Journals Library

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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.