Data Fraud in Research: Types, Detection, and Consequences to Data Quality as well as to Research Results, Findings, Implications, and the Body of Marketing Knowledge: An Abstract
As advances in data collection methods and sources continue to grow with technology advances associated with the Internet, there are disturbing concerns relating to increases in what is termed “data fraud” activities within the processes of conducting marketing research. Recently, the term “data fraud” has replaced the past concept of data falsification. Data fraud is a boarder umbrella use to represent to more serious activities beyond the traditionally acknowledged potential categorical types of errors acknowledge exist within and of the different processes making up marketing research activities (e.g., respondent, sampling, scale measurement, data analysis errors). Today, marketing research industry experts (methodologists) suggest that data fraud comes from many sources and costs buyers of research data and reported findings billions of dollars for useless and/or misleading information. Some experts indicate that the bad information directly influences poor managerial decisions leading to even greater losses in the billions. For example, within the mobile advertising industry, digital marketers recognize that data fraud has evolved from fake traffic numbers generated by bots to fabricated data passed on by publishers. In contrast, there has been very little formal discussion about data fraud and its sources within academic-oriented research. The over objective of this session is to create a meaningful dialogue among academic researchers on disturbing data fraud issues and sources associated with conducting academic research and the consequences affecting not only data quality but also reported results, findings, implications, and the body of marketing knowledge. Discussion topics will focus on types of data fraud sources (activities), methods for detecting data fraud activities, as well as methods for controlling data fraud behaviors. The main portion of the session will use a “Question and Answer” format with the audience. The special session will emphasize, but not limited to, identifying and discussing of potential types of data fraud behaviors undertaken by survey and experimental design subjects participating in online and offline academic research projects as well as the impact on the value of the empirical and statistical insights reported in the research studies. By using a combination of short presentations, expert panel insights, and an interactive format between panel members and the audience, this session will prove to be very informative, insightful, and valuable to the audience members.