I’d also like to thank…
- Finally, I would like to thank…
After thanking everyone, you should also mention why you are thanking them. You can thank those people for their advice, suggestions, sharing their experience, guidance, support, etc., and appreciate their support and help for your project.
Here’s an example of an acknowledgement for a research paper:
First of all, I would like to thank my Almighty God for giving us the determination to complete this research paper.
I would like to thank also Prof. [name of professor] my thesis adviser, for his continuous support, patience, and motivation, and for unselfishly sharing his expertise from the initial to the final stage of this academic endeavor. I am also thankful to the panelists for their encouragement, insightful comments, and intellectual guidance.
I am also grateful to my classmates and cohort members, especially my office mates, for their editing help, honest feedback, and encouragement. Thanks should also go to the research assistants, and librarians from the university, who have been keeping me resourceful.
Last but not least, I want to thank my family for all their love and patience in making this journey meaningful.
Acknowledgement Examples for School/College Projects
Most popular Acknowledgement For School/College Projects [7 Examples] Acknowledgement for English Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Project Class 11 and 12 Acknowledgement for Project of Class 8, 9 and 10 By subjects Acknowledgement for Accounting Project [3 Examples] Acknowledgement for Business Studies Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Chemistry Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Computer Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Economics Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for English Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Geography Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for History Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Maths Project for Students [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Physics Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Social Science Project [5 Examples] Others Acknowledgement for Group Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Graduation Project [5 Examples] Acknowledgement for Disaster Management Project [3 Examples] Acknowledgement for Yoga Project [3 Samples]
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Writing Acknowledgments for Your Research Paper
- Research Process
- Peer Review
In this article, we describe what types of contributions warrant mention in the acknowledgments section of a paper .
Updated on July 8, 2014
In another article , we discuss four criteria that must be met for an individual to qualify for manuscript authorship. In this article, we describe what types of contributions warrant mention in the acknowledgments section of a paper instead. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) describes several roles that merit acknowledgment, rather than authorship :
“acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading.”
You should also acknowledge direct technical assistance, including help with animals, cells, equipment, patients, procedures, or techniques or provision of data, equipment, reagents, or samples, as well as more indirect assistance via intellectual discussions. Note that all of these contributions are typically more mechanical, indirect, and/or one-dimensional than those of authors. Additionally, some argue that individuals who provided help and could be chosen as a peer reviewer, leading to a potential conflict of interest, should be cited.
In any case, the ICMJE states that contributors may be cited individually or collectively and that their precise contributions should be specified.
e.g., “We thank Dr. X and Dr. Y for performing the surgeries” or “We thank the physicians who performed the surgeries"
Institutional affiliations may or may not be mentioned, depending on the journal's guidelines. Finally, the ICMJE encourages written permission from acknowledged individuals “because acknowledgment may imply endorsement.”
Funding sources should also be mentioned in the acknowledgments section, unless your target journal requires a separate section for this information. Whether the funding was partial or full, relevant grant numbers, and the author(s) who received the funding, if applicable, should be detailed as well. Note that acknowledging grants and fellowships is in fact required by many funding agencies and research institutions.
In contrast, contributions that are not specifically related to your research, including personal encouragement (e.g., by your friends or parents) and very general help (e.g., from a laboratory manager who purchases all supplies for your research group), should not be cited. Additionally, anonymous editors and peer reviewers are usually not thanked in the acknowledgments section; many journals (such as American Physical Society journals ) explicitly discourage this practice because it is difficult to comprehensively acknowledge all anonymous support and because this practice could potentially bias reviewers.
The writing style of acknowledgments sections may vary according to the journal, but generally, these sections are written in the first person and are as succinct as possible. A statement about conflicts of interest, citation of previous publication in poster or abstract form, and other information may also be included in this section, again depending on the journal. As you proceed through revisions for one journal or if you change your target journal, remember to reformat as necessary and to update your acknowledgments if additional help was obtained during the revision, such as with editing or new experiments.
Although an acknowledgments section may be appended to the end of your manuscript or relegated to a footnote, it is not a trivial component. By acknowledging all help received with your research, you are demonstrating your integrity as a researcher, which in turn encourages continued collaboration. You may also be bolstering your colleagues' careers, as being credited in an acknowledgments section is emerging as one of many gauges of a researcher's professional impact beyond citations (see ImpactStory , based on altmetrics ). Furthermore, information about who provided certain data, equipment, protocols, reagents, or samples may be of help to other researchers in your field.
This editing tip has hopefully elucidated what to include in the acknowledgments section of your manuscript and why this section is significant. If you have any comments or questions, please contact us . Best wishes in your research and writing!
