Information for Authors

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Authors should submit their manuscripts electronically via Manuscript Central. Click HERE for more information.

The Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) is the official publication of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). The mission of the JFS is to advance forensic science research, education and practice by publishing peer-reviewed manuscripts of the highest quality. These publications will strengthen the scientific foundation of forensic science in legal and regulatory communities around the world. The JFS publishes original material in the following categories:

Paper – a full-length research report.     

Technical Note – a description of a technical aspect of a field or issue, a report on a procedure or method, or a validation of techniques or methodologies. These are usually shorter than Papers.

Case Report – a brief description or analysis of an unusual case or a small series of cases. These are to include new information and/or a critical review of the topic area to be acceptable for publication.

Review – a critical review of a topic area of interest to forensic science. These may be invited by the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) and are subject to peer review. Non-critical compilations of literature will not be accepted.

Letter – usually a discussion on a manuscript previously published in JFS, or an issue of interest to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). Publication of a Letter is at the sole discretion of the EIC. Letters commenting on previously published items are shared with the original authors to afford them an opportunity to respond to the commentary.

Response to Letter – usually an author(s) response to a Letter commenting on their published work.

Invited Commentary – the EIC and/or Associate Editors may invite respected researchers to submit a Commentary on his/her area of expertise or on a Paper to be published in an upcoming issue of JFS.

Book Review – a review of a book or other publication of interest to the forensic science community or closely related fields. The EIC or the Book Review Editor invites Book Reviews. 

*Papers, Technical Notes, Case Reports and Reviews are subject to double-blind peer review.


Manuscripts submitted as Papers, Technical Notes or Case Reports are accepted for consideration with the understanding that their essential contents, including text, tables and figures, have neither been previously published, nor concurrently submitted to another journal. Any content within a manuscript from previously published work must be quoted exactly and adequately referenced. Use of previously published figures, tables, etc., require the written permission of the copyright owner of the prior work.

Manuscripts must not be submitted to another journal unless and until the JFS formally declines to publish it. The prohibitions mentioned herein do not apply to abstracts or summaries published in connection with professional meetings, or press reports resulting from formal or oral presentation. In addition, they do not preclude consideration of a paper that has been rejected by another journal.

Authors for which English is not their primary language are strongly encouraged to use professional translation or editing services before submitting their work. Authors may also contact Wiley Editing Services for assistance: Manuscripts may be rejected without review if the language is not understandable.

JFS employs the plagiarism detection system, iThenticate, with plagiarism checks conducted on manuscripts at the point of submission. If significant plagiarism is detected, JFS reserves the right to bar the author(s) from submitting further manuscripts to JFS. Authors may also choose to screen their work before submission at their own expense by visiting

Upon acceptance for publication, manuscripts become the copyright property of the AAFS. The corresponding author is responsible for transferring copyright to the AAFS through the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS). In doing so, the corresponding author confirms that all authors have contributed to the manuscript per the JFS Information for Authors and all have agreed that the accepted manuscript will be published in JFS.

Acceptance of manuscripts submitted for publication is the responsibility of the EIC and/or Associate Editors, and occurs only after peer review of the manuscript in accordance with current AAFS Policies and Procedures. The initial review of submitted manuscripts may be expected to be completed within 21 days.

The JFS EIC, Associate Editors, Managing Editor, Editorial Board Members, invited Guest Reviewers, Authors and others involved in the publication process are expected to conform to established policies concerning confidentiality, conflicts of interest, release of accepted manuscripts prior to actual publication, and the protection of anonymity of patients and victims.

JFS requires that authors submitting manuscripts for peer review (Papers, Technical Notes, Case Reports and Reviews) have obtained required approval(s) for submission from authorized principals and/or internal reviews in their laboratories and/or organizations.

Submission of Manuscripts

JFS requirements for manuscripts are generally in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations). These recommendations may be found at:

The following integrates the ICMJE Recommendations as they apply to the JFS with the specific requirements of JFS.

