Bibliographic databases are now providing systematic funding acknowledgement data for their indexed publications. This paper considers how such new data might be used for policy purposes and some key issues arising. While provision of such comprehensive data is recent, there is already sufficient data in the Web of Science to examine a controversy in research policy in which funding acknowledgement data is involved, namely the relationship between the count of a paper's funding sources and its citation impact. Analyses of publications from 2009 from journals Cell and Physical Review Letters suggests understanding of the relationship between impact of a publication and its count of funding sources is not complete and may be more complicated than previously believed. It is proposed that research findings are packaged by researchers into papers in a variety of ways and for a variety of purposes. Individual funding quanta from whatever source are not therefore inputs to papers directly; rather, such funding supports a process that has among its outcomes the production of papers. © Beech Tree Publishing 2011.