Yet another Mangalore-based professor has been caught in a plagiarism row, which appears to be a year old.
An email to the Dental Council of India (DCI) and Karnataka State Dental Council (KSDC) has sought reasons for delay in initiating action against Prof Amitha Mahesh Hegde, co-author of ‘Understanding and management of special child in Pediatric Dentistry’, which was allegedly plagiarised from Wikipedia.
The email was reportedly signed by the alumni and postgraduate students of the Pedodontia Department in A B Shetty Institute of Dental Sciences (ABSIDS).
According to a copy of the email forwarded to Express, the textbook authored by Head of Department of Pedodontia, ABSIDS, Dr Amitha Mahesh Hegde and Dr Priya Verma Gupta was released in March 2012 by DCI president Dr Majumdar. The book’s publisher Jaypee Brothers permanently withdrew the book after Wikipedia editor Dr James Heilman pointed out that a lengthy passage on an article about HIV in Wikipedia was printed verbatim in the textbook without giving due credit.
The issue of a medical textbook plagiarising from Wikipedia was also reported in foreign newspapers like the New York Times (June 12, 2002).
When contacted, Dr Amitha Hegde told Express the issue was a closed chapter as the textbook was withdrawn from market a year ago.
She denied any wrongdoing as it was a multi-authored textbook. “The textbook also included contributions from students,” she pointed out.
Dr Hegde claimed that the publishers were contemplating on re-releasing the textbook after editing the passage.