Simon & Schuster has announced that it will cease distribution of The Book of Animal Secrets by Dr. David B. Agus amid plagiarism allegations.
The Los Angeles Times reports that he found at least 95 separate passages in Agus’ book that appeared almost verbatim in other publications that can be found on the Internet. Excerpts are uncredited in Agus’s book.
Agus is a USC oncologist who contributes regularly to CBS News. Her book was due to go on sale March 7.
“Many questions regarding the text of The Book of Animal Secrets by David B. Agus, MD (Simon & Schuster, March 7) have been brought to the attention of the author and Simon & Schuster,” the publishing house announcement. “We take these issues seriously, as does the author, and regret that these errors were included in early editions of the book. Dr Agus has decided, with our full support, to withdraw the book, at his own expense, until a fully revised and corrected edition can be published, which Dr Agus is currently working on. We currently do not have a scheduled release date for the new version of the book. As a result, Simon & Schuster has ceased distribution of all formats of the book and advised our retail and distribution partners to return copies of the book.
Agus also released this statement: “I have recently been informed that in writing The Book of Animal Secrets we have relied on passages from various sources without attribution, and that we have used the words of other authors. I sincerely apologize to the scientists and writers whose work or words have been used or not fully attributed. Because I take any allegation of plagiarism seriously, I take two immediate actions. First, I asked the publisher to stop publishing the book in all formats. Second, I will rewrite the passages in question with new language, provide proper and complete attribution, and when ready, announce a new publication date. These corrections will be included in all future printings and editions of the book. Writers should always be given credit for their work, and I deeply regret these mistakes and the lack of rigor in finishing the book. This book contains important lessons, messages and health advice that I wanted to convey to readers. I don’t want these errors to interfere with this effort. Again, I apologize.
Agus’ previous books are “The End of Illness”. “A Short Guide to a Long Life” and “The Lucky Years: How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health”, all of which were New York Times bestsellers. Recently, Agus headlined a new docuseries for Paramount+ called The Review with Dr. david agos.