Part 1 Introduction: the compass of taxonomy and systematics; the 1960s and the emergence of new ideas; cladistics and numerical taxonomy - the conflict; assumptions and philosophy of cladistics and the use of parsimony criteria; taxonomy and the comparative method in biology. Part 2 Characters and taxa: nature and handling of data; characters; classes of characters requiring special consideration; taxa and species concepts; what is a species. Part 3 Phylogenetic reconstruction - cladistics and related methods: cladistics and cladograms; parsimony and finding the shortest trees; which method - an overview; cladistics and classification. Part 4 Phenetic methods in taxonomy: introduction; analyzing similarity and distance data; hierarchic clustering procedures; ordination methods. Part 5 Keys and identification: introduction; types of keys; efficiency; computerized key construction. Part 6 Nomenclature and classification: introduction; the binomial system and the hierarchy of taxa; the International Commissions; basic principles of nomenclature; miscellaneous group-related factors; names of higher groups; starting dates for nomenclature; citation of authors; publication; type depositories; good practice; major taxonomic publications. Part 7 Cytotaxonomy: introduction; karyotypes; chromosome banding; chiasma frequency; inversions, translocations and their significance; in situ hybridization and genome painting. Part 8 Chemotaxonomy and related topics: origins of chemotaxonomy; classes of compounds and their biological significance; the use of chemical data. Part 9 Immunotaxonomy: history; precipitin reaction; immuno-diffusion; immuno-electrophoresis; micro-complement fixation (MC'F); use of monoclonal antibodies; radioimmunoassay; analysis of immunological data. Part 10 Proteins and taxonomy: introduction; techniques of protein electrophoresis; systematic aspects of electrophoresis; chemical protein analysis procedures; analysis of amino acid sequence data. Part 11 Nucleic acid methods: nucleic acids in taxonomy; nucleic acids in cells; G+C content; restriction fragment analysis; DNA hybridization; sequencing and associated methods; conservation versus variability; analyzing sequence data; pros and cons of hybridization and sequencing; fossil DNA. Part 12 Palaeotaxonomy, biogeography, evolution and extinction: palaeotaxonomy; biogeography; coevolution; phylogenetic trees and the pattern of evolution. Part 13 Museums, herbaria, biodiversity, conservation and the future of taxonomy: museums and their roles; the future of taxonomy.