Manuscripts must be written in English and submitted via the JFS Manuscript Central site: Figures can be saved in a neutral data format such as TIFF, PNG or EPS with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Authors should not use PowerPoint or similar programs, or import graphics into Word. Scanned figures should have a resolution of 300 dpi (halftone) or 600 to 1200 dpi (line drawings) in relation to the reproduction size. Detailed information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found at

JFS assigns manuscripts for review without identifying the authors; therefore, the title page must be uploaded as a separate file (Note: The title page should NOT be included in the manuscript file itself). The title page should contain the title, a list of authors, each author’s highest academic degree(s) and affiliation(s), any source of funding, any disclaimers, any conflicts of interest, whether the information has been presented; if so, at what meeting, where and when (month/dates/year), and any acknowledgments.

The manuscript file should be double-spaced and include the manuscript title, abstract, keywords, text, references, tables, and figure legends. The abstract and keywords should be on a separate page within the manuscript file, and should be identical to those included in the Manuscript Central submission site. Figures must be uploaded as separate files on the Manuscript Central site. If the tables are complex Excel files, they should also be uploaded as separate files. Supplemental Information should be included as separately uploaded file(s) and designated as such with an appropriate header. Authors should reference the Supplemental Information in the manuscript.

The submitted manuscript should be accompanied by a cover letter, as described below, and permissions to reproduce previously published material or to use figures that may identify human subjects. Authors should keep copies of everything submitted. The EIC and/or Associate Editors reserve the right to publish the manuscript in a category different from that specified by the authors upon submission of the original manuscript.

The cover letter should also specify, if applicable, information about possible duplicate publication, financial or other relationships that could give rise to conflicts of interest, and any other information the EIC may need to make an informed decision in accordance with established policies and practices. Copies of any permission(s) to reproduce published material, to reproduce illustrations or report sensitive personal information about identifiable persons, or to name persons for their contributions must accompany the manuscript.

Color figures are included at no cost in the on-line version of the accepted manuscript. If the authors believe color figures are necessary for the presentation of their work in the printed issue of JFS, the cover letter should indicate that the author(s) or their institutions are prepared to pay the substantial costs associated with reproducing color figures in print. In addition, the corresponding author will need to complete the appropriate section of the Manuscript Central submission site.

The EIC and/or Associate Editors reserve the right to request explicit, written clarification of individual author’s roles, their concurrence in the manuscript content, or any other issue that must be resolved prior to accepting the manuscript for peer review.

JFS does not accept submissions of manuscripts from third parties without the explicit, written permission of the author(s).

Prior and Duplicate Publication

JFS does not consider for publication a manuscript on work that has already been reported in a published paper, or that is described in a paper submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere in print or on-line.

This policy does not preclude consideration of a paper that has been rejected by another journal or of a complete report that follows publication of a preliminary report, usually in the form of an abstract. Nor does it prevent consideration of a paper that has been presented at a scientific meeting if not published in full in proceedings or similar publication.

Press reports of the meeting will not usually be considered as breaches of this rule; however, additional data or copies of tables and illustrations should not amplify such reports.

When submitting a paper, an author should always make a full statement to the EIC about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as prior or duplicate publication of the same or very similar work. Copies of such material should be included as an appendix file with the submitted paper to help the EIC decide how to deal with the matter.

Multiple publication – that is, the publication more than once of the same study, irrespective of whether the wording is the same – is rarely justified. Secondary publication in another language is one possible justification, providing the following conditions are met: (1) the EIC(s)/Editor(s) of both journals concerned are fully informed; the EIC/Editor concerned with secondary publication should have a printed or electronic copy of the primary version, (2) the priority of the primary publication is by a publication interval of at least two weeks, (3) the paper for secondary publication is written for a different group of readers and is not simply a translated version of the primary paper; an abbreviated version will often be sufficient, (4) the secondary version reflects faithfully the data and interpretations of the primary version, and (5) a footnote on the title page of the secondary version informs readers, peers, and documenting agencies that the paper was edited, and is being published, for a national audience in parallel with a primary version based on the same data and interpretations. A suitable footnote might read as follows: “This article is based on a study first reported in the [title of journal, with full reference].”

