The plagiarism allegations against ex-Harvard president Claudine Gay, explained

The plagiarism allegations against ex-Harvard president Claudine Gay, explained


Claudine Gay resigned Tuesday as Harvard’s president after weeks of controversy initially sparked by her testimony at a congressional hearing on antisemitism, and later focusing on allegations of plagiarism in work she had produced throughout her academic career. (Gay’s resignation was first reported by the Harvard Crimson.)

Plagiarism is a particularly serious charge in academia: In 2021, the president of the University of South Carolina, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., resigned after admitting that he had plagiarized a commencement speech. Plagiarism includes a broad range of possible offenses, from improperly placing a citation to claiming credit for another scholar’s research or insight, and individual institutions develop their own policies for evaluating and responding to allegations of research misconduct.

Gay defended her academic record in an op-ed published Wednesday in the New York Times, saying that she addressed attribution issues promptly after learning about them, and that “I have never misrepresented my research findings, nor have I ever claimed credit for the research of others. Moreover, the citation errors should not obscure a fundamental truth: I proudly stand by my work and its impact on the field.”

What is the scope of the allegations against Gay, and how did they unfold? Here’s a rundown:


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