Alert on an alternate, costly, version of the guide to best practices

Below is an open letter from the editors of the “Guide to best practices for ocean acidification research and data reporting” alerting you about what seems to be a phony book on sale at

Dear Colleagues,

It came to our attention that Amazon sells the following “book” at a cost of $98: “Guide to Best Practices for Ocean Acidification Research: The Carbon Dioxide System in Seawater: Equilibrium Chemistry and Measurements” This title amalgamates the titles of the “Guide to best practices for ocean acidification research and data reporting” and of the first chapter of this guide.

The guide, which has gained recognition in the scientific community (see, provides key recommendations to perform successful and meaningful perturbation experiments aimed at understanding the impacts of ocean acidification.

The information mentioned by Amazon is inaccurate. The editors of this book are Riebesell, Fabry, Hansson and Gattuso rather than the “European Commission”. Also, the author is not the “Directorate-General for Research and Innovation”. Rather, the book comprises multi-authored chapters. The correct reference is:

Riebesell U., Fabry V. J., Hansson L. & Gattuso J.-P. (Eds.), 2010. Guide to best practices for ocean acidification research and data reporting, 260 p. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

More importantly, this guide is available free of charge on the web site of the EPOCA project ( as well as at the EU Bookshop of the Publications Office of the European Union ( Make a saving then and get a free copy of the guide!

Sadly, Amazon does not see as a problem to sell $98 a book that is available free of charge and is not willing to correct the inaccurate information on its web site. Do not spend your money uselessly and get the original free copy!

Best regards,
Ulf Riebesell, Lina Hansson and Jean-Pierre Gattuso
(co-editor V. J. Fabry was not available at the time this letter was prepared)

PS: Dictus Publishing, the so-called “publisher” of the book sold on Amazon, is owned by the German company VDM. Below is an excerpt of the Wikipedia article on VDM:
“VDM’s business practices have been criticized for profiting from the sale of unacclaimed works and for insufficiently disclosing that content is available for free elsewhere. In November 2009 an article in the Swiss newspaper Berner Zeitung described VDM’s practices as controversial and bordering on deception.”

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