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Location: Kyoto and Auckland
Work interests: research, editing, ethnobotany, prehistory, plant genetics
Affiliation/website: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Preferred contact method: Any
Preferred contact language(s): English, German
Contact: email = researchcooperative-at-gmail-dot-com
Favourite publications: Aroideana, Economic Botany, Farming Matters, PLoSOne

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Work: ethnobotany, plant ecology and genetics, human ecology, agricultural history, archaeology, museology
Affiliations: 1996-present: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. 1995: Freelance editor, Kyoto. 1994: JSPS Research Visitor, Kyoto University, Kyoto. 1993: Research Visitor, Australian National University, Canberra. 1991: Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.1990: STA Fellow, National Institute for Ornamental Plants, Vegetables, and Tea (NIVOT), Ano, Japan
Contact: National Museum of Ethnology, Senri Expo Park, Suita City, Osaka, Japan 565-8511
Biographical: Established the Research Cooperative in 2001
Favourite Publications: Economic Botany, Ethnobotany Research and Applications, New Scientist, Minpaku Anthropology Newsletter, Archaeology in Oceania

Who is an author? Who should appear in the acknowledgments?

2013-04-10
By: Research Cooperative
Posted in: Writing

I'll repeat my answer here:

In my own work, I am happy to include as co-authors people who gave substantial help during the research process (e.g. as fieldwork collaborators) even if their contribution to the later writing is minimal: the information they help me gather as local experts, interpreters is surely part of the process.

Others who have given useful suggestions, financial support, or moral support during the research and writing can be acknowledged at the end. It seems that few journals have an explicit policy about acknowledgments, and few journals actively encourage authors to carefully consider and acknowledge non-author contributions. This may explain why the acknowledgments section of a paper is often neglected by authors. First-time authors may not be aware of the benefits they can gain by acknowledging sources of help (including any editors employed to edit a paper).

The benefits become apparent over time, as we can positively nuture our personal research and support network by acknowledging the people who help us along the way. Help appreciated is help that will be willingly given again. Rather than trying to minimise acknowledgments, we should always try to make them as full as possible, within the limits set by the publisher, and without overstatement or padding.

Looking at this another way, we should not be greedy to be listed as an author for a paper if an acknowledgment at the end is sufficient.

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