Thanking too many people in a paper?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a postdoc asks:

Perhaps this is a silly or trivial question, but I’ve been wondering about it since a thread came up a few weeks ago. My practice has always been to basically acknowledge anyone who gave me feedback on a paper, even if it was just a brief conversation that gave me something to think about. For that reason my acknowledgements section in my papers is usually pretty long—now that I think about it, probably considerably longer than most papers I read. I always included everyone just since on the other side, it always gives me a nice feeling to see my name in an acknowledgements section and I assumed it was costless for me to just include people. But it occurred to me that perhaps not only is this not the done thing, but maybe it makes it look like my papers are more ‘crowdsourced’ than they are, which isn’t a good look.

This may not be a huge issue, but still, I think it’s worth discussing, as readers may recall that we discussed paper acknowledgments about a month ago. In response, a UK postdoc submitted the following comment:

To be honest, I doubt that anyone will try to draw any conclusions about your paper from the acknowledgements section. They could just as well conclude the opposite: that you are well-connected, that many people are interested in your work, or indeed that you are very generous with your gratitude!

What do you all think?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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