Journal of Forensic Sciences (J Forensic Sci)

Publisher: Wiley

Journal description

The Journal of Forensic Sciences is the official publication of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). It is devoted to the publication of original investigations, observations, scholarly inquiries, and reviews in the various branches of the forensic sciences. These include Pathology and Biology, Toxicology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, General, Odontology, Physical Anthropology, Jurisprudence, Criminalistics, Questioned Documents, and Engineering Sciences. Similar submissions dealing with forensic-oriented aspects of the social science are also published.

Current impact factor: 1.31

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 1.306
2012 Impact Factor 1.244
2011 Impact Factor 1.229
2010 Impact Factor 1.159
2009 Impact Factor 1.524
2008 Impact Factor 1.088
2007 Impact Factor 1.037
2006 Impact Factor 0.846
2005 Impact Factor 1.026
2004 Impact Factor 0.881
2003 Impact Factor 1.237
2002 Impact Factor 0.787
2001 Impact Factor 0.883
2000 Impact Factor 0.939
1999 Impact Factor 0.99
1998 Impact Factor 0.769
1997 Impact Factor 1.404
1996 Impact Factor 0.867
1995 Impact Factor 1.224
1994 Impact Factor 0.621
1993 Impact Factor 1.154
1992 Impact Factor 0.655