Multiple publication other than as defined above is unacceptable. If authors violate this rule, the EIC reserves the right to bar them from further submissions to JFS.

Preparation of Manuscript

Double-spacing should be used throughout the manuscript, including the abstract, keywords, text, references, table legends and figure legends.

In addition to the information requested above, the cover letter should indicate where the work has been presented at professional meetings (including meeting dates and location), and should identify any sources of financial support and/or potential conflicts of interest.


All persons designated as authors must qualify for authorship. The order of authorship should be a joint decision of the coauthors. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content.

Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to: a) conception and design or analysis and interpretation of data, b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and c) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions a), b), and c) must all be met. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship. Any part of an article critical to its main conclusions must be the responsibility of at least one author.

JFS may require authors to justify the assignment of authorship. Increasingly, multi-center trials or work are attributed to a corporate author. All members of the group named as authors, either in the authorship position below the title or in a footnote, should fully meet the criteria for authorship as defined in the ICMJE Recommendations. Group members who do not meet these criteria should be listed, with their permission, under Acknowledgments (see Acknowledgments).

Title Page

JFS assigns manuscripts for review without identifying the authors; therefore, the title page must be uploaded as a separate file (Note: The title page should NOT be included in the manuscript file itself). The title page should contain the manuscript’s title, a list of authors, each author’s highest academic degree(s) and affiliation(s), any source of funding, any disclaimers, any conflicts of interest, whether the information has been presented; if so, at what meeting, where and when (month/dates/year) and any acknowledgments.


To facilitate the double-blind peer review process, the acknowledgments section should be included on the title page. Here, specify contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a department chair or acknowledgments of technical help. Persons who have contributed intellectually to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be named and their function or contribution described, for example, “scientific adviser,” “critical review of study proposal,” “data collection,” or “participation in clinical trial.” Such persons must have given their permission to be named. The Acknowledgments header should be italicized.

Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from persons acknowledged by name, because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions. Technical help should be acknowledged in a paragraph separate from those acknowledging other contributions.

Acknowledgments of financial support should appear as footnotes to the title of the paper on the title page.

Abstract and Keywords

The abstract should be no more than 150 words. JFS uses unstructured abstracts; however, the abstract should include the following – background, brief description of methods and results (give specific data and their statistical significance, if possible), and conclusions. Emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations. The word ABSTRACT should be in all capital letters and bolded.

Authors should provide a minimum of six keywords that will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article and that may be published with the abstract. The first keyword must be forensic science; the second and subsequent keywords should assist indexers in properly categorizing the work so that it will be found in journal article databases by interested researchers. Use terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus; if suitable MeSH terms are not yet available for recently introduced terms, present terms may be used. Frequently, the second keyword represents a subfield of forensic science, e.g., forensic anthropology, forensic pathology, or DNA typing. In manuscripts on DNA typing, every locus involved in the study should be listed as a separate keyword. Do not use abbreviations for keywords, e.g., polymerase chain reaction (not PCR), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (not GCMS). The word KEYWORDS should be in all capitals and bolded.


The text of observational and experimental articles is usually – but not necessarily – divided into sections with headings. JFS does not use an “Introduction” heading. The introductory text begins on the first text page. Other typical headings include Methods (or Materials and Methods), Results, and Discussion. Long articles may need subheadings within the sections to clarify their content, especially the Results and Discussion sections. Other types of articles, such as Case Reports, are likely to need different headings and subheadings. Generally, avoid overuse of subheadings, especially in the Methods section. Headings should be in upper and lower case and bolded, subheadings should be in upper and lower case and un-bolded and italicized, and sub-sub-headings should be in upper and lower case and normal text (no bold or italicize).


In JFS, the text component of the manuscript begins with an introduction; however, JFS does not use the “Introduction” heading. State the purpose of the article, and summarize the rationale for the study or observation. Give only strictly pertinent references, and do not review referenced articles extensively or include data or conclusions from the work being reported.

