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October 2021

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

Bulletin Summary:

  • New standards added to the OSAC Registry: 1
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 11
  • New SDO published standards: 9
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 18
Download PDF (362.63 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.

New Standard Added to the OSAC Registry

SDO Published Standard (added October 5, 2021)

  • *ASTM E3260-21 Standard Guide for Forensic Examination and Comparison of Pressure Sensitive Tapes
note: iso/IEC 17025:2005 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories has been moved to the OSAC registry archive

To date, the OSAC Registry contains 72 standards (64 SDO published and 8 OSAC Proposed Standards), representing over 15 forensic science disciplines.

Visit the OSAC Registry webpage to see the complete list and access these standards.

Is your organization implementing standards on the OSAC Registry? Complete OSAC's Standards Implementation Declaration Form and send it to mark.stolorow [at] (mark[dot]stolorow[at]nist[dot]gov) to let us know.

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 November 1, 2021 on whether the following SDO published standard should be included on the Registry.

  • ASTM E2808-21a Standard Guide for Microspectrophotometry in Forensic Paint Analysis. 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. 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 [at] (comments[at]nist[dot]gov) by 11:59 p.m. ET on November 1, 2021.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis:
Fire Debris:
Friction Ridge:
Gunshot Residue Analysis:
Video/Imaging Technology & Analysis:
Wildlife Forensics:

Visit the OSAC website to see all the standards under consideration for the OSAC Registry, along with their status in the Registry approval process.

SDO Updates

New SDO Published Standards

The following standards have recently been published by SDOs. 

Academy Standards Board (ASB)


Standards Open for Comment at SDOs

Comments are currently being solicited on the following forensic science standards. Visit the OSAC website to view these standards open for comment at SDOs and instuctions on to submit your feedback.

Crime Scene Investigation:
  • ASB Best Practice Recommendation 160, Best Practice Recommendation for Initial Response at Scenes by Law Enforcement Officers, First Edition, 2021. Comment deadline October 18, 2021. 
  • Recirculation – ASB Best Practice Recommendation 114, Best Practice Recommendations for Internal Validation of Software Used in Forensic DNA Laboratories, First Edition, 2021. Comment deadline October 25, 2021. 
Fire & Explosion Investigation:
  • NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. Comment deadline November 10, 2021. 

  • NFPA 1321, Standard for Fire Investigation Units. Comment deadline January 5, 2022.

Gunshot Residue Analysis - Comment deadline November 1, 2021:
  • ASTM WK58457 Standard Practice for Training in the Forensic Examination of Primer Gunshot Residue (pGSR) Using Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-Ray.
Ignitable Liquids & Explosives - Comment deadline November 1, 2021:
  • ASTM WK67862 Standard Practice for Establishing an Examination Scheme for Intact Explosives
  • ASTM WK78319 Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Solvent Extraction (revision of E1386). 
  • ASTM WK73923 Standard Practice for Establishing an Examination Scheme for Explosive Residues.
Seized Drugs - Comment deadline November 1, 2021:
  • ASTM WK75231 Assessment of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy Data During the Qualitative Analysis of Seized Drugs.
Trace Materials - Comment deadline November 1, 2021:
  • ASTM WK58028 Standard Guide for Forensic Examination of Non-Reactive Dyes in Textile Fibers by Thin-Layer Chromatography (revision of E2227). 
  • ASTM WK70035 Standard Practice for Use of Color in Visual Examination and Forensic Comparison of Soil Samples
  • ASTM WK72932 Standard Guide for the Collection, Analysis and Comparison of Forensic Glass Samples
  • ASTM WK73180 Standard Guide for Microscopical Examination of Textile Fibers (revision of E2228). 
  • ASTM WK75645 Standard Guide for Forensic Examination of Fabrics and Cordage (revision of E2225). 
  • ASTM WK73181 Standard Guide for Forensic Analysis of Fibers by Infrared Spectroscopy (revision of E2224). 
  • ASTM WK74138 Standard Guide for Using Micro X-ray Fluorescence (μ-XRF) in Forensic Polymer Examinations
Interdisciplinary - Comment deadline November 1, 2021:
  • ASTM WK66161 Standard Practice for Reporting Incidents that May Involve Criminal or Civil Litigation (revision of E1020-13e1). 
  • ASTM WK70379 Standard Practice for Examining And Preparing Items That Are Or May Become Involved In Criminal or Civil Litigation (revision of E860-07(2013)e2). 

For a full list of forensic science standards that are currently open for comment at OSAC and SDOs, visit OSAC's Standards Open for Comment webpage. This page consolidates and tracks comment deadlines for you and will be updated on a weekly basis.

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

The following documents are being initiated and are expected to result in new or revised standards.


  • On September 3, 2021, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page two in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin a 30-day period for public comment on the initiation of ASB’s work on the following:
    • BSR/ASB 175, Standard for Interpreting and Reporting DNA Test Results Associated with Failed Controls and Contamination Events. This standard provides requirements for the interpretation, comparison, and reporting of DNA data associated with control failures or contamination where re-testing is not performed. These requirements may be applied to any type of forensic DNA testing technology and methodology used in forensic laboratories.
      • NOTE: This standard is the SDO version of OSAC 2020-S-0004 which is on the OSAC Registry.


Other News

Input Needed from Glass Experts

The Glass Task Group of OSAC’s Trace Materials Subcommittee has created a survey that is intended to help them prioritize and improve the drafting and editing of ASTM standards related to forensic glass analysis. They are requesting your input so that they can better understand the current and anticipated future status of glass analysis at forensic laboratories.

The task group requests that only one survey be completed per laboratory, so please collaborate as needed to provide the most accurate answers for your laboratory. Please feel free to share the survey link with other laboratories that conduct trace evidence examinations, particularly those that conduct glass analysis.

Survey link:

The deadline to complete the survey is October 19, 2021. Please contact Troy Ernst (ernstt [at] (ernstt[at]michigan[dot]gov)) with any questions.

Other Forensic Science News, Events & Training


ASTM Committee E30 on Forensic Science will be hosting a virtual workshop on the role and value of voluntary consensus standards in the criminalistics, interdisciplinary, and digital multimedia disciplines on October 19 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST. Learn more and register.


The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) has announced the lineup for its fall 2021 webinar series, beginning September 22 and continuing through December 9. The following webinars are free and open to the public, but researchers and members of the forensics and statistics communities are encouraged to attend. Learn more and register.

  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Black Box Study | October 14 | 11:00 a.m. – noon CDT
  • Using Mixture Models to Examine Group Differences: An Illustration Involving the Perceived Strength of Forensic Science Evidence | December 9 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CST


NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) provides evidence-based resources about forensic technologies and emerging challenges. Check out these past and upcoming FTCoE events:


Subscribe to the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) forensic list ( to see the latest NIJ awards, solicitations, events, and publications.