This document attempts to answer the frequently asked question (FAQ), what is the difference between the OSAC Catalog, Scientific Working Group (SWG) documents, standards developing organization (SDO standards), OSAC Discipline-Specific Baseline Documents, OSAC Technical Publications, and standards placed on the OSAC Registry.
|Document Type||Description||Adhere to Formal Procedures||Assessed for Technical Merit by OSAC Community||Openness/ No Single Interest Dominates||Fit for Purpose||Status of Funding|
|OSAC Catalog||The catalog contains any standard, guideline, best practice, protocol or policy created in collaboration with a body of stakeholders that is applicable to forensic science. OSAC members can potentially select standards and guidelines from this listing to submit for addition to the OSAC Registry, or to form a basis for new standards and guidelines to be created.
|N/A||No||N/A||N/A||Funded through OSAC|
|SWG Documents||For more than 20 years, several federal agencies have supported the efforts of various scientific working groups, often referred to as SWGs, for the advancement of forensic standards and techniques. SWGs consist/consisted of representatives from the fields of forensic, industrial, commercial and academic communities. These multidisciplinary groups created various documents made freely available to the respective community.
|Some||No||Some||Yes||National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funding of SWGs has stopped; SWGDAM and SWGDE will continue with FBI funding; SWGDRUG with DEA funding|
|SDO Standards||SDOs are organizations whose primary role is the development of documentary standards created using a voluntary consensus process. Have established and documented procedures including processes for selection, balance requirements, revisions, commenting, appeals, consensus, transparency and openness. In most cases, SDOs follow the principles set forth in the ANSI Essential Requirements or the World Trade Organization’s Decision on the Principles for the Development of International Standards committee.||Yes||Sometimes||Usually||Sometimes||Private sector funding and open access standards funding|
|OSAC Discipline-Specific Baseline Documents||A listing of existing documents (SWG or SDO) that are identified by OSAC Subcommittees and posted to OSAC Subcommittee web pages. They:
|Some||No||Some||Yes||Funded through various sources|
|OSAC Technical Publications||OSAC may publish stand-alone OSAC Technical Series publications. The purpose of this series is to share information that was gathered during the standards analysis and development process that is not going to be part of a standards document. OSAC Technical Series publications focus on topics that have broad applications to forensic science standards, such as:
||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A||Funded through OSAC|
|OSAC Registry||The OSAC Registry is a listing of published consensus-based documents that the overarching OSAC community feels has technical merit and was developed by due process and should be used by the greater forensic community when possible and applicable. This Registry serves as a trusted repository of high-quality, science-based standards and guidelines for forensic practice. To be posted to the OSAC Registry, standards and guidelines must have been developed using a consensus-based process and must pass a review of technical merit by forensic practitioners, academic researchers, statisticians, legal professionals, quality managers and measurement scientists. OSAC does not have authority to enforce standards. However, by placing standards on the OSAC Registry, OSAC promotes their adoption by forensic science service providers.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Funded through OSAC|