Most thank funders, supervisors, close colleagues and family. This means it is effectively a snub if someone important is not thanked.
Typically the structure moves from thanking the most formal support to the least formal thanks as detailed above–funders, supervisors, other academics, colleagues, and finally family.
If footnotes are used, the work can be done there, for example, with footnotes that state “I am indebted to xxx for several discussions that helped me to focus this section”.
Without footnotes, more formal provision of a ‘personal conversation’ reference will do the same work.
“After almost 10 years of working on it I couldn’t possibly come up with a full list of all the people who had helped,” he said.
By this author: A history of cats and academia By this author: The weird world of academic Twitter Such oddness in acknowledgements is not new.
I could not have imagined having a better advisor and mentor for my Ph. Besides my advisor, I would like to thank the rest of my thesis committee: Prof.
James Crenshaw, for their encouragement, insightful comments, and hard questions. Also I thank my friends in Tsinghua University: Chen Fan, Wensheng Wang, Bo Qin, Xiwei Wang, Yonggang Zhao, Hua Chen, Junlin Li, and Rui Zhou. Chen Fan for enlightening me the first glance of research.
But acknowledgements do matter because in amongst the celebration the right people need to be thanked in the right sort of way.
The acknowledgement pages I have looked at vary considerably.