Citation Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not always the original source). More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression (e.g. [Newell84]) embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others to the topic of discussion at the spot where the citation appears. Generally the combination of both the in-body citation and the bibliographic entry constitutes what is commonly thought of as a citation (whereas bibliographic entries by themselves are not). A prime purpose of a citation is intellectual honesty: to attribute prior or unoriginal work and ideas to the correct sources, and to allow the reader to determine independently whether the referenced material supports the author s argument in the claimed way. http://www.answers.com/topic/citation Acknowledgement accepting that something is true or right All I want is some acknowledgement that his behaviour is unreasonable. • something given to thank someone for what they have done We sent her a copy of the book in acknowledgment of her part in its creation. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/acknowledgment http://www.answers.com/topic/acknowledgment-creative-arts Credential A credential is an attestation of qualification, competence, or authority issued to an individual by a third party with a relevant or de facto authority or assumed competence to do so. Examples of credentials include academic diplomas, academic degrees, certifications, security clearances, identification documents, badges, passwords, user names, keys, powers of attorney, and so on. Sometimes publications, such as scientific papers or books, may be viewed as similar to credentials by some people, especially if the publication was peer reviewed or made in a well-known journal or reputable publisher. Academic credentials The academic world makes very extensive use of credentials, such as diplomas, certificates, and degrees, in order to attest to the completion of specific training or education programs by students, and to attest to their successful completion of tests and exams. Documentation of academic credentials usually consists of a printed, formal document designed to last a lifetime without deterioration. The issuing institution often maintains a record of the credential as well. Academic credentials are normally valid for the lifetime of the person to whom they are issued. http://www.answers.com/topic/credential In a project or thesis work, acknowledgements are written before the synopsis. Citations are given in the body of the work. Credentials are given at the end of the work.