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 1.49
Cited half-life 9.20
Immediacy index 0.17
Eigenfactor 0.01
Article influence 0.41
Website Journal of Forensic Sciences website
Other titles Journal of forensic sciences (En ligne)
ISSN 1556-4029
OCLC 300302550
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 months embargo
  • Conditions
    • Some journals have separate policies, please check with each journal directly
    • On author's personal website, institutional repositories, arXiv, AgEcon, PhilPapers, PubMed Central, RePEc or Social Science Research Network
    • Author's pre-print may not be updated with Publisher's Version/PDF
    • Author's pre-print must acknowledge acceptance for publication
    • On a non-profit server
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Publisher source must be acknowledged with citation
    • Must link to publisher version with set statement (see policy)
    • If OnlineOpen is available, BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC authors, may self-archive after 12 months
    • If OnlineOpen is available, AHRC and ESRC authors, may self-archive after 24 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 07/08/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Wiley'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • Journal of Forensic Sciences 11/2015; In Press.
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    ABSTRACT: Animal-inflicted injuries to humans are a major public health problem around the world resulting in great morbidity, money loss and mortality. They are related to wild and domestic animals alike. Animals can cause injuries by various mechanisms – biting, stinging, crushing, goring, stomping, butting, kicking, pecking, etc. We present a case o f a ram's attack with fatal consequences. A 4-year old, 120 kg jezersko-solčava breed ram with prior history of aggressive behavior inflicted multiple injuries to his 83-year-old owner, who died in the hospital a few hours later due to severe blunt force injuries sustained in the attack. The autopsy revealed the cause of death to be multiple injuries of the thorax and the head. Sheep, even though they are not considered aggressive or large farm animals like cattle and horses, can inflict serious injuries with devastating results.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 09/2015;
  • James L Booker, Kathryn Renfroe
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    ABSTRACT: Fifteen test subjects, 10 of whom were diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), were dosed with alcohol to BACs above 0.150 g/dL. Blood and breath assays taken at 20-min intervals for 8 h after dosing demonstrated close agreement between postabsorptive BAC and BrAC values. Three subjects exhibited elevated breath alcohol concentrations up to 0.105 g/dL during the absorptive phase that were apparently due to the passage of gastric alcohol through the lower esophageal sphincter not attributable to eruction or regurgitation. The effect of gastric alcohol was not consistently proportional to the amount of unabsorbed gastric alcohol. Absorption of alcohol in the esophagus explains the nonproportionality. Breath samples contaminated by GERD-related alcohol leakage from the stomach into a breath sample were found only when there was a high concentration of alcohol in the stomach. When contaminated breath samples were encountered, they were irreproducible in magnitude. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12847
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    ABSTRACT: Postmortem succession of human-associated microbial communities ("human microbiome") has been suggested as a possible method for estimating postmortem interval (PMI) for forensic analyses. Here we evaluate human gut bacterial populations to determine quantifiable, time-dependent changes postmortem. Gut microflora were repeatedly sampled from the proximal large intestine of 12 deceased human individuals as they decayed under environmental conditions. Three intestinal bacterial genera were quantified by quantitative PCR (qPCR) using group-specific primers targeting 16S rRNA genes. Bacteroides and Lactobacillus relative abundances declined exponentially with increasing PMI at rates of Nt = 0.977e(-0.0144t) (r(2) = 0.537, p < 0.001) and Nt = 0.019e(-0.0087t) (r(2) = 0.396, p < 0.001), respectively, where Nt is relative abundance at time (t) in cumulative degree hours. Bifidobacterium relative abundances did not change significantly: Nt = 0.003e(-0.002t) (r(2) = 0.033, p = 0.284). Therefore, Bacteroides and Lactobacillus abundances could be used as quantitative indicators of PMI. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12828
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    ABSTRACT: An inverse relationship between the body mass index (BMI) and the risk of completed suicide was shown in several studies. Furthermore, it is suggested that obesity might be associated with a lower risk for violent criminality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze whether a higher BMI is associated with a lower risk for being arrested due to violent behavior in a sample of 43,992 male offenders. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was applied to assess the relationship between different BMI categories and categories of committed crime as outcome variable by including various covariates. Our results indicated that compared to a normal BMI a higher BMI was associated with a significantly lower risk for being arrested in different crime categories associated with interpersonal violence, such as crimes against life and limb (for example: odds ratio = 0.60, CI 95%: 0.52-0.69 for 30-34.9 kg/m(2) ). © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 05/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12790
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    ABSTRACT: Nonbiting midges (Diptera, Chironomidae) are the most abundant members of the fauna associated with submerged carcasses, but their use in the medicolegal context is very restricted because of their complex ontogeny. In this case, the corpse of a woman was recovered in late spring from a river in Granada (Iberian Peninsula). It showed obvious signs of long permanence in the aquatic environment and, along with pulmonary and microscopical analyses, led to the conclusion that the cause of death was drowning. Several larvae-like specimens were sampled from the scalp and later identified by morphological external features as IV instar larvae of Chironomus riparius Meigen, 1804 (Diptera, Chironomidae). Sequencing of cytochrome oxidase subunit I was performed to confirm the identification. The knowledge of the biology of C. riparius at low temperatures was critical to assess a postsubmersion interval of 16-17 days. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 05/2015; 60(3):822-826. DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12707
  • Journal of Forensic Sciences 05/2015; 60(3). DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12727
  • Journal of Forensic Sciences 05/2015; 60(3). DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12728
  • Journal of Forensic Sciences 05/2015; 60(3):827. DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12733
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    ABSTRACT: Despite advances in medical science, the causes of death can sometimes only be determined by pathologists after a complete autopsy. Few studies have investigated the importance of forensic autopsy in medically disputed cases among different levels of institutional settings. Our study aimed to analyze forensic autopsy in 120 cases of medical disputes among five levels of institutional settings between 2001 and 2012 in Wenzhou, China. The results showed an overall concordance rate of 55%. Of the 39% of clinically missed diagnosis, cardiovascular pathology comprises 55.32%, while respiratory pathology accounts for the remaining 44. 68%. Factors that increase the likelihood of missed diagnoses were private clinics, community settings, and county hospitals. These results support that autopsy remains an important tool in establishing causes of death in medically disputed case, which may directly determine or exclude the fault of medical care and therefore in helping in resolving these cases. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12769
