He Said, She Said: Research Edition w/Special Guest Ping Dong

Ping Dong has just had her doctoral degree revoked by University of Toronto due to research misconduct that occurred in her dissertation which was published in three separate papers (2 now retracted). She was a marketing professor at Northwestern until she left her job and disappeared following a few retractions.

According to a summary of the proceedings, Chen-Bo Zhong, her PhD advisor and co-author, submitted an affidavit indicating that Ping Dong had confessed to research misconduct to co-author and Northwestern colleague Aparna Labroo, which Labroo then forwarded on to Zhong (see the relevant section below).

The weird part is that Retraction Watch reached out to Labroo and she appears to have denied that she ever received the email from Ping Dong. Read her comments below:

If she did receive said email as indicated by Zhong (and presumably backed by his email records), that would put Labroo in an awkward spot because 18 months after sending the alleged email Aparna Labroo and her coauthor convinced Journal of Marketing’s editorial board to remove Ping Dong from an accepted paper and republish it after they had supposedly sanitized Ping Dong’s work out of the paper. Except they didn’t fully sanitize it because they didn’t rerun the field study, and now that we know Ping was a fraudster it’s very surprising that they reran the experiments and got the results to replicate. Read more about the JM saga on Twitter here:

The best thing to do at this point would be for Journal of Marketing to retract this paper but this is highly unlikely given that they’ve never retracted a paper before and they have a misconduct policy that seems to favor fraudsters and grifters while punishing whistleblowers.


2 responses to “He Said, She Said: Research Edition w/Special Guest Ping Dong”

  1. Richard Barr Avatar

    Why isn’t the coauthor also being sanctioned?

  2. ZRM Avatar

    What’s also interesting is that Aparna Labroo also works at the Northwestern Business School, the same institution Dong was working at after having studied under Labroo at Toronto. Something is not quite right.

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