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: 1.16

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 1.16
2013 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 1.37
Cited half-life 9.60
Immediacy index 0.21
Eigenfactor 0.01
Article influence 0.40
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
    • Non-Commercial
    • 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

Publications in this journal

  • Journal of Forensic Sciences 09/2016;

  • Journal of Forensic Sciences 01/2016; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12982
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    ABSTRACT: Death from hypothermia following exhaustion or from various complicated pathologies is no longer a frequent cause of death among combat troops. During a training course under "extreme conditions" in the French Alps, two young African officers died. Confronted with these two clinically confirmed cases of hypothermia, the unknown anatomopathological and biological specificities associated with death from hypothermia were highlighted. In these typical and clinically confirmed cases of death from subacute exhaustion hypothermia, none of the signs revealed by the autopsy were specific. Although some recent publications have addressed the utility of postmortem biochemical markers when establishing a diagnosis, with no anamnesis, with no knowledge or analysis of the circumstances of death, and without an in situ examination of the body, it appears difficult, if not impossible, to confirm that death was caused by hypothermia.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 11/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12981
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    ABSTRACT: The study of fractures of glass, glassy-type materials, and plastic has long been of interest to the forensic community. The focus of this interest has been the use of glass and polymer fractures to associate items of evidence under the assumption that each fracture is different. Generally, it is well-accepted that deviations exist; however, the emphasis has been on classifying and predicting fracture rather than determining that each fracture is different. This study documented the controlled fracture patterns of 60 glass panes, 60 glass bottles, and 60 plastic tail light lens covers using both dynamic impact and static pressure methods under closely controlled conditions. Each pattern was intercompared, and based on the limited specimens tested in this study, the results illustrate that the fracture patterns are different. Further repetitive studies, under controlled conditions, will be needed to provide more statistical significance to the theory that each fracture forms a nonreproducible fracture pattern.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 11/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12968
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    ABSTRACT: Unclaimed dead are deceased persons with no known next of kin (NoK) or NoK was located but did not claim the deceased. Unclaimed dead in Marion County, Indiana, 2004-2011, are examined. Comparisons are provided of the unclaimed to the claimed dead population and county death patterns. Race, gender, marital status, age, location, manner and cause of death, NoK, and days to disposition are analyzed. The unclaimed dead were disproportionately male, slightly more likely to be Black, younger at death, died from natural causes, had unknown marital status, were equally likely as not to have NoK, did not die in a hospital, and were subject to autopsy. Nearly half the unclaimed had NoK who did not claim the body; the other half had no identifiable NoK. Unclaimed were more likely to have an autopsy and to die from external causes. Most unclaimed were identified by means outside fingerprints or DNA.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 11/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12973
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    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cement embolism after kyphoplasty (KP) surgery is a quite frequent event as well as the pulmonary embolization of central venous catheter fragment. This report shows the case of a subject who, after KP, developed pulmonary embolism and who underwent thoracic surgery. After hospital discharge, the subject advanced a claim for damages toward the hospital where he was operated, complaining sensation of tenderness at the chest surgical scar and esthetic damage. To understand the nature of the embolism (either central venous catheter fragment or cement), chemical investigations were then ordered. Spectrometry identified the PMMA cement used for KP. When doubts rise about the origin of the embolized material, chemical investigations may reveal important data not only for clinical but also for forensic purposes.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 11/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12957
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    ABSTRACT: A finding in the autopsy of John Paul Jones, the American Revolutionary War naval hero, may explain his terminal illness. During his last 2 years, he had a persistent productive cough and dyspnea. Ten days before death, he developed rapidly progressive dependent edema and ascites. He died in France in 1792. His body, preserved in alcohol in a lead coffin, was, in 1905, removed to the United States. Glomerulonephritis was noted on an autopsy, performed in France, but there was no comment then or since about ventricular wall thickness being the same in both ventricles at 5-6 mm. Hypertrophy and dilatation with biventricular failure followed by tissue shrinkage during 113 years in alcohol could have resulted in these ventricular wall findings. Systemic hypertension and left ventricular failure are consistent with his respiratory symptoms complicated perhaps by pulmonary emboli, right ventricular failure with tricuspid regurgitation, peripheral congestion, and jaundice.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12971
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    ABSTRACT: There is a paucity of data to aid in assessing whether postmortem methadone findings in breastfed infants are clinically and/or toxicologically significant. Two cases are reported in which methadone was detected in deceased neonates whose mothers were enrolled in methadone maintenance programs and were breastfeeding. In addition to a complete autopsy and toxicological testing for alcohol, prescription medications, and drugs of abuse, pharmacogenetic analysis was performed for variants in genes related to methadone metabolism and response. In both cases, the postmortem methadone concentration measured in neonatal heart blood was higher than the maximum serum methadone concentration reported in living breastfed infants whose mothers were receiving methadone. However, additional analysis of antemortem blood indicated postmortem redistribution of methadone. Pharmacogenetic results were suggestive of a potential predisposition to methadone toxicity based on studies in adults; the significance of these findings in breastfed neonates requires further research. The medical cause of death was unascertained in both cases.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12972
