Acknowledgment (creative arts and sciences)

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In the creative arts and scientific literature, an acknowledgement (also spelled acknowledgment in American and Canadian English[1]) is an expression of a gratitude for assistance in creating an original work.

Receiving credit by way of acknowledgement rather than authorship indicates that the person or organization did not have a direct hand in producing the work in question, but may have contributed funding, criticism, or encouragement to the author(s). Various schemes exist for classifying acknowledgements; Cronin et al.[2] give the following six categories:

  1. moral support
  2. financial support
  3. editorial support
  4. presentational support
  5. instrumental/technical support
  6. conceptual support, or peer interactive communication (PIC)

Apart from citation, which is not usually considered to be an acknowledgement, acknowledgement of conceptual support is widely considered to be the most important for identifying intellectual debt. Some acknowledgements of financial support, on the other hand, may simply be legal formalities imposed by the granting institution. Occasionally, bits of science humor can also be found in acknowledgements.[3]

There have been some attempts to extract bibliometric indices from the acknowledgments section (also called "acknowledgments paratext")[4] of research papers to evaluate the impact of the acknowledged individuals, sponsors and funding agencies.[5][6]


The spelling acknowledgement is used in British English, Australian English, and other English-speaking areas outside North America, whereas the spelling acknowledgment (without the e after the g) is often used in American English and Canadian English.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Acknowledgement vs. Acknowledgment – Correct Spelling – Grammarist". Grammarist. September 22, 2012.
  2. ^ Cronin, Blaise; McKenzie, Gail; Stiffler, Michael (1992). "Patterns of acknowledgement". J. Doc. 48 (2): 107–122. doi:10.1108/eb026893.
  3. ^ Wright, Glen (January 19, 2016). "The best academic acknowledgements ever". Times Higher Education. Archived from the original on January 19, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Salager-Meyer, Françoise; Alcaraz Ariza, María Ángeles; Pabón Berbesí, Maryelis (2009). ""Backstage solidarity" in Spanish- and English-written medical research papers: Publication context and the acknowledgment paratext". J. Assoc. Inf. Sci. Technol. (Submitted manuscript). 60 (2): 307–317. doi:10.1002/asi.20981.
  5. ^ Giles, C. L.; Councill, I. G. (December 15, 2004). "Who gets acknowledged: Measuring scientific contributions through automatic acknowledgment indexing" (PDF). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 101 (51): 17599–17604. Bibcode:2004PNAS..10117599G. doi:10.1073/pnas.0407743101. PMC 539757. PMID 15601767.
  6. ^ Councill, Isaac G.; Giles, C. Lee; Han, Hui; Manavoglu, Eren (2005). "Automatic acknowledgement indexing: expanding the semantics of contribution in the CiteSeer digital library". Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Knowledge capture. K-CAP '05. pp. 19–26. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/1088622.1088627. ISBN 1-59593-163-5.