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Beginners Guide to Biometric and Forensic Science Human Subjects Research Protections



Melissa Taylor, William Chapman, R. Austin Hicklin


This document is designed to help researchers in the United States navigate and comply with requirements and best practices for human subjects research, with specific emphasis on biometric and forensic research. The purpose of this document is to summarize requirements and best practices involved in Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, consent forms, and data use agreements, when conducting biometric and forensic research involving human subjects and distributing the resulting data. This document also provides a variety of resources from multiple sources to help navigate the IRB approval process. The process of beginning a Human Subjects Research project requires several considerations to be made to protect the rights of the participants including approval by IRBs; writing, releasing, and collecting consent forms; and collecting, documenting, and using data for the execution of the research and the potential publishing of the findings.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1289
Report Number


biometric, forensic science, research, human subjects, privacy


Taylor, M. , Chapman, W. and Hicklin, R. (2023), Beginners Guide to Biometric and Forensic Science Human Subjects Research Protections, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed July 23, 2024)


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Created January 12, 2023, Updated February 2, 2024