Acknowledgements

Full acknowledgement is important to help establish the scientific and independent status of the trial and the reliability of the results, and to nurture collaboration with colleagues, other trials groups, and sponsors.

♦ In every publication, care must be taken to ensure that acknowledgement is made to all consultants entering patients, to the sponsor, and to all providing any additional support. The way this is done will depend partly on the style of authorship.

♦ In naming clinicians who entered patients, it is usual to indicate the level of their involvement. This can be done in the form: 'The following consultants and their colleagues entered twenty, say, or more patients... ; the remaining patients were entered by... '. Alternatively, only those consultants who entered at least a stated proportion (say 10 per cent) of the total intake are named, although it is preferable to acknowledge all collaborating consultants. Whichever style is used, the centres where the named consultants recruited patients should be stated.

♦ Acknowledge by name all the local coordinators.

♦ It is essential to name the sponsoring organization: for example, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK, or Medical Research Council. This is usually done in either the title or the authorship.

♦ It is also essential to name other organizations, including pharmaceutical companies, contributing to the funding or providing others means of support.

♦ Any possible conflict of interest must be declared.

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