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A University of Southern California professor has recalled his new book after the Los Angeles Times found at least “95 instances of plagiarism,” the newspaper reported.
Dr. David Agus—a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering who directs USC’s Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine and its Center for Applied Molecular Medicine—didn’t provide comment to Inside Higher Ed Monday.
In an email, USC’s Keck School of Medicine said, “The university takes any allegations of plagiarism very seriously. We will review this matter consistently with the university’s processes. We are unable to comment further at this time given the confidential nature of personnel matters.”
Larry Hughes with Simon & Schuster, publisher of The Book of Animal Secrets: Nature’s Lessons for a Long and Happy Life, responded to an email sent to Dr. Agus, referring Inside Higher Ed to statements on the publisher’s website.
“I was recently made aware that in writing ‘The Book of Animal Secrets’ we relied upon passages from various sources without attribution, and that we used other authors’ words,” Dr. Agus’s statement said. “I want to sincerely apologize to the scientists and writers whose work or words were used or not fully attributed. Because I take any claims of plagiarism seriously, I am taking two immediate steps. First, I have asked the publisher to halt the publication of the book in all formats. Second, I will rewrite the passages in question with new language, will provide proper and full attribution and when ready will announce a new publication date.”
“We take these matters seriously, as does the author, and regret that these errors were included in the initial editions of the book,” Simon & Schuster said in its statement. “Dr. Agus has decided, with our full support, to recall the book, at his own expense, until a fully revised and corrected edition can be released … Simon & Schuster has ceased distribution of all formats of the book and advised our retail and distribution partners to return copies of the book.”
The L.A. Times reported that the book was scheduled to publish today.