Acknowledgment of the efforts and contributions of the WUSTL Animal Behavior Core by our users and collaborators is crucial to our funding and the continuation of the services we provide. Our faculty and staff are the foundation of our unit, providing essential services for our clients and keeping our operation running smoothly. To honor the work of our personnel, it is important to formally acknowledge their contributions to the advancement of science and research projects. There are two main ways to provide formal recognition: 1) acknowledgement of the contributions of our team and 2) co-authorship of a published article, which would depend upon the type of contribution our team makes.

Important reasons for reflecting ABC contributions in publications by formal acknowledgment or by co-authorship:

  1. The ABC and the continuation of our role as a central behavioral analysis resource is dependent upon formal acknowledgment in publications. Acknowledgment serves as a metric of the value of the ABC as a resource. Public, formal acknowledgment of the ABC is what allows us to continue receiving financial support from various sources of funding. Recognition of the efforts of the ABC and its personnel also serves to help our faculty and staff continue to advance on their career paths, leading to deep scientific knowledge for all!
  2. The faculty and staff of the Animal Behavior Core are research scientists. Their substantial experimental and/or intellectual contributions to scientific studies that result in publication deserve acknowledgment like any other co-author who contributed to the progress and publication of the study.

The ABC must charge for its services due to its status as an experimental resource. Our pricing is calculated according to the cost accounting practices of Washington University in Saint Louis Medical School. Monetarily charging and receiving payment from investigators for our services such as data collection, data analysis, or equipment rental does not preclude authorship if ABC personnel intellectually contribute to the research project or study. If co-authorship is anticipated based on the projected contribution of an ABC member, we prefer that relationship is established during the early phases of a collaborative project.

Current Guidelines for Formal Acknowledgement vs. Manuscript co-authorship

The current guidelines from the Association of Biomedical Resource Facilities (ABRF) published by Angeletti et al. FASEB, 13:595, (1999) state:

“Intellectual interactions between resource and research scientists are essential in the success of each project. When this success results in publication, a citation in the acknowledgements 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 acknowledgement.”

Formal Acknowledgement for the Animal Behavior Core

Space permitting, it is appropriate to acknowledgement efforts of the Animal Behavior Core in the methods section of a manuscript.  We are happy to help draft manuscript text; for more information, please see below.

In addition, we in the Animal Behavior Core understand that acknowledgement sections can become large quickly, thus we ask that the minimum acknowledgement should read as follows:

“This work was supported by funds provided by the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience, McDonnell Center for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, and the Taylor Family Institute at Washington University in St. Louis.”

If your work was supported by our sister core, the IDDRC@WUSTL Animal Behavior Subunit, please include the alternative text below:

“Research reported in this publication was supported by the NICHD (P50 HD103525, IDDRC@WUSTL)”. 


“Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P50 HD103525 to the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at Washington University.”

Assistance with Manuscript Preparation

The ABC provides assistance with manuscript preparation, including figure/table generation, methods text, results text, etc.  We encourage discussion with our team members during manuscript preparation to leverage our expertise in interpretation of behavioral results.  Co-authorship is appropriate when contributions are made to manuscript preparation by our team members. Manuscript preparation, along with grant application assistance, is fully subsidized by the Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research and The McDonnell Center.

For information to aid methods section preparation and grant writing, please visit our equipment and phenotyping webpages.