Acknowledging Core Facilities in Research Publications

PSOM Policy on Authorship

Guidelines from the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities
Personnel in core facilities provide essential services and guidance for users and it is important to recognize their contributions to the scientific advancement of the projects. The type of recognition that is most appropriate may be different for individual projects, depending on the contribution that core facility personnel provides.

Important reasons for acknowledging contributions from core facilities in publications, by co-authorship or by formal mention in the acknowledgments section, include:

1. Core facility personnel are scientists. When they make a substantial intellectual and/or experimental contribution to a publication they deserve to be acknowledged just as any other co-author.

2. The existence of core facilities depends in part on proper acknowledgment in publications. This is an important metric of the value of most core facilities. Proper acknowledgment of core facilities enables them to obtain financial and other support so that they may continue to provide their essential services in the best ways possible. It also helps core personnel to advance in their careers, adding to the overall health of the core facility.

The ABRF recommendation was previously published in Angeletti et al. in 1999 (FASEB Journal, 13:595), “Intellectual interactions between resource and research scientists are essential to the success of each project. When this success results in publication, a citation in the acknowledgments section of a manuscript may be appropriate for routine analysis. However, contributions from resource scientists that involve novel resource laboratory work and insight, experimental design, or advanced data analysis that make a publication possible or significantly enhance its value require co-authorship as the appropriate acknowledgment.” 

More information on activities for which authorship or acknowledgement are recommended, including examples, please visit: