Personal acknowledgements are commonplace in the scholarly communication process. The scale and significance of the phenomenon vary from field to field, and from journal to journal. Variation in practice is revealed in a twenty‐year analysis of acknowledgements in four of the top‐ranked information/library science journals (1971–1990). A small number of individuals are highly acknowledged; a majority are mentioned infrequently, if ever. The concentration is similar to that found in citation analyses of research productivity. There is a positive rank order correlation between frequency of acknowledgement and citation frequency. The implications for both institutional and individual evaluation are discussed.
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