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May 2023

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

  • Standards moving through the OSAC Registry approval process for published and OSAC Proposed Standards.
  • Standards moving through the development process at standards development organizations (SDOs). 

Bulletin Summary:

  • New standards added to the OSAC Registry: 4
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 2
  • New SDO Published Standards: 1
  • New Work Proposals: 1
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 22
Download PDF (399.32 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 analyses are reliable and reproducible. 

All the standards on the OSAC Registry have passed a rigorous technical and quality review by OSAC members, including forensic science practitioners, research scientists, statisticians, and human factors and legal experts. 

Four New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry 

Three SDO Published Standards (added May 2, 2023):

One OSAC Proposed Standard (added May 2, 2023):

Standards Open for Comment for OSAC Registry Approval 

SDO Published Standards

The OSAC Registry approval process for published standards is used to review existing SDO published standards for technical quality and placement on the Registry. Please submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. ET on June 5, 2023, on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry:

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 045, Standard for Stature Estimation in Forensic Anthropology, 2019, 1st Ed. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 050, Best Practice Recommendation for Photographic Documentation of Footwear and Tire Impression Evidence, 2021, 1st Ed. Submit your comments here.      

OSAC Proposed Standards

The OSAC Registry approval process for OSAC Proposed Standards is used to review OSAC drafted standards for technical quality and placement on the Registry.

  •  There are no OSAC Proposed Standards open for comment for Registry approval at this time.

Is your organization implementing standards on the OSAC Registry?

Complete OSAC’s Registry Implementation Declaration Form found on the OSAC website and send it to mark.stolorow [at] (mark[dot]stolorow[at]nist[dot]gov) to let us know. Your organization will subsequently be awarded an OSAC Registry Implementer Certificate.

Interested in learning more about implementation? Check out OSAC’s new Implementation Recognition Factsheet


SDO Updates

New Published Standards

ASTM recently published the following standard:

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On April 7, 2023, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 2 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB’s work on the following standard:

  • BSR/ASB TR 189-202x, Technical Report for the Forensic Reliability of eSignatures for a Determination of Authorship (new standard) This technical report provides an overview of the types of eSignatures that are currently deployed and their relative forensic reliability for the determination of authorship by a Forensic Document Examiner.

Standards Open for Comment at SDOs

Stakeholders from the forensic science community are encouraged to provide input on standards as they are being developed at SDOs. For SDO published standards going through the OSAC Registry approval process, the public will have an opportunity to comment on a standard during the SDO’s public comment period but will not be given a second opportunity to comment through OSAC on whether the resulting standard should be placed on the Registry. 

Visit OSAC’s Standards Open for Comment webpage to see the full list of forensic science standards open for comment at SDOs and how to submit your feedback. This page consolidates and tracks comment deadlines for you and will be updated on a weekly basis. It currently includes:

  • 6 standards open for comment at ASB in Forensic Anthropology (1), Friction Ridge (3), and Wildlife Forensics (2).
  • 16 standards open for comment at SWGDE for Digital Evidence and VITAL.

OSAC Program Office News

OSAC FSSB Meeting: Public Feedback Session

The OSAC Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) will have a public feedback session available during its upcoming quarterly meeting. The purpose for this public session is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share feedback within the FSSB related to agenda items or matters with the FSSB’s authority. The FSSB will consider all feedback from the public, and remarks can be made by the submitter or by the OSAC Program Office on behalf of the submitter. The public session will take place virtually on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 from 1:30 - 2:00  p.m. ET. If you wish to share feedback with the FSSB, please complete this form by May 29, 2023.

The schedules and agendas for upcoming FSSB meetings can be found on the FSSB Meetings webpage.

OSAC’s Wildlife Subcommittee Research Needs Survey

The OSAC Wildlife Forensic Biology Research Needs Task Group is seeking your participation in a web-based survey regarding current research needs in the wildlife forensics community. This survey is being conducted by Dr. Kelly Meiklejohn (North Carolina State University). This survey will aid the OSAC Wildlife Forensic Biology Research Needs Task Group in a) determining the relevance/importance of each currently published research need, and b) identifying other areas/topics in wildlife forensics that you believe might benefit from additional research and development. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes. Participation requires that you are at least 18 years of age or older. Participation in this survey is fully voluntary and all responses will be anonymous. There is no compensation for completing the survey. If you have questions about the survey, please contact Dr. Kelly Meiklejohn at kameikle [at] (kameikle[at]ncsu[dot]edu). To access the survey, please use the following link:

Please note the survey will only be open until Thursday May 24th.

Other Forensic Science News, Events & Training

Upcoming Events 

  • OSAC’s Digital/Multimedia, Medicine, Biology, and Chemistry: Drugs/Toxicology Scientific Area Committees (SACs)/Subcommittees Meeting will be held in Indianapolis, IN, May 15-19, 2023. 

  • WEBINAR: The Ins and Outs of ANSI/ASB Standard 092: Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Explosives, June 20, 2023, 1:00 p.m. ET. The goal of this webinar is to introduce the standard and the rationale behind the requirements. The presentation will include discussions on the foundational literature supporting the implementation of the standard, areas requiring additional research and development, and the resources within the standard to assist practitioners. Upon conclusion of the webinar, the attendees will have a greater understanding of how compliance with the standard will produce consistent and reliable canine teams for the detection of explosives. Presenter: Katylynn B. Sloan, Ph.D. in Chemistry from Florida International University (2013), B.S. in Forensic Investigative Science from West Virginia University (2008).

AAFS Standards Resources and Training 

As part of a cooperative agreement with NIST, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is developing training, tools, and resources to enhance implementation efforts and broaden awareness of forensic science standards among communities of interest. 

  • Standards factsheets provide a clear, concise, and easy way to understand the purpose of a specific standard, why it is needed, and the benefits of adoption. Standards factsheets are available for 75+ standards on the OSAC Registry. 
  • Standards checklists are a tool that forensic science service providers can use to track progress towards implementation, identify gaps or barriers to implementation, or document objective evidence of implementation or compliance with a standard. Checklists are available for 70+ standards on the OSAC Registry. 
  • Standards videos and webinars are available for free from AAFS Connect. Learn about the standards development process, standards development activities in various disciplines, and information about specific SDO published standards on the OSAC Registry.