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    ABSTRACT: The pubic symphysis is widely used in age estimation for the adult skeleton. Standard practice requires the visual comparison of surface morphology against criteria representing predefined phases and the estimation of case-specific age from an age range associated with the chosen phase. Known problems of method and observer error necessitate alternative tools to quantify age-related change in pubic morphology. This paper presents an objective, fully quantitative method for estimating age-at-death from the skeleton, which exploits a variance-based score of surface complexity computed from vertices obtained from a scanner sampling the pubic symphysis. For laser scans from 41 modern American male skeletons, this method produces results that are significantly associated with known age-at-death (RMSE = 17.15 years). Chronological age is predicted, therefore, equally well, if not, better, with this robust, objective, and fully quantitative method than with prevailing phase-aging systems. This method contributes to forensic casework by responding to medico-legal expectations for evidence standards. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12778
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    ABSTRACT: A blind study to determine whether virtual toolmarks created using a computer could be used to identify and characterize angle of incidence of physical toolmarks was conducted. Six sequentially manufactured screwdriver tips and one random screwdriver were used to create toolmarks at various angles. An apparatus controlled tool angle. Resultant toolmarks were randomly coded and sent to the researchers, who scanned both tips and toolmarks using an optical profilometer to obtain 3D topography data. Developed software was used to create virtual marks based on the tool topography data. Virtual marks generated at angles from 30 to 85° (5° increments) were compared to physical toolmarks using a statistical algorithm. Twenty of twenty toolmarks were correctly identified by the algorithm. On average, the algorithm misidentified the correct angle of incidence by -6.12°. This study presents the results, their significance, and offers reasons for the average angular misidentification. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12759
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    ABSTRACT: Forensic evidence samples are routinely found as stains on various substrates, which may contain substances known to inhibit polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The goal of this study was to evaluate post-Chelex(®) 100 purification using powdered activated carbon (PAC). Mock crime scene DNA extracts were analyzed using quantitative PCR and short tandem repeat (STR) profiling to test the DNA recovery and inhibitor removal using PAC with those of the Amicon(®) Ultra 100K. For extracted bloodstains on soil and wood substrates, PAC and Amicon(®) Ultra 100K generated similar DNA yield and quality. Moreover, the two methods significantly decreased the concentration of humic substances and tannins compared to nonpurified extracts (p < 0.001). In instances where extracts contained indigo dye (bloodstains on denim), Amicon(®) Ultra 100K performed better than PAC due to improved amplifiability. Efficient adsorption of humic substances and tannins, which are common inhibitors, indicates PAC's potential application in the purification of high-template DNA extracts. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12773
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    ABSTRACT: The ligature mark is the most relevant feature of hanging. This study was undertaken with a view to determine the characteristic features of hanging and its association with ligature material or mode of suspension. Of a total medicolegal deaths reported at an Apex Medical Centre, hanging was noted in 4.1% cases, all suicidal with mortality rate of 1.5 per 100,000 population per year. The hanging was complete in 67.7% with nylon rope as the commonest type of ligature material used for ligation. The hanging mark was usually single, situated above thyroid cartilage, incomplete, prominent, and directed toward nape of neck. The mark of dribbling of saliva was seen in 11.8% cases. Facial congestion, petechial hemorrhage, and cyanosis were significantly seen in partial hanging. Though occasionally reported, the argent line was noted in 78.7% hanging deaths with neck muscle hemorrhage in 23.6% cases. Fracture of neck structure was predominant in complete hanging. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12772
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    ABSTRACT: Banknotes may be shredded by a scrap machine, ripped up by hand, or damaged in accidents. This study proposes an image registration method for reconstruction of multiple sheets of banknotes. The proposed method first constructs different scale spaces to identify keypoints in the underlying banknote fragments. Next, the features of those keypoints are extracted to represent their local patterns around keypoints. Then, similarity is computed to find the keypoint pairs between the fragment and the reference banknote. The banknote fragments can determine the coordinate and amend the orientation. Finally, an assembly strategy is proposed to piece multiple sheets of banknote fragments together. Experimental results show that the proposed method causes, on average, a deviation of 0.12457 ± 0.12810° for each fragment while the SIFT method deviates 1.16893 ± 2.35254° on average. The proposed method not only reconstructs the banknotes but also decreases the computing cost. Furthermore, the proposed method can estimate relatively precisely the orientation of the banknote fragments to assemble. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12777
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    ABSTRACT: "Kite fights" are quite popular throughout Asia. Most kite variations, including the fighter kites of India, Pakistan, and Japan, are small, flat, roughly diamond-shaped kites composed of paper, with a tapered bamboo spine and a balanced bow. They are flown with the help of a "Manja," which is a thread made of cotton or nylon, and coated with fine glass powder using glue and other chemical adhesives to cut down opponent's kite string. The nylon "Manja" is particularly more dangerous, as it not only cuts down opponent's kite string but also causes bodily injuries to humans, which may be at times fatal. The pattern of injuries by Manja is underreported in literature. In the present case, the deceased had encountered fatal injuries by "Manja" while riding on his motorbike. This case discusses the pattern of injuries caused by Manja when the victims are in motion on their two-wheelers. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12747
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    ABSTRACT: Research into maximizing the speed, precision, and reliability of estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) has been a recurring object of investigation and methodologies based on the vitreous humor (VH) have provided good results. However, contamination from causes not readily apparent, such as blood, can occur, and thus lead not only to an erroneous estimation of PMI, but also interfere with the correct identification of other substances in the VH. We have developed a flow cytometry method which quantifies blood contamination and is able to detect erythrocytes in 1:750,000 dilution of contaminated VH which affects the results of hypoxanthine. It is an improvement on the previous more complex mass spectrometry method, being faster, more sensitive, and readily available. As such, it could be proposed for the rapid screening of appropriate samples by detecting and eliminating blood contaminated samples from PMI estimation. © 2015 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12784