Credit (creative arts)
In general, the term credit in the artistic or intellectual sense refers to an acknowledgement of those who contributed to a work, whether through ideas or in a more direct sense.
Credit in the arts
In the creative arts, credits are an acknowledgement of those who participated in the production. They are often shown at the end of movies and on CD jackets. In film, video, television, theater, etc., credits means the list of actors and behind-the-scenes staff who contributed to the production.
Credit in writing
In non-fiction writing, especially academic works, it is generally considered important to give credit to sources of information and ideas. Failure to do so often gives rise to charges of plagiarism, and "piracy" of intellectual rights such as the right to receive a royalty for having written. In this sense the financial and individual meanings are linked.
Academic papers generally contain a lengthy section of footnotes or citations. Such detailed crediting of sources provides readers with an opportunity to discover more about the cited material. It also provides a check against misquotation, as it's easy for an attributed quote to be checked when the reference is available. All of this is thought to improve integrity of the instructional capital conveyed, which may be quite fragile, and easy to misinterpret or to misapply.