The acknowledgement section can be used to thank anyone important in the publication of the work who does not qualify for authorship and to declare relevant funding information. The acknowledgement section should not be used to list contributors who meet our criteria for authorship as outlined here.  We urge authors to carefully consider researcher contributions and authorship criteria when involved in multi-region collaborations involving local researchers so as to promote greater equity in research collaborations.  

The section should also not be used to declare competing interests, including any related to funding sources that may gain or lose financially through this publication. These should be declared separately in a competing interest statement. Please refer to the competing interests policy for more information.  Acknowledgements should be brief, and should not include thanks to anonymous referees or editors, inessential words, or effusive comments. 

When acknowledging funding, our recommended best practice is that authors should acknowledge funders and grants on publications when the activities that contributed to that publication:

  • are within scope of the acknowledged grant and
  • arise directly from a specific grant

The following questions can be used to determine if the activities arise from a specific grant: 

  • Are the results included in the publication original and the direct result of experimentation, materials or analysis supported by the grant?
  • Does the grant financially support publication of the manuscript (e.g., through payment of article processing charges)?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, best practice is to acknowledge the funding source and grant number, if the grant requires it. By contrast, if the answer is no to these questions, it is not best practice to acknowledge grant support. In particular, grants that support data generation for distinct studies that are related in topic but that are not relevant for this specific publication should not be acknowledged. Please ensure that relevant funding sources are disclosed for all authors. Authors should also ensure they are aware of any specific acknowledgement requirements from their funders.

An appropriate format for acknowledgement of grant funding is:

A.B.C. discloses support for the research of this work from Funder [grant number xxxx], Funder [grant number xxxx] and Funder [grant number xxxx]. D.E.F. discloses support for publication of this work from Funder [grant number xxxx],  Funder [grant number xxxx] and  Funder [grant number xxxx].