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This is possibly a silly question, but is there any particular way that I can acknowledge SO in my PhD?

I am in the final stages of my PhD, and part of that included Android app building and testing, this has been very successful, in no small part due to the assistance I have received from many people and just by searching and reading questions and answers, as well as following links to tutorials and such. In doing this, I have gone from having no knowledge in Java/XML to having my specialised app written and tested in about 3 months (2 more on the way).

At first, it was a bit jarring and I goofed up many a time, but I think I have adapted to write my questions and answers that fit with the very effective Q&A model here. (I say very effective because, in my perspective, it has worked extremely well in helping me to learn).

I am trying to 'give back' to the community, with the few answers I have given, and when I can't answer anything, I learn from it - but also edit questions for clarity and flag any questions that are out of place etc. Is there anything else I can do to help?

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    Congratulations on your pending accomplishment and on getting so much great info from Stack Overflow. I especially love where you noted that you got so much help from searching and reading; That's the only reason I've asked so few questions, myself. – Andrew Barber Aug 5 '13 at 13:24
  • also meta.stackexchange.com/q/17310/147247 – Kate Gregory Dec 22 '13 at 19:29
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Generally, in a PhD thesis, you will have an Acknowledgements section, which would be a perfect place to thank the Stack Exchange team for putting together a wonderful Q&A site for computer programming, as well as any particular contributors that stood out as providing outstanding help and support for you. (And don't forget to thank your professors, advisors, lab technicians, and anyone else who may have been instrumental in your ability to prepare the thesis!)

Although I think this general acknowledgement is a good idea, you are not, strictly speaking, obligated to include it. You are, however, obligated to cite the particular answers you used or referenced at the appropriate places within the body of your thesis. All content here is licensed as cc-wiki, which means you are free to share it and adapt it to your own purposes, but with the specific condition that attribution is required, meaning that you need to give credit to the original answerer. Just like any other book or online resource that you might have consulted.

As far as giving back to the community, you're already doing the right thing: sharing the knowledge you've gained by answering questions. Helping to clean up the site by reviewing, editing, flagging, and so forth is also appreciated if you have the time to devote to it.

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    Excellent advice, I'll definitely be attributing what I call 'key posts' that really unlocked the code for me. – user226423 Aug 5 '13 at 8:28

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