1. Why acknowledging core facilities is important?
Being quoted in publications allows core facilities to value their scientific impact as part of the facility performance assessment. Indeed, most facilities deliver an annual report to their board or to the institution administration. Most of the time, this report includes a topic on publications by users during the past year. A list of metrics to assess the content of annual reports can be found in a 2016 article, “Metrics for Success: Strategies for Enabling Core Facility Performance and Assessing Outcomes”.  For example, in the “Scoring criteria for annual reports”, customer publications count for 5 points out of the maximum score of 80.
The Number of customer publications may be seen as an indicator of the “success” of the facility. In a study conducted by the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) Council on Research (CoR), in 2019 on 58 CROs, CROs were asked “How do you characterize the success of a care facility?”. “Publications” was amongst the more given answers.
2. It is more complex that it looks
Of course, quite some time may pass -sometimes years- between the results are obtained at the facility and their publication in an article, making it harder to track and properly credit. This requires good and continuous communication with users to get informed of their advance.
““In practice, however, months or even years may pass until data obtained in the CF appear in a manuscript and, hence, students or PIs may simply forget who helped them in getting the beautiful images.” 
In addition to maintaining a relationship with users after the end of the research project, cores can actually act on users’ awareness. Promoting authorship policies can be part of the users’ education, to remind users how essential their acknowledgement is:
- At the beginning of the project: when defining the role and missions at the start of a project, authorship and acknowledgment can be discussed, and can even be drafted into an agreement when important involvement of the facility is to be planned.
- Inside the facilities: a poster may be displayed to remind users.
Download Poster template
- After the end of the project within the facility: by automatizing a “thank you” email, reminding users to acknowledge you and your facility in grants and publications.
Internally, staff should also be aware of the publications policy guidelines.
And of course, the collection of potential core-user publications can be semiautomated. An article published in 2012  provides a method to track core-contributed publications, using PubCrawler and EndNote, as alerting service scanning through databases such as PubMed.
3. Authorship for core facility staff
Authorship is important for Core facility staff, as scientists. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) clearly defines why authorship matters. 
Core facility staff are partners in the advance of science and knowledge and when they bring contributions to a research project, it is only fair that it should be recognized. 
“That can range from a note in a publication’s acknowledgments — when a researcher is simply using the core lab’s services — to co-authorship when a core scientist is heavily involved in planning the experiments.” 
“Personnel in core facilities provide essential services for their users and it is important to recognize their contributions to the scientific advancement of the projects. The type of recognition that is most appropriate may be different for individual projects, depending on the contribution that core facility personnel provides.” 
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
- Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
The contributors not fulfilling these criteria could be quoted in the acknowledgments.
The association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) has issued dedicated authorship guidelines.
The Royal Microscopy Society (RMS) has also released a generic Core Facilities Publication Policy, that can be adapted and used by any facility.
Authorship policy can be made visible on the core’s website, you will below a few examples to inspire you to redact and promote your own.
Core Genomics blog, article on Authorship and acknowledgment of core facility work
Examples of published authorship policies:
 “Metrics for Success: Strategies for Enabling Core Facility Performance and Assessing Outcomes”, table 2, P.B. Turpen et al., Journal of Biomolecular techniques 27(1), 2016, https://doi.org/10.7171/jbt.16-2701-001
 “Advanced light microscopy core facilities: Balancing service, science and career”, E. Ferrando-May, et al., Microscopy Research and TechniqueVolume 79, Issue 6, April 2016, https://doi.org/10.1002/jemt.22648
Related terms: grants, funding, authorship and acknowledgment policies, accountability, Laboratory information management systems (LIMS)
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