The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) facilitated the development of the forensic science discipline-specific process maps through a collaboration between the NIST Forensic Science Research Program and the NIST-administered Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Sciences. These process maps visually represent the decision points and critical steps involved in evaluation of forensic evidence, allowing others to understand a process and its components more clearly and revealing areas of improvement. They are developed by a diverse group of practitioners and is intended to reflect current practices within the field and depicts variations in practice that may be influenced by agency size, agency type (public vs private), agency policies, geographical location and jurisdiction. These process maps are intended to be used to help improve efficiencies while reducing errors, highlight gaps where further research or standardization would be beneficial, and assist with training new investigators. It may also be used to develop specific investigative policies and identify best practices.
The website will transform these static process maps into interactive process maps where users are linked to helpful related content associated with steps in the process -- documentary standards, best practices, trainings, tools, and research associated with each step. It also provides controls (available to the left of the map), that allow you to create an individual highlighted path as you navigate through the process, to show and record the course of your own investigation.