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How to Write the Acknowledgements Section of Your Paper
- 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 ]
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.
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.
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.
Check out AsiaEdit’s professional research grant proposal editing service. Read more about our training services covering all aspects of academic writing tailored for local institutions.
More resources on research grant proposal writing: On-demand Webinars Preparing an effective research proposal – Your guide to successful funding application Preparing an effective research proposal – Your guide to successful funding application (Part 2)
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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Frequently asked questions
Where do the acknowledgements go in a thesis or dissertation.
The acknowledgements are generally included at the very beginning of your thesis , directly after the title page and before the abstract .
Frequently asked questions: Dissertation
Dissertation word counts vary widely across different fields, institutions, and levels of education:
- An undergraduate dissertation is typically 8,000–15,000 words
- A master’s dissertation is typically 12,000–50,000 words
- A PhD thesis is typically book-length: 70,000–100,000 words
However, none of these are strict guidelines – your word count may be lower or higher than the numbers stated here. Always check the guidelines provided by your university to determine how long your own dissertation should be.
A dissertation prospectus or proposal describes what or who you plan to research for your dissertation. It delves into why, when, where, and how you will do your research, as well as helps you choose a type of research to pursue. You should also determine whether you plan to pursue qualitative or quantitative methods and what your research design will look like.
It should outline all of the decisions you have taken about your project, from your dissertation topic to your hypotheses and research objectives , ready to be approved by your supervisor or committee.
Note that some departments require a defense component, where you present your prospectus to your committee orally.
A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.
Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:
- Plan to attend graduate school soon
- Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
- Are considering a career in research
- Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience
The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:
- A restatement of your research question
- A summary of your key arguments and/or results
- A short discussion of the implications of your research
The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.
For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:
- Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the discussion section and results section
- Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion …”)
- Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g., “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)
Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.
While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.
All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.
A theoretical framework can sometimes be integrated into a literature review chapter , but it can also be included as its own chapter or section in your dissertation . As a rule of thumb, if your research involves dealing with a lot of complex theories, it’s a good idea to include a separate theoretical framework chapter.
A literature review and a theoretical framework are not the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably. While a theoretical framework describes the theoretical underpinnings of your work, a literature review critically evaluates existing research relating to your topic. You’ll likely need both in your dissertation .
While a theoretical framework describes the theoretical underpinnings of your work based on existing research, a conceptual framework allows you to draw your own conclusions, mapping out the variables you may use in your study and the interplay between them.
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.
Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:
- Your anticipated title
- Your abstract
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)
When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .
In most styles, the title page is used purely to provide information and doesn’t include any images. Ask your supervisor if you are allowed to include an image on the title page before doing so. If you do decide to include one, make sure to check whether you need permission from the creator of the image.
Include a note directly beneath the image acknowledging where it comes from, beginning with the word “ Note .” (italicized and followed by a period). Include a citation and copyright attribution . Don’t title, number, or label the image as a figure , since it doesn’t appear in your main text.
Definitional terms often fall into the category of common knowledge , meaning that they don’t necessarily have to be cited. This guidance can apply to your thesis or dissertation glossary as well.
However, if you’d prefer to cite your sources , you can follow guidance for citing dictionary entries in MLA or APA style for your glossary.
A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, an index is a list of the contents of your work organized by page number.
The title page of your thesis or dissertation goes first, before all other content or lists that you may choose to include.
The title page of your thesis or dissertation should include your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date.
Glossaries are not mandatory, but if you use a lot of technical or field-specific terms, it may improve readability to add one to your thesis or dissertation. Your educational institution may also require them, so be sure to check their specific guidelines.
A glossary or “glossary of terms” is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. Your glossary only needs to include terms that your reader may not be familiar with, and is intended to enhance their understanding of your work.
A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, dictionaries are more general collections of words.
An abbreviation is a shortened version of an existing word, such as Dr. for Doctor. In contrast, an acronym uses the first letter of each word to create a wholly new word, such as UNESCO (an acronym for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
As a rule of thumb, write the explanation in full the first time you use an acronym or abbreviation. You can then proceed with the shortened version. However, if the abbreviation is very common (like PC, USA, or DNA), then you can use the abbreviated version from the get-go.
Be sure to add each abbreviation in your list of abbreviations !
If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .
If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.
A list of abbreviations is a list of all the abbreviations that you used in your thesis or dissertation. It should appear at the beginning of your document, with items in alphabetical order, just after your table of contents .
Your list of tables and figures should go directly after your table of contents in your thesis or dissertation.
Lists of figures and tables are often not required, and aren’t particularly common. They specifically aren’t required for APA-Style, though you should be careful to follow their other guidelines for figures and tables .
