The Harvard University-linked Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston is looking to pull dozens of papers authored by its leading researchers after allegations of data falsification.
Data investigator Sholto David first shared the allegations in a blog post on January 2.
The Harvard Crimson confirmed on January 22 that the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute “initiated retractions or corrections to 37 papers authored by four senior researchers following allegations of data falsification.”
One other paper is still under investigation.
Authors who have allegedly falsified data include DFCI President and CEO Laurie Glimcher, Executive Vice President and COO William Hahn, Senior Vice President for Experimental Medicine Irene Ghobrial, and Harvard Medical School professor Kenneth Anderson.
Although false data is present, DFCI Research Integrity Officer Barrett J. Rollins explained that the “presence of image discrepancies in a paper is not evidence of an author’s intent to deceive.”
“That conclusion can only be drawn after a careful, fact-based examination which is an integral part of our response,” he said. “Our experience is that errors are often unintentional and do not rise to the level of misconduct.”
Last month, conservative activists and journalists Christopher Rufo and Chris Brunet alleged that Harvard University President Claudine Gay plagiarized portions of her Ph.D. dissertation.
Rufo and Brunet reported that Gay’s 1977 dissertation, “Taking Charge: Black Electoral Success and the Redefinition of American Policies,” contains “an entire paragraph nearly verbatim from a paper by Lawrence Bobo and Franklin Gilliam.”
“Gay repeats this violation of Harvard’s policy throughout the document, again using work from Bobo and Gilliam, as well as passages from Richard Shingles, Susan Howell, and Deborah Fagan, which she reproduces nearly verbatim, without quotation marks,” Rufo added.
“It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president. This is not a decision I came to easily,” she wrote in a letter to the Harvard community.
“Indeed, it has been difficult beyond words because I have looked forward to working with so many of you to advance the commitment to academic excellence that has propelled this great university across centuries,” the letter continued. “But, after consultation with members of the Corporation, it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.”