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Trace Evidence Data Workshop: Improving Technology and Measurement in Forensic Science

In 2012, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Forensic Science Research Program, with sponsorship from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), focused to develop a comprehensive list of databases, reference materials, and standard reference collections used by forensic scientists in laboratories at the state and local levels. The main goals were to identify existing data for forensic practitioners and to discover prevailing limitations. The results of the search identified 228 state, federal, and commercially run databases which are all available to view at:

Since then, NIST has been involved in several efforts to assist in expanding the availability of data and reference materials for various disciplines including biometrics and firearms. On July 19-20, 2016, NIST will hold an event titled; "Trace Evidence Data Workshop: Improving Technology and Measurement in Forensic Science." This event is a part of an effort at NIST to gather feedback from the practitioners and researchers in the forensic science community on further improving access and expanding the development of datasets useful for trace forensic evidence.

Downloadable PDFs of the presentations are available here.

Agenda (Updated 7/18/16)

  • The Importance of Reference Data in Trace Evidence Analysis
  • What Does the Future Hold for Trace Evidence Analysis
  • Research Needs in Trace Evidence Analysis
  • Statistical Considerations in The Development of Trace Evidence Databases
  • Private Sector Insights on Database Development

Trace Evidence Areas Covered Include:

  • Fiber
  • Hair
  • Tape
  • Paint
  • Glass
  • Explosives
  • Trace Drugs
  • Minerals, Biologicals, and other Misc. Particles


  • Identify major gaps in the availability and accessibility of data for major areas of trace evidence analysis;
  • Discuss possible solutions to addressing current gaps and determine future resource needs;
  • Develop a roadmap of next steps to strengthen data in trace evidence.

Additional information:

Audience members should expect an informative and interactive session in which their feedback will be requested on their individual laboratory data and reference collections challenges and success. If interested, participants can contribute to the published roadmap summarizing the discussions that have taken place.

Holiday Inn Gaithersburg
2 Montgomery Village Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
$125 Group Rate book by July 5th!

Booking Link

For more information: Accommodations Flyer (pdf)

If you are not registered, you will not be allowed on site. Registered attendees will receive security and campus instructions prior to the workshop.

NON U.S. CITIZENS PLEASE NOTE: All foreign national visitors who do not have permanent resident status and who wish to register for the above meeting must supply additional information. Failure to provide this information prior to arrival will result, at a minimum, in significant delays (up to 24 hours) in entering the facility. Authority to gather this information is derived from United States Department of Commerce Department Administrative Order (DAO) number 207-12. When registration is open, the required NIST-1260 form will be available as well. *New Visitor Access Requirement: Effective July 21, 2014, Under the REAL ID Act of 2005, agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver's license or identification card for access to federal facilities if issued by states that are REAL ID compliant or have an extension.Click here for a list of alternative identification and further details>>

Created May 31, 2016, Updated November 4, 2016