Hyderabad: University of Hyderabad vice chancellor Prof. Appa Rao Podile faced an embarrassing situation as it has come to light that three review papers, which he had published before being appointed as V-C, had plagiarised content.
Two of the papers were published by him in 2014 and the third in 2007.
Most of the plagiarized content is in the paper ‘Root Colonization and Quorum Sensing are the Driving Forces of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) for Growth Promotion’, published in the Indian National Science Academy Journal in June 2014.
This paper has six plagiarised statements. One of the statements was lifted verbatim from Bacteria in Agrobiology: Plant Probiotics edited by Dinesh K. Maheshwari and published by Springer. In the other two papers, only one statement each has been used without providing citation, of which one is from his own paper, which he co-authored in 2005.
When contacted, Prof. Podile said, “I contacted the editor of the journal which published the review papers, Prof. Lakhotia of Banaras Hindu University. He said that since the similarity is less and as very few sentences appeared without citation, a statement may be given in the next issue that it was due to an oversight, which the authors regret. The papers were just review papers. There is no need to retract them. No claim was laid on anyone else’s research findings. In one of the papers my student used a sentence from her own paper. It is being called plagiarism, there is no limit. When the papers were submitted, software for anti-plagiarism was also not in use, had it been in use it would have been known then itself.”