Francesca Gino, the Harvard University dishonesty researcher accused of research misconduct, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the university, Harvard Business School’s dean and three professors from other universities demanding apologies and at least $25 million for each of several alleged counts.
The three sued professors—Uri Simonsohn of Barcelona’s Esade Ramon Llull University; Leif Nelson of the University of California, Berkeley; and Joseph Simmons of the University of Pennsylvania—write the Data Colada blog.
In July 2021, the lawsuit says, they brought to Harvard “alleged concerns about perceived anomalies and ‘fraud’ in the data of four studies in academic articles” Gino authored and threatened to post the allegations. Harvard and its business school dean negotiated a deal with the three for the business school to investigate, the suit says.
“Unbeknownst to plaintiff, Harvard Business School further agreed to disclose the outcome of the investigation to Data Colada, who could then subject plaintiff’s work and professional reputation to public disparagement on its blog,” the suit says.
Harvard’s investigative committee concluded, after an 18-month investigation, that Gino was responsible for research misconduct, but she “has never falsified or fabricated data,” the suit says. It says the dean placed her on unpaid leave, starting in June of this year, and Data Colada posted about her, defaming her, the suit alleges.
The Boston Globe reported earlier on the suit.