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    ABSTRACT: Many histological methods in forensic anthropology utilize combinations of traditional histomorphometric parameters which may not accurately describe the morphology of microstructural features. Here, we report the novel application of a geometric morphometric method suitable when considering structures without anatomically homologous landmarks for the quantification of complete secondary osteon size and morphology. The method is tested for its suitability in the measurement of intact secondary osteons using osteons digitized from transverse femoral diaphyseal sections prepared from two human individuals. The results of methodological testing demonstrate the efficacy of the technique when applied to intact secondary osteons. In providing accurate characterization of micromorphology within the robust mathematical framework of geometric morphometrics, this method may surpass traditional histomorphometric variables currently employed in forensic research and practice. A preliminary study of the intersectional histomorphometric variation within the femoral diaphysis is made using this geometric histomorphometric method to demonstrate its potential.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12966
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments were conducted to study the life cycle of Dermestes maculatus and to establish the total developmental time and the developmental time of immature stages, in relation with six different temperatures. We also analyzed the variations in size, morphology, and other indicators of temporal variation during life cycle of D. maculatus, in relation with temperature. One hundred larvae were selected per experiment, reared individually. The remaining larvae were reared to evaluate and establish temporal variations among the instars (length, cephalic width, and dry weight). In all trials, survivorship was greater than 50% and seven larval instars were found. Data of the average developmental time of immature stages and of the total cycle, at different temperatures, are provided. This is of relevance when estimating particularly, a minimum PMI. No relation between morphometric parameters and temperature was found, suggesting that other random factors may have been involved. Thus, this indicates that the method of isomegalen diagrams could not be used for calculating PMI.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12965
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    ABSTRACT: A test of the accuracy of the Passalacqua (J Forensic Sci, 5, 2009, 255) sacrum method in a forensic context was performed on a sample of 153 individuals from the J.C.B. Grant Skeletal Collection. The Passalacqua (J Forensic Sci, 5, 2009, 255) method assesses seven traits of the sacrum using a 7-digit coding system. An accuracy of 97.3% was achieved using the Passalacqua (J Forensic Sci, 5, 2009, 255) method to estimate adult skeletal age. On average each age estimate differed by 12.87 years from the known age. The method underestimated the age of individuals by an average of 4.3 years. An intra-observer error of 6.6% suggests that the method can be performed with precision. Correlation and regression analysis found that the sacral traits used in the Passalacqua (J Forensic Sci, 5, 2009, 255) method did not have a strong relationship with age or an ability to strongly predict age. Overall, the method was not practical for use in a forensic context due to the broad age ranges, despite the high accuracy and low intra-observer error.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12967
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    ABSTRACT: In cases of partial or poor print recovery and lack of database/suspect print, fingerprint evidence is generally neglected. In light of such constraints, this study was designed to examine whether ridge density can aid in narrowing down the investigation for sex identification. The study was conducted on the right-hand index digit of 245 males and 246 females belonging to the Punjabis of Delhi region. Five ridge density count areas, namely upper radial, radial, ulnar, upper ulnar, and proximal, were selected and designated. Probability of sex origin was calculated, and stepwise discriminant function analysis was performed to determine the discriminating ability of the selected areas. Females were observed with a significantly higher ridge density than males in all the five areas. Discriminant function analysis and logistic regression exhibited 96.8% and 97.4% accuracy, respectively, in sex identification. Hence, fingerprint ridge density is a potential tool for sex identification, even from partial prints.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12959
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    ABSTRACT: Suicidal insulin overdoses are an under-recognized and uncommon cause of death, often relying on scene and nonspecific autopsy findings. Here, we present a case report of a fatal exogenous insulin overdose in a patient with type 1 diabetes. In our case, there were no contributory autopsy findings; however, serum analog aspart insulin levels were c. 10× the predicted therapeutic upper limit (4000, reference 6.6-55 uU/mL), which correlated with scene findings. This was specifically determined by a newly developed immunocapture liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay, able to discriminate between various synthetic insulin analogs. Total insulin levels by immunoassay were highly elevated on the Siemens Advia Centaur, but not the Roche platforms (4741 vs. 5.2 uU/mL, respectively), showing variable sensitivity of detection within the same analog depending on assay. We discuss the prevalence and features to look for at autopsy in these types of cases. Additionally, analytical options for testing insulin levels, including new methodologies, guidance on collection of samples, as well as an outline of available historical reference range data are discussed.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12958
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    ABSTRACT: Although the problem of handwriting variability due to lying body position has practical significance, particularly for last will cases, it has not been sufficiently studied. The presented experiment aimed to recognize how such posture may influence handwriting features. Samples of text and signatures were collected from 50 healthy individuals, aged 23-58, produced in three postures: typical sitting position (SP) and two different lying positions (LP1 & LP2). Using the SP sample of each individual as a specimen, eleven characteristics in LP1 and LP2 samples were evaluated as similar or different. Nine other features were measured with a specialized software, and their conformity was tested with Student's t-test. Although none of the characteristics differed significantly in most cases, variation occurred in pen pressure, margins, baselines, and heights of letters. Additionally, a series of blind tests revealed that lying position of the individuals did not hinder the possibility to identify their writings.
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12948
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    ABSTRACT: Over a period of 21 years, a number of fired GLOCK cartridge cases have been evaluated. A total of 1632 GLOCK firearms were used to generate a sample of the same size. Our research hypothesis was that no cartridge cases fired from different 9-mm semiautomatic GLOCK pistols would be mistaken as coming from the same gun. Using optical comparison microscopy, two separate experiments were carried out to test this hypothesis. A subsample of 617 test-fired cases were subjected to algorithmic comparison by the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS). The second experiment subjected the full set of 1632 cases to manual comparisons using traditional pattern matching. None of the cartridge cases were "matched" by either of these two experiments. Using these empirical findings, an established Bayesian probability model was used to estimate the chance that a 9-mm cartridge case, fired from a GLOCK, could be mistaken as coming from the same firearm when in fact it did not (i.e., the random match probability).
    Journal of Forensic Sciences 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/1556-4029.12940