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 an
d 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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