Volume 1, Issue 1 (January 2024) – 5 articles


30 October 2023


07 November 2023

Use of Bibliometric Methods to Verify the Credentials of Expert Witnesses in Forensic Science and Legal Medicine and the Dilemma of Multiple-authorship

Expert testimony is an important part of criminal and civil litigation whenever scientific evidence needs to be explained and interpreted for the judge and jury. Those appearing in court as expert witnesses must possess the necessary qualifications, skill, training, and experience for the task in hand. Unlike a lay-witness, an expert witness is allowed to render an opinion based on their own specialized knowledge and research. In the adversarial system of justice, expert witnesses are hired by opposing sides in a case and this causes confusion when they disagree about the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific evidence presented. Choosing the best expert witness is often a difficult task and making a wrong decision has sometimes led to wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice. Success in science is tightly linked to the quantity and quality of a person’s scholarly publications in academic journals in some particular area of research and scholarship. This article describes the use of a publicly available citation database to investigate the publication and citation records of British forensic practitioners with “legal and forensic medicine” (LFM) as their primary or secondary research category. How to attribute credit to individual names on multi-authored articles is a major problem in science and academia. Six different citation metrics, including authorship position on highly cited articles, were used to derive a composite citation score (c-score) for each highly cited scientist. Such bibliometric methods could prove useful in jurisprudence when reviewing the qualifications of people suggested to serve as expert witness in court cases.


29 January 2024

Determining the Identity of Corpses Using Fingerprints: Results from Practice and Analysis of Process Used in the Republic of Serbia

In today’s world, when there is a constant fight against organized crime and terrorism, when we have cases of mass accidents (plane crashes, train crashes, buses, etc.), the constant need for precise and quick identification of persons is evident in these cases. When we have situations with a large number of dead in various conditions, as well as complete or only parts of the body being on the spot, there is a need to use scientific and forensic methods in order to find out the reliable identity of these people. Furthermore, there is a need, in some cases, to identify persons who committed suicide, were killed, or died a natural death (accidental death) and who do not have documents according to which their identity can be determined. The aim of this paper will, however, be to identify a group of persons who need to be identified, known as unidentified corpses. Method. Describe and discuss the way of determining identity based on dactyloscopic data, which provides accurate and unambiguous identification, using fingerprints. Results. The identity was determined in 1271 cases of unidentified corpses by dactyloscopic comparison of fingerprints with a database containing fingerprints of about 8,000,000 indisputably identified persons. It was confirmed in 1139 cases. Conclusion. The high degree of identification in our research, as much as 89.6%, makes this method rightly represented as a standard method for confirming a person’s identity.


20 March 2024

Development and Validation of a Novel 29-plex STR Multiplex System for Legal and Forensic Science

Short tandem repeat (STR) analysis is the gold standard method in forensics for personal identification and paternity testing. Researchers have been working on developing novel multiplex systems containing more STRs for database construction and improvement of personal identification ability. This study's six-dye multiplex amplification system contained 29 autosomal loci, Y-indel, and Amelogenin. System optimization and performance measures were out according to the recommendations of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods, including PCR condition, sensitivity, mixture, inhibitor, species specificity, reproducibility, precision, stutter, concordance, and population study. The results showed that the complete profile was obtained with 125 pg of DNA input in a sensitivity study and a mixture ratio of 1:4. The full profile was observed with a hematin concentration ≤ 125 μmol/L, hemoglobin ≤ 200 μmol/L, EDTA ≤ 1.5 mmol/L, humic acid ≤ 1.5 μg/μL, indigo ≤ 12 mmol/L, and calcium ≤ 6.0 mmol/L. Meanwhile, the system also showed reasonable species specificity. Population genetic results showed the high performance of this panel with high informative and polymorphic loci, which possessed high estimates of the combined power of discrimination (1–7.16 × 10−35) and the combined power of exclusion (1–1.98 × 10−12) in southern Han Chinese populations.


16 May 2024

The Application of Forensic Imaging to Sex Estimation: Focus on Skull and Pelvic Structures

Forensic imaging is recognized as a vital tool in forensic practice mostly reflected by the wide use of post-mortem imaging in death investigations. With the surge of forensic imaging applications and research in recent years, many forensic subdisciplines have adopted this tool as a scientific investigation method, including forensic anthropology. Sex estimation is one of the key assignments in forensic anthropology along with age, ancestry and stature estimation. Traditionally, this assignment is done with non-metric macroscopic examination and metric analysis performed by forensic anthropologists. Today, forensic imaging serves as an auxiliary tool that adds to traditional methods and brings sex estimation to a dynamic era. The purpose of this article is to review forensic imaging methods in forensic anthropology sex estimation with a focus on skull and pelvic structures, aiming to provide insights into the best practices and prospective research directions.