Field of Science

"Anatomy of Mollusca": A Case of Plagiarism

Whilst researching material for an upcoming post, I came across this book on Google Books, published in 2010 by the International Scientific Publishing Agency, New Delhi:
Anatomy of Mollusca, by Rita Rawat

Looking at the section previewed through Google Books, I couldn't help feeling that it seemed a little... familiar. Take a look at this screenshot from Google Books:

Now take a look at this screenshot, taking from a page written by my erstwhile associates at, last modified in 2006:

I can only go by what was available in the Google Books preview, of course, without direct access to the actual book, but I can confirm that most if not all of the material in pages 15 to 72 at least of the "Anatomy of Mollusca" appears to have been copied directly from (unfortunately, a large part of is currently offline as the site gets revamped). A quick Google search failed to uncover anything indicating whether the International Scientific Publishing Agency has a reputation for publishing lifted material, so I can't say if this is part of a broader issue.

Amazon currently has the "Anatomy of Mollusca" on sale for just over $75. Not that expensive by the standards of technical publications, but a fair chunk of change by the standards of books in general. Certainly a lot more than the cost of reading the same stuff on, which carries no extra cost beyond that of the ISP charges.


  1. Have you considered posting a "Review" on Amazon with the above info?

  2. I would do what Hollis is suggesting. Man plagiarism sucks.

  3. Thanks for your suggestion. I've just submitted the following content on this book's Amazon page: "This book contains large amounts of material that has been copied directly from and other resources. There is little or nothing here that could not be found for free with Google."

  4. Following *comment*, that should have been. Mind you, a bit of scouting around indicates that Amazon has a history of not allowing similar comments elsewhere (see some of the comments here, for instance) so I don't know if mine will actually get through.

  5. I had sort of given up on ever reappearing. Do you know anything about when the revamp may be hoped to be finished?

  6. No idea, sorry, it's been a while since I was in regular contact with its managers. I think that a fair bit of it has been restored by now, though.

  7. Your comment is posted on Amazon ... at least for now.

  8. One of the site's managers here. Rather peculiar turn of events.

    Since Alan's material is on a creative commons attribution license as long as the author of that book didn't forget to cite their sources I'm afraid this will have to stand as it is.

    Thank you all the same for mentioning the situation on Amazon.

  9. As far as I could tell, there was no citation of sources, but of course I didn't have access to the entire book. To be honest, as I was aware of the Creative Commons licencing, it wasn't so much the copying that irritated me as the charging $70.00 for it. I don't make any money off anything I write here at CoO, but I'd still be annoyed if I discovered someone else was.

  10. There are a number of re-packaged Blenders out there (free, open source 3D software) and the main way to counter these parasites is to mobilize community awareness.
    Here I'd say, it'd be great to see an official palaeos eBook format so that it could be propagated as a direct, free direct eBook. As it is,
    I posted negative reviews at amazon and google pointing to the source and this review.

  11. David, much obliged.
    The thing is that revamping the site is going to take quite a while: catching up with markup innovations, fiddling with style, general cleaning of the house regarding links and other sloppy editing. So the production of an e-book will be a probability for the long run and we'll probably have to deal with issues of image copyright before anything of the sort happens.

    Still, I recently produced page bundles in *.pdf for the purpose of easing review: .


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