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Friday, May 24, 2024

Harvard’s Investigation into Plagiarism Accusations Against Former President Reveals Findings

The committee found nine key concerns among the 25 allegations, involving paraphrasing without proper source crediting.

Harvard University has shed fresh light on the ongoing investigation into plagiarism accusations against former president Claudine Gay, including that an independent body recommended a broader review after substantiating some of the complaints.

In a letter Friday to a congressional committee, Harvard said it learned of the plagiarism allegations against its first Black female president Claudine Gay on Oct. 24 from a New York Post reporter. The school reached out to several authors whom Gay is accused of plagiarizing and none objected to her language, it said.

Harvard then appointed the independent body, which focused on two of Gay’s articles published in 2012 and 2017. It concluded they “are both sophisticated and original,” and found “virtually no evidence of intentional claiming of findings” that were not her own.

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The panel, however, concluded that nine of 25 allegations found by the Post were “of principal concern” and featured “paraphrased or reproduced the language of others without quotation marks and without sufficient and clear crediting of sources.” It also found one instance where “fragments of duplicative language and paraphrasing” by Claudine Gay could be interpreted as her taking credit for another academic’s work, though there isn’t any evidence that was her aim.

The investigation also revealed that a paper authored by Claudine Gay during her graduate school’s first year contained language identical to previously published work. Subsequently, a Harvard subcommittee initiated a broader review, leading to corrections in the 2012 and 2001 articles.

The subcommittee’s findings, presented to Harvard’s governing board, concluded that Gay’s actions were neither reckless nor intentional, and thus, didn’t constitute research misconduct. Former President Gay’s academic career faced scrutiny after congressional testimony on campus antisemitism, and she later resigned amid ongoing allegations of plagiarism.

With additional input from GVS News Desk.