New paper highlighting a lack of data availability in fibre research.

Published on 1 July 2022

The Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) has published a new research paper which has highlighted a lack of data availability in fibre research.

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Fibres in forensic science have long been recognised as a trace evidence type in investigations.  They are analysed to determine what they are made of and can be compared with fibres recovered from other surfaces providing linkage information in criminal investigations. A new research paper from LRCFS has highlighted a lack of data availability in fibre research. 

Link to research paper 

Literature reviews and studies are essential to developing an understanding of a field of research and how it may be improved by identifying potential information gaps. The large volume of information available within citation databases has become a challenge to manage and distil in all areas of research.

A scientometric approach was applied to fibres as an evidence type using information contained in two research databases, Scopus and Web of Science combined, to generate a more comprehensive list of references. A comparison was made with the references listed in the INTERPOL International Forensic Science Managers Symposium Science (IFSMS) reports (2004–2019).

By carrying out an analysis of keywords provided by references, this study has pointed out a difference between the vision of the IFSMS authors to report on the need to develop a database for fibres and other evidence types and the trends observed in the records indexed in citation databases.

This study has highlighted that data availability and location are generally omitted in publications that look at fibre evidence: the forensic science community has an opportunity to change this culture and lead the way in making their data available, aligning with the ideals of fairness, openness and transparency of the underpinning data upon which scientific developments are based.

Research paper

Galais, V, Fleming, H, Nic Daéid, N & Ménard, H 2022, 'Scientometric analysis of the forensic science literature for fibre as an evidence type: Access and data availability', Forensic Science International: Synergy, vol. 5, 100269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsisyn.2022.100269


Dr Heather Doran

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