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NRI asked to withdraw book following plagiarism

42-year-old Persaud has been dogged by allegations of plagiarism over his journalistic output.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2006 14:32 IST

A high-profile NRI psychiatrist in London is facing demands to withdraw his best-selling book from sale after senior academics claimed that long passages appear to have been copied from their work.

According to a report in The Sunday Times, substantial portions of the psychiatrist Raj Persaud's 524-page book -- From the Edge of the Couch -- seem to have been taken from the publications of leading psychologists and psychiatrists, sometimes with barely a word changed.

42-year-old Persaud has been dogged by allegations of plagiarism over his journalistic output.

Last week an inquiry by King's College, London, where he held an honorary position, found "some substance" to the claims which have led to his suspension as presenter of All in the Mind, the BBC Radio 4 series.

Problems with the book, subtitled "bizarre psychiatric cases and what they teach us about ourselves", appear to be more extensive than those in other Persaud writings about which complaints have been made, the report said.

"What they ought to do is recall this book," said Professor Richard Bentall, head of experimental clinical psychology at Manchester University, who plans to ask the British Psychological Society, the profession's regulator, to investigate.

"They should take all copies from the bookshops and issue an apology forthwith."

Bentall was surprised to discover that almost 60 lines of Persaud's introduction were only slightly modified from a paper that Bentall had co-authored in 2001.

"We wrote those two pages," said Bentall. "He didn't write them."