Materials and Methods

Describe your selection of the observational or experimental subjects (patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly. Identify the methods, apparatus (manufacturer’s name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration. Generally avoid the overuse of subheadings in the Methods section. Describe the methods and materials in narrative style, not in the style of a laboratory procedure handout.

Responsible Reporting of Research Involving Human and/or Animal Subjects

Guidelines available at:

Appropriate approval, licensing or registration should be obtained before the research begins and details should be provided in the manuscript (e.g., Institutional Review Board, Research Ethics Committee approval, national licensing authorities for the use of animals).

If requested by the EIC, authors should supply evidence that the reported research received the appropriate approval and was carried out ethically (e.g., copies of approvals, licenses, participant consent forms).

Researchers should not generally publish or share identifiable individual data collected in the course of research without specific consent from the individual (or their representative). Researchers should remember that many scholarly journals are now freely available on the Internet, and should therefore be mindful of the risk of causing danger or upset to unintended readers.


Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals).

Avoid sole reliance on statistical hypothesis testing, such as the use of P values, which fails to convey important quantitative information. Discuss eligibility of experimental subjects. Give details about randomization. Describe the methods for and success of any blinding of observations. Report treatment complications. Give numbers of observations. Report losses to observation (such as dropouts from a clinical trial). References for study design and statistical methods should be to standard works (with pages stated) when possible, rather than to papers in which the designs or methods were originally reported. Specify any general-use computer programs used.

Put a general description of methods in the Methods section. When data are summarized in the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables.

Avoid non-technical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as “random” (which implies a randomizing device), “normal,” “significant,” “correlations,” and “sample.” Define statistical terms, abbreviations and most symbols.


Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables and figures. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations.


Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section. Include in the Discussion section the implications of the findings and their limitations, including implications for future research. Relate the observations to other relevant studies. Link the conclusions with the goals of the study, but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by your data. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label them as such. Recommendations, when appropriate, may be included.

In shorter manuscripts, such as those intended to be Technical Notes or Case Reports, the Results and Discussion sections should be combined.


The heading of the reference list should be “References,” and it should contain only published or in-press references cited by number in the text. Published abstracts (duly noted as being published in a Proceedings), printed manufacturers’ protocols or instructions, and World Wide Web site URLs may be validly cited as references. Personal communications and submitted manuscripts are not valid references.  Personal communications should be cited in the text, in parentheses, at the appropriate location. The References header should be bolded.

Number references consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in tables and legends by Arabic numerals. References cited only in tables or legends should be numbered in accordance with a sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure. Within the text, tables or figures, cite references by Arabic numeral in parentheses (  ). Within the reference list, number the references 1., 2., 3., etc.

References in the reference list should be in accordance with ICMJE Recommendations – style examples are given below. This style is based with slight modifications on the formats used by the U.S. National Library of Medicine in Index Medicus. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Consult List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus, published annually as a separate publication by the library and as a list in the January issue of Index Medicus. Author(s) must verify the references against the original documents. Examples of correct citation format for various types of references are given below.

Articles in Journals

  1. Standard Journal Article (List all authors; however, if the number of authors exceeds six, list six authors followed by et al.)

You CH, Lee KY, Chey RY, Menguy R. Electrogastrographic study of patients with unexplained nausea, bloating and vomiting. Gastroenterology 1980 Aug;79(2):311–4.

Goate AM, Haynes AR, Owen MJ, Farrall M, James LA, Lai LY et al. Predisposing locus for Alzheimer’s disease on chromosome 21. Lancet 1989;11(4):352–5.

If a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume, the month and/or issue number may be omitted.

You CH, Lee KY, Chey RY, Menguy R. Electrogastrographic study of patients with unexplained nausea, bloating and vomiting. Gastroenterology 1980;79:311–4.

  1. Standard Journal Article with DOI number (List all authors; however, if the number of authors exceeds six, list six authors followed by et al.)

Williams SF, Pulsifer DP, Shaler, RC, Ramotowski RS, Brazelle S, Lakhtakia A. Comparison of the columnar-thin-film and vacuum-metal-deposition techniques to develop sebaceous fingermarks on nonporous substrates. J Forensic Sci doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12648. Epub 2014 Nov 24.

