Speaking pragmatically, does it look odd or amateurish to write "this work was not supported by any funding" or something like that on a paper? Would it seem to suggest the author is, as I say, an amateur/non-academic, or is not doing enough research to secure grants consistently?

The context of the question is, I'm currently between grants and wondering if I should wait to publish this paper until after I get a new one. It is a silly concern, but still important to me. However, I'm wondering more generally what the perception is of papers or authors who are not supported while publishing.

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    Why would you write "this work was not supported by any funding" instead of nothing?
    – Anyon
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 22:49
  • 5
    Required by the journal to state support or lack of support, unfortunately, hence my concern
    – rage_man
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 22:55
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    Thank you for the resource @Anonymous-Physicist. I am not actually an independent scholar, so this doesn't apply exactly to this situation. It does touch on the real fact, one that everyone knows... there are preconceptions about what is valid and what is not, based on what is conventional/traditional and what is not. Even I am guilty of this. I am worried it would violate some norm to not cite actual funding (appearing like I say: amateur, informal, even unprofessional) that would invite undue judgement on the paper, deserved or not.
    – rage_man
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 1:26
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    It sounds like you are “guilty” of a preconception that’s so unusual that most people aren’t even aware of its existence, let alone are themselves affected by it.
    – Dan Romik
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 3:30
  • 2
    "Departmental support in the meantime" - then your department is your source of funding.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 4:28

2 Answers 2


It doesn't look amateurish. In most journals I know, the phrasing is not "this work was not supported by any funding" but rather "this research received no external funding". And it is a pretty common thing to disclose.

At least in Germany, a lot of university PhD and other positions are funded through external grants. Any publication as a result of these grants would have to disclose the funding. Research done outside one of these grants, being disclosed nevertheless as funded by a grant (as you suggest) would be wrong - and borderline illegal. Especially if the scope of the research and the scope of the grant don't really overlap.

On the other hand, other positions are paid through money that the university receives from the government to provide free education. This is basically state funded research (thus no external funding). This does not devalidate any of the research in any way. By disclosing your affiliation with the university (which you do as an author), you basically disclose that you are funded - how else would you hold a position at a university?

  • 6
    "how else would you hold a position at a university?" It is not uncommon for people to hold unpaid "visiting" positions.
    – TimRias
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 6:56
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    @mmeent Also, "independent researchers" do exist, even if they're often cranks.
    – nick012000
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 10:46
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    @mmeent How about "credit-funded" undergrads? Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 13:35
  • One could have a full-time teaching position at a university, and not get any pay for research. Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 17:18

It looks amateurish to state that your work was not supported by anything. It is totally ok to just not say anything at all. Lots of papers are not supported by grants. That's likely also consistent with the journal requirements: the require you to list your sources of funding. The list just happens to be empty in your case.

  • 8
    "It looks amateurish" I disagree. It looks like you followed the (possibly pointless) instructions of an editor. Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 23:32
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    To clarify, if the journal requires a statement of funding and there is none - this looks like the author is not a career academic (or other possibilities raised in my question), with whatever baggage that might have? See Springer or Elsevier journals, which usually require this, even if the statement is "the author received no funding for this work"
    – rage_man
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 0:11
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    As an example, in a lot of elsevier journals we see language directly like "You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated."
    – rage_man
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 0:13
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    @rage_man But that's about something completely different. That refers to common statements like "This work was funded by the XYZ agency, grant No. 123456. The funder had absolutely no say in designing the experiments or writing the manuscript."
    – TooTea
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 12:27

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