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NIST Forensic Science Standards Inventory Now Available Online

four graphics of pattern of fingerprints

These examples of the new standards Extended Features Set show forensic scientists how to mark core locations (clockwise from from top left) for a double loop whorl, plain whorl, central pocket loop whorl and tented arch.

Credit: NIST

NIST's Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) is taking the first steps toward developing an OSAC Registry of Approved Standards and an OSAC Registry of Approved Guidelines.

Independent scientific working groups, standards development organizations, professional organizations and government entities have developed many standards and guidelines for use by the forensic science community. In order to capture and build upon this work, NIST Forensic Science Program staff members have compiled an inventory of these existing documents. The inventory is available to download from the OSAC Catalog of Standards and Guidelines web page as a sortable Excel spreadsheet file. It contains the titles and source information for 730 standards, guidelines and related documents. The inventory also lists web addresses for documents that are available online. 

This inventory is intended to serve as a resource to the forensic science community and a foundation for the future work of the Organization and Scientific Area Committees. The current version is the result of a scan of all known forensic science organizations, associations and standards development organizations, in addition to the results of a data call to each of the 21 independent forensic science scientific working groups. The catalog contains all applicable forensic science standards, guidelines, best practices, protocols and policies. 

OSAC subcommittees will review each document's relevance and validity to its forensic science discipline. The subcommittees will make recommendations on which of the existing documents should be adopted, in part or whole, by OSAC. They will also identify gaps for which new standards and guidelines should be developed. 

Subcommittee recommendations will be discussed during the first public meetings of OSAC's five Scientific Area Committees, to be held Feb. 16 and 17, 2015, during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, in Orlando, Fla.

Go to the OSAC Catalog of Standards and Guidelines web page for more information and to download the spreadsheet file. 

Released December 12, 2014, Updated January 20, 2023