How should I answer the conflict of interest question during submission of paper if I have worked independently without any funding agencies and as a sole author?

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    Then you do not have any conflict of interests, unless you know someone of the editorial members personally. – Alexandros May 23 '16 at 12:52
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    @Alexandros, typically don't you need to more than just "know" them but to have had an academic relationship with them, e.g. co-pi on a grant, co-member of an editorial board or program committee, supervisor or -advisee relationship, co-author, etc.? – Bill Barth May 23 '16 at 14:41
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    Could you please write down explicitly "the conflict of interest question"? It is not as standard as you may think. – Federico Poloni May 24 '16 at 7:38
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    Could there be a conflict for reasons other than funding? For example, I used to work for computer manufacturers. Suppose I, independently and without funding, wrote a paper about computer architecture that made my then employer's products look good. – Patricia Shanahan Jun 5 '16 at 14:54
  • past advisors, for instance, are always conflicts of interest (depends on the kind of COI you are talking about...reviewing, for instance) – Fábio Dias Jun 5 '16 at 20:45

If your case is a case in which conflicts of interest do not apply, then you simply state:

The author declares that she/he has no conflict of interest

assuming you are the sole author, in the appropriate section, usually stated Conflict of Interests. Note that some publishers, such as Elsevier, require you to sign a form for this purpose as well before even beginning the review process.

For further information you may refer this post:

Clear explanation of Conflict of Interest with examples in journal articles

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    A nice rule of thumb is: would you be happy for the circumstances of the development of your paper be published in the New York Times or on BBC at prime time? If yes, you do not have a conflict-of-interest or other issues with integrity. – Captain Emacs Jun 5 '16 at 22:46

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