Let say person A passed away recently, and I want to pay tribute to A by writing something in the acknowledgement of a paper I am writing. I don't know A personally (having an email conversation doesn't count), but I used to work with the tools A invented for almost all of my papers, and my work is heavily influenced and inspired by the work of A.

My question is: is it strange to write something to pay tribute in the acknowledgement? On one hand, I am not considering writing something like "Dedicated to A" below the title of my paper; what I would write is simply a paragraph saying my work is heavily influenced by the work of A, etc. On the other hand, I don't want to leave an impression to people in my field that the reason of me paying tribute to person A is to have a higher chance for the acceptance of the paper or gain publicity, or anything like these. It is not a must for me to pay tribute to him, but this is something I want to do.

Please let me know what you think. Thank you.

  • 3
    I think it would be fine to include an acknowledgement describing A's importance for your work, as you described it in the question here. Commented May 12 at 19:01
  • 1
    I agree. And you can usually insert or change the acknowledgement section after the peer review. So people won't think you are trying to increase the chance of acceptance.
    – toby544
    Commented May 12 at 19:03
  • I’d say acknowledging the influence of someone you admire, or you personally have found influential, can be appropriate and polite. Commented May 12 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


What you suggest is in essence what we did here: https://www.math.colostate.edu/~bangerth/publications/2022-massive-hp.pdf (see the Acknowledgments, p. 23). I had met Bill Mitchell once or twice, when I was early in my career, but I don't think we conversed more than 30 seconds and I can't say that I "knew" him personally. But I knew of his work and appreciated it.

I tend to think that these kinds of references to the people who do science are actually quite nice. Go with it!

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