Coverage is extensive to allow maximum flexibility for courses in different institutions, but not all the material will be required for any one course. However, because of the many subdivisions and the highlighted keywords, it should be relatively easy to find and select the material appropriate to a particular course. On the other hand, the detail given in monographs is purposely limited to ensure students are provided with enough factual information, but are not faced with the need to assess whether or not the material is relevant. Even so, these monographs will undoubtedly contain data which exceed the scope of any individual course. It is thus necessary to apply selectivity, and portions of the book will be surplus to immediate requirements. The book is designed to be user friendly, suitable for modular courses and student-centred learning exercises, and a starting point for later project and dissertation work. The information presented is as up to date as possible, but undoubtedly new research will be published that modifies or even contradicts some of the statements made. The reader is asked always to be critical and to maintain a degree of flexibility when reading the scientific literature, and to appreciate that science is always changing.
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