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NIST/NIJ Technical Working Groups

NIST and the National Institute of Justice have convened multi-disciplinary working groups to take on specific challenges that impact the forensic science community. These technical working groups typically include experts from the forensic science community and other relevant fields. These groups study an issue over a period of time and often publish recommendations and guidelines as a result of their work. Find information on specific efforts through the links below.

  • Expert Working Group for Human Factors in Handwriting Examination:  The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences (OIFS) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Programs Office sponsored the work of this expert panel to encourage and enhance efforts to apply human factors research, reduce the risk of error, and improve the practice of forensic document examination.
  • Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation: The Technical Working on Biological Evidence Preservation is charged to create best practices and guidance to ensure the integrity, prevent the loss, and reduce the premature destruction of biological evidence after collection through post-conviction proceedings. Biological evidence refers to samples of biological material -- hair, tissue, bones, teeth, blood, semen, or other bodily fluids -- or evidence items containing biological material.
  • Latent Print AFIS Interoperability Working Group: As part of a National Institute of Justice (NIJ)/NIST effort to address the lack of AFIS interoperability, OLES convened the Latent Print AFIS Interoperability Working Group. The mission of this Working Group is to improve latent print AFIS interoperability by developing a clear understanding of the issues and challenges at hand and to identify collaborative ways to actively address this national problem.
  • Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis: This Working Group assessed the effects of human factors on forensic latent print analysis and recommended ways to reduce the likelihood and consequences of human error at various stages in the interpretation of latent print evidence. In February 2012, we published Latent Print Examination and Human Factors: Improving the Practice through a Systems Approach.
  • Update from the Working Group on Presenting Forensic Science Evidence Using Quantitative and Qualitative Terms: NIST has partnered with the Pennsylvania State University to establish a working group that will propose generally applicable best practices for reporting relevant statistical information about forensic evidence (e.g., quantitative measurements, expressions of uncertainty or error probabilities in measurements or conclusions, and validation studies). To meet its charge, the working group will review studies related to the presentation of statistical information to lay individuals that have been published in forensic, legal, social science, and statistical literature. The group will also review how forensic-science evidence and other types of expert or scientific evidence (e.g., medical evidence) have been presented in court in the United States (and in the similar legal system in the United Kingdom).

For more information, contact: melissa.taylor [at] nist.gov (Melissa Taylor), 301-975-6363

Created February 12, 2014, Updated May 23, 2018