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February 2021

This Standards Bulletin from the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science provides an update on:

  • Standards moving through the OSAC Registry approval process.
  • Standards moving through the development process at standards developing organizations (SDOs).

SDO published standards under consideration for the OSAC Registry and open for comment: 10
OSAC proposed standards under consideration for the OSAC Registry and open for comment: 3
Standards moved to comment adjudication: 4
Standards at FSSB for vote: 4
SDO documents open for comment: 5
Work proposals for new or revised standards: 1

Download PDF (336.38 KB)

OSAC Registry Updates

OSAC Registry Ribbon

 

The OSAC Registry is a repository of high-quality, technically sound published and proposed standards for forensic science. These written documents define minimum requirements, best practices, standard protocols and other guidance to help ensure that the results of forensic analysis are reliable and reproducible.

SDO Published Standards Open for Comment

The following SDO published standards are being considered for the OSAC Registry. Please submit your comments by the deadline date on whether they should be included on the Registry.

Comment deadline 11:59 p.m. ET on February 5, 2021:

BIOLOGY/DNA

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 023, Standard for Training in Forensic DNA Isolation and Purification Methods, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 110, Standards for Training in Forensic Serological Methods, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 115, Standard for Training in Forensic Short Tandem Repeat Typing Methods using Amplification, DNA Separation, and Allele Detection, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 116, Standard for Training in Forensic DNA Quantification Methods, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here.

FIREARMS & TOOLMARKS

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 068, Best Practice Recommendation for the Safe Handling of Firearms and Ammunition, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here. 

IGNITABLE LIQUIDS, EXPLOSIVES, & GUNSHOT RESIDUE

  • ASTM E1588-20 Standard Practice for Gunshot Residue Analysis by Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3197-20 Standard Terminology Relating to Examination of Fire Debris. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3245-20 Standard Guide for Systematic Approach to the Extraction, Analysis, and Classification of Ignitable Liquids and Ignitable Liquid Residues in Fire Debris Samples. Submit your comments here.

Comment deadline 11:59 p.m. ET on March 2, 2021:

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 038, Standard for Internal Validation of Forensic DNA Analysis Methods, First Edition 2020. Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 077, Standard for the Developmental and Internal Validation of Forensic Serological Methods, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here

OSAC Proposed Standards Open for Comment

The following OSAC draft proposed standards are being considered for submission to an SDO. The final draft provided to the SDO will be available on the OSAC Registry as an “OSAC Proposed Standard.” OSAC welcomes comments on whether the current draft is suitable for release to the SDO as well as suggestions for improvements in content and wording. To be considered, comments must be placed in the OSAC Comment Form and sent to comments@nist.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on March 2, 2021:

Standards Moved to Comment Adjudication

  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 009, Best Practice Recommendations for the Examination of Human Remains by Forensic Pathologists in the Disaster Victim Identification Context, First Edition, 2019.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 018, Standard for Validation of Probabilistic Genotyping Systems, First Edition, 2020.
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 021, Best Practices for the Preparation of Test Impressions from Footwear and Tires, First Edition, 2019. 
  • OSAC 2021-N-0001 Wildlife Forensics Method – Collection of Known Samples for Live Animals (Domestic).

At FSSB for Vote

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 019, Wildlife Forensics General Standards, First Edition, 2019. 
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 029, Report Writing in Wildlife Forensics: Morphology and Genetics, First Edition, 2019. 
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 046, Wildlife Forensics Validation Standards – STR Analysis, First Edition, 2019. 
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 053, Standard for Report Content in Forensic Toxicology, First Edition, 2020.

For a list of all standards currently under Registry consideration, please visit the OSAC website.

Has your organization already started implementing OSAC Registry approved standards? Complete OSAC’s Laboratory Implementation Declaration Form and send it to mark.stolorow@nist.gov to let us know. Share your implementation experience and be featured in a future OSAC news post.

SDO Updates

SDO Documents Open for Comment

Academy Standards Board:

*Comments on a re-circulation will only be accepted on revised sections of a document, comments made to text not revised from the original comment period will not be accepted.

For the ASB documents listed above, download the comment template and return it to asb@aafs.org by the comment deadline. 

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

The following document is being initiated and is expected to result in a new or revised standard.

ASTM:

  • On January 22, 2021 a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 4 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin a 30-day period for public comment on the initiation of ASTM’s work on the following document:
    • BSR/ASTM WK75231-202x, Assessment of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy Data during the Qualitative Analysis of Seized Drugs. This standard describes an approach to evaluate standalone benchtop FTIR spectroscopy data generated during the qualitative analysis of seized drugs. This standard also includes a framework for differentiating between the technique's presumptive and identification capabilities. The identification of seized drugs using FTIR spectroscopy shall occur within the context of an appropriate analytical scheme using validated methods.

For more information or to submit comments, please contact the standards developer directly within 30 days of the publication of this PINS announcement. ASTM Contact: Laura Klineburger (accreditation@astm.org).

Other News

Webinar Series: Biology/DNA Standards and Best Practices Developed by OSAC & ASB

This series of webinars provides information on new standards and best practice recommendations for forensic biology and DNA testing laboratories. These documents include new requirements for training and validation in serology and various aspects of DNA testing, as well as DNA data interpretation and software, and protocol development and verification. 

All four of the webinars are now available to view on-demand:

NIST Study Will Help Labs Distinguish Between Hemp and Marijuana

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are conducting a study to help forensic science and cannabis industry labs accurately measure compounds from hemp and marijuana plants. This study is part of NIST’s Cannabis Quality Assurance Program, or CannaQAP. Learn more and enroll through February 5, 2021.

CSAFE's Spring 2021 Webinar Series

Our colleagues at The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) announced the lineup for their spring 2021 webinars. The webinars are free and open to the public, but researchers, collaborators and members of the broader forensics and statistics communities are encouraged to attend.

  • Treatment of Inconclusive Results in Error Rates of Firearm Studies, February 10, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST.
  • Handwriting Analysis in CSAFE, March 11, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CST.
  • IRT for Forensics: A re-analysis of the FBI “Black Box” Study, April 8, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CST.

For more information and to register for any of these webinars, visit the CSAFE Event webpage

Get Involved with OSAC

OSAC offers a variety of ways for members, affiliates and other experts in the forensic science community to participate in the standards advancement process. Click here to learn how you can help make an impact on the forensic science community through standards.