If you have many figures and tables in your thesis or dissertation, include one may help you stay organized. Your educational institution may require them, so be sure to check their guidelines.
A list of figures and tables compiles all of the figures and tables that you used in your thesis or dissertation and displays them with the page number where they can be found.
The table of contents in a thesis or dissertation always goes between your abstract and your introduction .
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.
A literature review is a survey of credible sources on a topic, often used in dissertations , theses, and research papers . Literature reviews give an overview of knowledge on a subject, helping you identify relevant theories and methods, as well as gaps in existing research. Literature reviews are set up similarly to other academic texts , with an introduction , a main body, and a conclusion .
An annotated bibliography is a list of source references that has a short description (called an annotation ) for each of the sources. It is often assigned as part of the research process for a paper .
In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.
The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.
In the discussion , you explore the meaning and relevance of your research results , explaining how they fit with existing research and theory. Discuss:
- Your interpretations : what do the results tell us?
- The implications : why do the results matter?
- The limitation s : what can’t the results tell us?
The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.
In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.
Results are usually written in the past tense , because they are describing the outcome of completed actions.
The results chapter of a thesis or dissertation presents your research results concisely and objectively.
In quantitative research , for each question or hypothesis , state:
- The type of analysis used
- Relevant results in the form of descriptive and inferential statistics
- Whether or not the alternative hypothesis was supported
In qualitative research , for each question or theme, describe:
- Recurring patterns
- Significant or representative individual responses
- Relevant quotations from the data
Don’t interpret or speculate in the results chapter.
To automatically insert a table of contents in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:
- Apply heading styles throughout the document.
- In the references section in the ribbon, locate the Table of Contents group.
- Click the arrow next to the Table of Contents icon and select Custom Table of Contents.
- Select which levels of headings you would like to include in the table of contents.
Make sure to update your table of contents if you move text or change headings. To update, simply right click and select Update Field.
All level 1 and 2 headings should be included in your table of contents . That means the titles of your chapters and the main sections within them.
The contents should also include all appendices and the lists of tables and figures, if applicable, as well as your reference list .
Do not include the acknowledgements or abstract in the table of contents.
The abstract appears on its own page in the thesis or dissertation , after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .
An abstract for a thesis or dissertation is usually around 200–300 words. There’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check your university’s requirements.
In a thesis or dissertation, the acknowledgements should usually be no longer than one page. There is no minimum length.
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.
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.
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Get All Types Of Acknowledgement Samples.
How To Write Acknowledgement For Research Paper
Post by Ruben Patel Leave a Comment
If you are thinking about How To Write Acknowledgment For Research Paper then you have come to the right place.
An acknowledgement section in a research paper is a place where you can express your gratitude to the people who have helped you with your research. This could include anyone who has provided support , guidance , or assistance during the research process.
For example, you might thank your advisors or professors for their guidance, your colleagues for their collaboration, librarians, lab assistants or a funding agency for their financial support and anyone else who has contributed to your research.
It is common to include an acknowledgement section in the beginning of a research paper, usually after the abstract and before the main body of the paper. The acknowledgement should be brief and to the point, and it is generally written in a formal, professional tone. You should avoid using casual language or personal anecdotes in this section.
The purpose of an acknowledgement is to express your gratitude to the people who have helped you with your research. It is a way to show that you appreciate the support and contributions of others, and it is an opportunity to thank them for their assistance. By including an acknowledgement in your research paper, you demonstrate that you are grateful for the help and support you have received, and you recognize the role that others have played in your research.
Here are some tips for writing an acknowledgement for a research paper:
- Start by thanking the people who have directly supported your research, such as your advisors and colleagues.
- Mention any funding agencies or organizations that provided financial support for your research.
- If you received assistance from librarians or other research staff, be sure to thank them as well.
- If you received help from any other individuals, such as lab assistants or research participants, be sure to include them in your acknowledgement.
- Keep your acknowledgement brief and to the point. You don’t need to go into great detail about the contributions of each person you are thanking.
- Use a formal, professional tone in your acknowledgement. This is not the place for casual language or personal anecdotes.
Here are a few acknowledgement samples for your research paper –
Table of Contents
Acknowledgement For Research Paper Sample
We are deeply grateful to all those who contributed to the success of this research project.
First and foremost, we would like to thank our primary supervisor, [Name], for their guidance, support, and encouragement throughout the entire process. Their mentorship and expertise were invaluable in helping us to shape the direction of our research and to bring our ideas to fruition.
We would also like to express our gratitude to the members of our research team, [Names], who provided valuable input, insights, and assistance at every stage of the project. Their contributions were critical to the success of this research, and we are deeply grateful for their hard work and dedication.
