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There seems to be an increase in questions along the lines of "Is this a conflict of interest?" where the answer is "No." Is there, or should their be, a way to close these as duplicates?

PhD student I am working with as an undergrad may pursue something similar to what my senior thesis is on, is this a conflict of interest?

Conflict of interest -- recommendation letters

Is getting an oral recommendation from a professor who has known me since childhood a conflict of interest during graduate admissions?

Is it ethical to submit to a journal if I know the editor in chief?

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Those questions are definitely rather different from each other, and there's no ground to close them as duplicates.

The only possibility I see would be that of creating a general, canonical Q&A about conflict of interest, covering the large majority of cases, and then closing those questions as duplicate of the canonical one. None of those questions have the necessary breadth to become the canonical one, and so we would have to create this from scratch.

I doubt there is a sufficiently strong interest in the community for a canonical Q&A on conflict of interest, but if you wish to draft one, you can then propose it on Meta.

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  • I'm not suggesting they are duplicates of each other. – Anonymous Physicist Oct 2 '20 at 9:18
  • Agreed, and I point out that in some ways having multiple questions on somewhat different situations actually should help people more than a single 'canonical' question by giving a broad range of situations and suggested actions to contemplate. That assumes, of course, that they find them and actually read them... – Jon Custer Oct 2 '20 at 14:15

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