Although The new Walford: guide to reference resources (TNW) has a broadly similar purpose to John Walford's classic Guide to reference materials, its structure and content are quite different. Developments on the internet and the web have ensured that. We have focused much more on the needs of newcomers to the various areas of science, technology and medicine (STM), simplifying the book's subject arrangement, but at the same time considerably widening the types of resource described. Above all, whilst hardly creating a book that is bedtime reading, we have aimed to make the guide easily browsable.
There is greatly increased emphasis on the producers of STM information, on the basis that these are less likely to change than the individual resources that they generate. This includes a wide range of stakeholders (sponsors, regulators, critics, etc.) who make up the landscape of STM research and practice. Distilling the volume and wealth of resources now accessible down to a ‘starter pack’ of a few thousand items not surprisingly has been rather challenging; and there is no doubt that we will have been more successful in some subject areas than in others. We shall welcome feedback on the resource choices we have made via the TNW dedicated e-mail address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Most research for this volume was carried out mid-2004, however, all URLs were checked in April 2005.
It is not possible in a volume of this type and size to treat all the different viewpoints within each subject; especially in areas of controversy. The majority of the resources described reflect what the Editors perceive to be the currently dominant paradigms within STM. However, in a number of subject areas one or two works are cited which depart significantly from the mainstream in their treatments. These are included simply to remind the reader that such alternative viewpoints exist and should be pursued in any comprehensive survey.