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Forensic Science Communications
October 2004 – Volume 6 – Number 4

Instructions for Authors

Manuscripts must be written in clear and concise language. Manuscripts must be logically organized, progressing from a statement of purpose, through analysis of procedures or evidence, to conclusions and implications. Manuscripts are evaluated according to the following criteria: significance of contribution, technical accuracy, appropriateness for the journal audience, clarity, effectiveness of presentation, and pertinent references.

Manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two subject professionals, who remain anonymous. Authors may suggest the names of reviewers.

The Managing Editor of Forensic Science Communications reserves the right to edit manuscripts for style, grammar, punctuation, and readability.

Inclusion of a manuscript in Forensic Science Communications does not represent an endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Government, the U.S. Department of Justice, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Authors assume total responsibility for the content and accuracy of their submissions.

Send manuscripts and other information relating to the journal to the Managing Editor at labfsc@ic.fbi.gov.

Submissions may be in the following forms:

• Letter to the Editor: A brief communication presenting new technical information, discussing a previously published paper, or requesting information.

• Review Article: A basic introduction and overview of new scientific methods and areas of forensic research or interest.

• Research Paper or Feature Article: An in-depth discussion of current methods and specific aspects of various procedures or instrumentation.

• Technical Article: A step-by-step description of specific analytical procedures, detailing the materials and methods used and evaluating the results.

• Technical Note or Case Report: A new application of an existing technique or instructive findings on an unusual case.

• Book Review: A summary and analysis of a book or publication.

All manuscript submissions must adhere to the following guidelines. Manuscripts will be returned to the contributing authors to conform to these guidelines prior to being sent to peer reviewers. To view the format of recently published manuscripts, click on the following link: www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/fsc/current/index.htm.

  • The title page must include a concise title, the complete names, position titles, and current affiliations with city, state, and country of all authors and the name, complete address, telephone number, telefax number, and e-mail address of the contact author.


  • The manuscript must be written in Microsoft Word with single spacing in paragraphs and double spacing between paragraphs. Left justify the title, author information, headings, and the text. Use Arial font (10 points for the text and 14 points bold for the title and headings). Do not use unnecessary formatting codes. Use italics and bolding only when necessary.


  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms in the manuscript.


  • Images (i.e., photographs, charts, graphs, tables) must be submitted in separate, labeled (Figure 1, Figure 2) TIF or JPG files. Do not embed the images in the manuscript text. All images must be referred to in the text. Reduce the image resolution as much as possible. All images must include a concise caption.


  • When reference is made to a specific product, the name of the manufacturer and the city and state of the manufacturer's headquarters must be included in parentheses in the text.


  • All references in the reference list must be referred to in the text. References in the text must be in parentheses and include the author's last name and year of publication (Anderson and Brown 1993). When citing a paper written by three or more authors, write the name of the first author and et al. (Anderson et al. 1992; Brown et al. 1991). Reference the authors alphabetically and then chronologically in the parentheses. Adhere to the spacing and punctuation standard.


  • All references must be complete and accurate. The Managing Editor may request a copy of the full text of the referenced document to confirm its accuracy. The reference section must be arranged alphabetically by author's last name and then chronologically. The complete journal title must be listed. Punctuation, spacing, and use of italics must adhere to the standard.

• Journal Article, Single Author

Richards, G. B. The application of electronic video techniques to infrared and ultraviolet examinations, Journal of Forensic Sciences (1977) 22:53–60.

• Journal Article, Two Authors

Verdú Pascual, F. A. and Gisbert Grifo, M. S. Investigation of bloodstains: False negative results of the benzedrine test, Forensic Science International (1995) 71:85–86.

• Journal Article, Multiple Authors

Giles, R. E., Blanc, H., Cann, H. M., and Wallace, D. C. Maternal inheritance of human mitochondrial DNA, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1980) 77:6715–6719.

• Journal Article, No Author

Special report: A buying guide to products and services for the textile wet processing industry, Textile Chemist and Colorist, July 1998.

• Journal Article, in Press

Budowle, B., Moretti, T. R., Baumstark, A. L., Defenbaugh, D. A., and Keys, K. M. Population data on the thirteen CODIS core short tandem repeat loci in African Americans, U.S. Caucasians, Hispanics, Bahamians, Jamaicans, and Trinidadians, Journal of Forensic Sciences (in press).

• Multipart Journal Article

Biermann, T. W. and Grieve, M. C. A computerized data base of mail order garments: A contribution toward estimating the frequency of fibre types found in clothing. Part 1: The system and its operation, Forensic Science International (1996) 77:65–73.

