Tool 24: Preparing the Credits

There’s a reason that acceptance speeches at the Academy Awards run so long. No movie is created by a single person, working alone. The winners have a lot of help - and helpers - to acknowledge. The same is true of MSUE educational materials. Very seldom does one person do all the work of producing a piece of curriculum. That’s why we include an acknowledgments list in most MSUE curriculum pieces. This tool is designed to help you think about the scope of your acknowledgments.

Many people contribute to the development of a curriculum, but how far down the list do you go without overwhelming the user? As with almost any other phase of curriculum development, it depends.

  • Yourself - Obviously, you’re going to include yourself. You haven’t struggled through this process for nothing, right? You deserve some credit for your hard work! Determine the best title to reflect your work - were you project director, project coordinator, principle investigator, lead author?
  • Authors and coauthors - Include any authors and coauthors involved in the creation of the final product. This might include those on your design team, undergraduate or graduate students, volunteers, county-based staff members and the Extension specialists. Please find out the exact spelling and form of their names, and their exact job titles or affiliations to MSUE. Double check everything. It would be a big disappointment to someone who is planning to use the finished product in a professional portfolio to finally receive a copy, and discover that you’ve misspelled her name or assigned her to the wrong department.
  • Work team members - Remember to mention the MSUE work team that sponsored the curriculum.
  • Piloters and reviewers - If the list isn’t too awfully long, include the names of the people who piloted and reviewed the materials for you. If the list is too long to list everyone by name, you can at least thank the piloters and reviewers as a group.
  • MSUE production staff - Credit people like the editor, graphic designer, video producer and Curriculum Coordinator who have worked with you on the project. Sure, they’re probably on the payroll and have just done what’s expected of them in their professional roles, but they like being given credit for their work. (Besides, you want someone else to point a finger at when your mother finds a typo on page 27 or a broken link to her favorite Web site, don’t you?)
  • Outside production staff - If you’ve contracted with outside "talent," such as a photographer, videographer, Web or computer programmer, curriculum reviewer, editor or designer for your project, we usually include them in the acknowledgments, too. Again, get the correct names, job titles and company names.
  • Reprint or adaptation sources - If you’ve borrowed or adapted information from another source (with permission, of course!), acknowledge the source’s graciousness in this section. They may also have given you the exact wording they want you to use. If they have, use it.
  • Donors and financial supporters - This is the place to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of any project donors. Again, find out what wording they want you to use, and whether they require you to include their corporate or foundation logo.

Your MSUE editor or MSUE Curriculum Coordinator can help you with the most appropriate wording for all of this. He or she can also help you figure out how to present it without overwhelming the reader, viewer or end user.

Last Updated: July 29, 2009; Last Reviewed: April, 2009
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