We would also like to thank the organizations and individuals who provided financial support for this research, including [Name] and [Name]. Without their generous contributions, this project would not have been possible.
Finally, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the participants in our study, who generously shared their time, experiences, and insights with us. Their willingness to engage with our research was essential to the success of this project, and we are deeply grateful for their participation.
Overall, this research project would not have been possible without the support and contributions of so many people. We are deeply grateful to all of those who helped to make this project a reality, and we hope that our findings will make a meaningful contribution to the field.
Read Also: Get 15+ Acknowledgement Samples
Sample Acknowledgement For Research Paper
The completion of this research project would not have been possible without the contributions and support of many individuals and organizations. We are deeply grateful to all those who played a role in the success of this project.
We would like to thank [Name] for their invaluable input and support throughout the research process. Their insights and expertise were instrumental in shaping the direction of this project.
In addition, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of the participants in our study, who generously shared their time, experiences, and insights with us. Their willingness to engage with our research was essential to the success of this project, and we are deeply grateful for their participation.
Small Acknowledgement Sample For Research Paper
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our advisors, Dr. Spirt Kular and Dr. Sonney Deom, for their invaluable guidance and support throughout the research process. We also wish to thank the XYZ Foundation for their financial support, as well as the librarians at the ABC Library for their assistance in finding the necessary research materials. Finally, we are grateful to all of the research participants who generously gave their time and effort to this project.
You can take the help online paraphrasing tool when crafting an acknowledgment for a research paper. They help you manipulate the formal tone of your text according to your needs and make sure your text stays sincere and relevant.
Using the paraphrase tool , you can express specific appreciation for individual contributions that fit the unique context of the paper. Ultimately, you write an acknowledgment that is as personalized and meaningful as possible.
Note: It’s important to note that the specific language and tone of your acknowledgement will depend on the context and the nature of the contributions made by the individuals or organizations you are thanking. It’s a good idea to be specific and sincere in your appreciation, and to tailor your acknowledgement to the specific contributions that were made.
Conclusion On How To Write Acknowledgement For Research Paper
In conclusion, writing an acknowledgement for a research paper is a crucial step in recognizing the contributions of others to your work. It is a way to show gratitude to those who have provided assistance, support, and guidance throughout the research process. When writing an acknowledgement, it is important to be sincere and specific in thanking those who have helped you. Be sure to mention individuals by name, and specify their roles and contributions.
Additionally, make sure to follow any specific guidelines or requirements for formatting and presenting the acknowledgement in your research paper. By following these tips, you can effectively convey your appreciation and recognition of the help you received while completing your research.
Read Also: Master Thesis Acknowledgement Sample
FAQs On How To Write Acknowledgement For Research Paper
1) What is a good sentence for acknowledgement? Ans: “I appreciate your efforts in completing this project on time.” “I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication you have shown during this challenging year.” “I am grateful for your support and understanding during this difficult time.” It’s important to note that the specific wording and tone of an acknowledgement will depend on the context and the relationship between the speaker and the person being acknowledged.
2) Is conclusion and acknowledgement same? Ans: The conclusion is the final part of a written work that summarizes the main points and arguments. Acknowledgement is the act of recognizing or thanking someone or something for their contribution. These two things are often used in different contexts and for different purposes.
3) Who should I include in my acknowledgement for a research paper? Ans: It is appropriate to include anyone who has contributed significantly to your research, such as a supervisor, mentor, or colleague. You may also want to thank any individuals or organizations that provided financial or logistical support.
4) How should I structure my acknowledgement for a research paper? Ans: The structure of your acknowledgement will depend on the specific guidelines of the journal or publication you are submitting to. In general, it is common to include a brief paragraph at the beginning of the paper expressing your gratitude to those who have helped with the research. You can then list the names of the individuals or organizations you are thanking, along with a brief description of their contributions.
5) Is it necessary to include an acknowledgement in my research paper? Ans: It is not always required to include an acknowledgement in a research paper, but it is a common practice and can be a good way to show appreciation for the help and support you received during the research process.
6) Can I include personal thanks in my acknowledgement for a research paper? Ans: It is generally acceptable to include personal thanks in your acknowledgement, as long as it is done in a professional and respectful manner. You may want to thank family members or friends who provided emotional support during the research process, but be mindful of maintaining a professional tone and not going into too much detail about personal matters.
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- Charlesworth Author Services
- 02 June, 2018
- 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.
- 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 :
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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- Thesis & Dissertation Acknowledgements | Tips & Examples
Thesis & Dissertation Acknowledgements | Tips & Examples
Published on 4 May 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on 4 November 2022.
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.
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’).
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 .)
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
- 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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