**Harvard Business School Puts Celebrated Professor on Leave Amid Accusations of Research Fabrication**
On June 16, Harvard Business School placed renowned professor Francesca Gino on leave following an internal investigation into allegations of falsifying research. Gino, a popular behavioral scientist known for prolific publishing and a busy schedule of speaking engagements and corporate trainings, received a hefty salary of over $1 million annually from Harvard, in addition to earning tens of thousands more from private event bookings.
**Investigations Uncover Alleged Research Fraud**
Gino’s exceptional record of publishing over 10 journal articles per year raised suspicions, prompting an investigation by the independent academic watchdog site Data Colada. The investigation alleges that Gino falsified some of her high-profile research, with instances of data manipulation discovered spanning a decade and as recently as three years ago. The investigation indicates that Gino likely carried out the alleged fraud without assistance from her collaborators.
Following Data Colada’s investigation, Harvard initiated its own inquiry, resulting in three journal retractions at the university’s request. While Harvard has completed its investigation, it has yet to publicly comment on the findings or disclose whether it plans to do so.
**Implications for Gino’s Career and Collaborators**
Gino’s alleged research fabrication not only jeopardizes her own career but also potentially tarnishes the reputations of her research collaborators, numbering over 100 individuals. Collaborating on academic journal articles, particularly those in prestigious publications, can significantly contribute to the future success of young researchers. Presently, Data Colada has not accused Gino’s co-authors of any misconduct, stating that they were not involved in the data collection for the studies in question.
**Parallel Investigation at Stanford University**
Coinciding with the allegations against Gino, an investigation into neuroscientist and Stanford University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne took place. The Stanford Daily, the university’s newspaper, conducted an investigation that revealed extensive flaws in studies authored by Tessier-Lavigne. Stanford launched an internal inquiry following the publication of the articles, ultimately leading to Tessier-Lavigne’s resignation as university president. While he was cleared of fraud accusations, his work fell short of scientific rigor standards.
**Importance of Verification in Academic Research**
The investigations of both Gino and Tessier-Lavigne, initiated by external sources, highlight the need for additional verification in academic research. The fact that such high-profile researchers at top universities were flagged by informal external oversight suggests the necessity of institutional funding to support independent operations like Data Colada. These organizations can focus solely on verifying research without the limitations caused by operating part-time or on a pro bono basis.
**Gino’s Response and Ongoing Evaluation**
Gino has only provided vague responses to the accusations thus far. In her latest LinkedIn post, she acknowledged the reports concerning her work and affirmed her commitment to addressing the allegations seriously. While evaluating her options, Gino expressed the limitations on what she can publicly disclose at this time.
Overall, the allegations against Francesca Gino and the subsequent investigations at Harvard Business School and Stanford University shed light on the importance of maintaining research integrity and implementing robust verification processes in academia.