Journals Library

Acknowledgements

The Acknowledgements section of the report should include a subheading ‘Contributions of authors’. Here the role of each author should be recorded; this should also include their job title and area of specialty. For example:

"Fred Bloggs (Senior Research Fellow, Health Economics) conducted the analysis of economic models."

"Dr Jan Janssen (Lecturer, Health Psychology) conducted the review of memory, mood and psychomotor measures used in clinical studies."

"Ms Sheela Patel (Research Fellow, Health Economics) conducted the review of economic effectiveness, carried out budget impact analysis and prepared the results for publication.

In line with current ICMJE guidance, authors should ensure they have written permission from all non-author contributors acknowledged in this section.

In a subsection entitled ‘Publication(s)’ all associated publications to the report should be listed.

Acknowledging the use of patient data

If your report contains patient data which is routinely collected by the NHS, please include a subsection containing the following statement:

“This work uses data provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support. Using patient data is vital to improve health and care for everyone. There is huge potential to make better use of information from people’s patient records, to understand more about disease, develop new treatments, monitor safety, and plan NHS services. Patient data should be kept safe and secure, to protect everyone’s privacy, and it’s important that there are safeguards to make sure that it is stored and used responsibly. Everyone should be able to find out about how patient data is used. #datasaveslives You can find out more about the background to this citation here: https://understandingpatientdata.org.uk/data-citation 

Confidentiality and Anonymity

For research involving samples or information from human participants, data must be managed and shared in a way that safeguards the confidentiality and anonymity of participants and is consistent with the terms of consent signed by participants. Data sharing does not necessarily mean public access. Data can be shared on request or via registration if deposited in an archive.

Examples of data sharing statements

Below are some examples of data sharing statements you might include in your report. Please note these examples are indicative and that statements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure please contact the NIHR Journals Library team for guidance.

Primary research:

  • ‘All available data can be obtained by contacting the corresponding author.’
  • 'All data requests should be submitted to the corresponding author for consideration.  Access to anonymised data may be granted following review.'
  • 'We shall make data available to the scientific community with as few restrictions as feasible, while retaining exclusive use until the publication of major outputs. Anonymised data will be deposited here <link> to encourage wider use.’
  • ‘The data will be made available via <link/corresponding author> within <x> months of publication, this is due to <insert reason>.’
  • 'Due to <insert reasons>, there is no data that can be shared.’

Secondary research:

  • ‘This is a qualitative study and therefore the data generated is not suitable for sharing beyond that contained within the report. Further information can be obtained from the corresponding author.’
  • ‘Requests for access to data should be addressed to the corresponding author or to the data custodian (if known).’

 For more information, please see our data sharing policy.

Ethics statement

NIHR-funded researchers are expected to have conducted their research in accordance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. You should have sought regulatory approval for your research project and adhered to the highest standards of research governance. Ethics statements are important for demonstrating that your research has followed these standards and for providing accurate and complete reporting of the research.

Your report should include an ethics statement in the acknowledgements section. This should detail the ethics approval received for your research and should include the name of the ethics committee, date of approval and the reference number where appropriate.

If your study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption).

If your research did not require ethical approval, a statement should be included detailing the reason for this. 

Information Governance Statement

(This will be a mandatory section, to be included as a separate heading as part of the “Acknowledgements” of your report, for submissions from 3rd October 2022.  We will accept the inclusion of this section prior to this point.)

NIHR-funded researchers are expected to have handled all personal information in line with the Data Protection Act (2018) and General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) 2016/679. 

Your report should include an information governance statement in the acknowledgements section. This should detail information on the data controller, data processor, Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) 2016/679. 

If your study did not handle any personal information, then a short statement should still be included detailing this.  

What an Information Governance Statement needs to include 

Information governance statements have to include certain statements and references, for which we consulted with NIHR’s Information Governance Manager to produce the below example. 

XXXX organisation/institution is committed to handling all personal information in line with the UK Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) 2016/679.  

Then 

Either (for organisations where the sponsoring body is also the Data Controller): Under the Data Protection legislation,  XXXX is the Data Controller, and you can find out more about how we handle personal data, including how to exercise your individual rights and the contact details for our Data Protection Officer here (provide website link) 

Or (for organisations where they are the Processor): Under the Data Protection legislation  XXXX is the Data Processor; YYYY is the Data Controller and we process personal data in accordance with their instructions. You can find out more about how we handle personal data, including how to exercise your individual rights and the contact details for YYYY’s Data Protection Officer here (provide website link). 

As an example, NIHR is a processor organisation and would put: 

NIHR is committed to handling all personal information in line with the UK Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) 2016/679. Under Data Protection legislation NIHR is the Data Processor; the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is the Data Controller, and we process personal data in accordance with their instructions. You can find out more about how we handle personal data, including how to exercise your individual rights and the contact details for DHSC’s Data Protection Officer here. 

Department of Health disclaimer

This report presents independent research commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views and opinions expressed by authors in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NHS, the NIHR, MRC, CCF, NETSCC, the [insert programme name] programme or the Department of Health.

If your final report includes verbatim interview quotes, please use the following Department of Health disclaimer:

This report presents independent research commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views and opinions expressed by the interviewees in this publication are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect those of the authors, those of the NHS, the NIHR, MRC, CCF, NETSCC, the [insert programme name] programme or the Department of Health.