Biermann, T. W. and Grieve, M. C. A computerized data base of mail order garments: A contribution toward estimating the frequency of fibre types found in clothing. Part 2: The content of the data bank and its statistical evaluation, Forensic Science International (1996) 77:75–91.

Newspaper Articles

Warrick, P. King County Sheriff's Latent Lab assist in Akron PD homicide investigation, Pacific NW IAI Examiner, July-December 1999, pp. 12–13.

• Article in Published Meeting Proceedings

Kidd, G. J. What quality means to an R&D organization. In: 41st Annual Quality Congress Transactions. American Society for Quality Control, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 4–6, 1987.

• Unpublished Presentation (Meeting)

Houck, M. M. The Limits of Computing in Forensic Science. Presented at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Seattle, Washington, 1995.

• Published Report, No Author

Report of a Symposium on the Practice of Forensic Serology, Method Evaluation (Topic 4). Sponsored by the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services, California Association of Criminalists, and the UNISYS Corporation, 1996.

• Book or Entire Volume, Single Author

White, T. D. Human Osteology. Academic Press, San Diego, California, 1991.

• Book or Entire Volume, Two Authors

Billmeyer, F. W. and Saltzman, M. Principles of Color Technology. John Wiley, New York, 1981.

• Book or Entire Volume, Multiple Authors

Windholz, M., Budavari, S., Stroumtsos, L. Y., and Fertig, M. N. The Merck Index. 9th ed., Elsevier, Rahway, New Jersey, 1996.

• Book or Entire Volume, No Author

RN and WPL Encyclopedia. Salesman's Guide Press, Richmond, Virginia, 1999.

• Handbook With Editors

Bicking, C. A. and Gryna, F. M. Process control by statistical methods. In: Quality Control Handbook. 3d ed., J. M. Juran, ed., Section 23. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1979.

• Article or Chapter in a Book or Collective Work

Monson, K. L. and Budowle, B. A system for semi-automated analysis of DNA autoradiograms. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Forensic Aspects of DNA Analysis. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1989, pp. 127–132.

• Article or Chapter in a Book or Collective Work With Editors

Landfield, P. W. Stress theory of aging. In: The Encyclopedia of Aging. 2nd ed., G. L. Maddox, ed. Springer, New York, 1995.

Neave, R. Age changes to the face in adulthood. In: Craniofacial Identification in Forensic Medicine. J. G. Clement and D. L. Ranson, eds. Oxford University Press, New York, 1998, Part 3, pp. 225–234.

• Article or Chapter in a Book or Collective Work, in Press

Budowle, B., Moretti, T. R., Niezgoda, S. J., and Brown, B. L. CODIS and PCR-based short tandem repeat loci: Law enforcement tools. In: Second European Symposium on Human Identification 1998. Promega Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin (in press).

• Online Article

Kolb, S. E. Facial rejuvenation: Prevention and treatment of facial aging due to gravity, expression lines, inherited facial features, and stress, Panorama of Plastic Surgery [Online]. (March 24, 1998). Available: http://plastikos.com/art-facegrav.htm.

• Organization as Author

AABB Standards Committee. P7.000 DNA polymorphism testing. In: Standards for Parentage Testing Laboratories. 1st ed., American Association of Blood Banks, Arlington, Virginia, 1990.

• Scientific Working Group (SWG) as Author

Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods. Guidelines for a proficiency testing program for DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, Crime Laboratory Digest (1990) 17:59–64.

• Government Publications

Bond, W. W. Safety in the forensic immunology laboratory. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Forensic Immunology. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1987, pp. 101–109.

• User's Guides, Equipment Manuals, Company Materials

Perkin-Elmer Applied Biosystems. AmpFLSTR® Profiler Plus™ PCR Amplification Kit User's Manual. Perkin-Elmer Corporation, Foster City, California, 1997.

• Federal Codes, Laws, Rules, and Regulations

Federal Trade Commission Rules and Regulations under the Textile Products Identification Act, Title 15, U.S. Code section 70, et seq. 16 CFR 303.7.

• Legal Cases

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 US, 579 (1993).

Frye v. United States, 54 App. D.C. 46, 293 F. 1013, 1014 (1923).

• Personal Communications

Knoop, D. Allied Signal, personal communication, March 22, 1999.

• Thesis

Castelló, P. A. Critical review of presumptive tests in bloodstain investigations: False negatives in Adler's test—An application of forensic chemistry. Doctoral thesis, University of Valencia, Spain, 1997.

• Thesis, in preparation

Bailey-Darland, C. M. Validation of polymerase chain reaction analysis of short tandem repeat loci for casework within the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory. Master's thesis in preparation, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, 2000.

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