  1. Organization as Author

The Royal Marsden Hospital Bone-Marrow Transplantation Team. Failure of syngeneic bone-marrow graft without preconditioning in post-hepatitis marrow aplasia. Lancet 1977;2:742–4.

  1. No Author Given

Coffee drinking and cancer of the pancreas [editorial]. BMJ 1981;283:628.

  1. Article not in English

Revenstorf V. Der nachweis der aspirierten ertränkungsflüssigkeit als kriterium des todes durch ertrinken [The proof of aspirated drowning fluid as a criterion of death by drowning]. Vierteljahresschr Gerichtl Med 1904;27:274–9.

  1. Volume with Supplement

Magni F, Rossoni G, Berti F. BN-52021 protects guinea-pig from heart anaphylaxis. Pharmacol Res Commun 1988;20Suppl 5:75–8.

  1. Issue with Supplement

Gardos G, Cole JO, Haskell D, Marby D, Paine SS, Moore R. The natural history of tardive dyskinesia. J Clin Psychopharmacol 1988;8(Suppl 4):31S–37S.

  1. Volume with Part

Hanly C. Metaphysics and innateness: a psychoanalytic perspective. Int J Psychoanal 1988;69(Pt 3):389–99.

  1. Issue with Part

Edwards L, Meyskens F, Levine N. Effect of oral isotretinoin on dysplastic nevi. J Am Acad Dermatol 1989;20(2 Pt 1):257–60.

  1. Issue with No Volume

Baumeister AA. Origins and control of stereotyped movements. Monogr Am Assoc Ment Defic 1978;3:353–84.

  1. No Issue or Volume

Danoek K. Skiing in and through the history of medicine. Nord Medicinhist Arsb 1982;86–100.

  1. Pagination in Roman Numerals

Renier D. Syndrome du bébé secoué [Shaken baby syndrome]. Journal de Pédiatrie et de Puériculture 1989;13(2):XXVI–XXVII.

  1. Type of Article Indicated as Needed

Spargo PM, Manners JM. DDAVP and open-heart surgery [letter]. Anaesthesia 1989;44:363–4.

  1. Article Containing Retraction

Shishido A. Retraction notice. Effect of platinum compounds on murine lymphocyte mitogenesis [Retraction of Alsabti EA, Ghalib ON, Salem MN. In: Jpn J Med Sci Biol 1979;32:53–65]. Jpn J Med Sci Biol 1980;33:235–7.

  1. Article Retracted

Alsabti EA, Ghalib ON, Sale MN. Effect of platinum compounds on murine lymphocyte mitogenesis [Retracted by Shishido A. In: Jpn J Med Sci Biol 1980;33:235–7]. Jpn J Med Sci Biol 1979;32:53–65.

  1. Article Containing Comment

Piccoli A, Bossatti A. Early steroid therapy in IgA neuropathy: still an open question [comment]. Nephron 1989;51:289–91. Comment on: Nephron 1988;48:12–7.

  1. Article Commented On

Kobayashi Y, Fujii K, Hiki Y, Tateno S, Kurokawa A, Kamiyama M. Steroid therapy in IgA neuropathy: a retrospective study in heavy proteinuric cases [see comments]. Nephron 1988;48:12–7. Comment in: Nephron 1989;51:289–91.

  1. Article with Published Erratum

Schofield A. The CAGE questionnaire and psychological health [published erratum appears in Br J Addict 1989;84:701]. Br J Addict 1988;83;761–4.

Books and Other Monographs

  1. Personal Author(s)

Colson JH, Armour WJ. Sports injuries and their treatment. 2nd rev. ed. London, U.K.: Saul Publishers, 1986.

  1. Editor(s), Compiler as Author

Diener HC, Wilkinson M, editors. Drug-induced headache. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1988.

  1. Organization as Author and Publisher

Virginia Law Foundation. The medical and legal implications of AIDS. Charlottesville, VA: The Foundation, 1987.

  1. Chapters in a Book

Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathologic properties of invading microorganisms. In: Sodeman WA Jr, Sodeman WA, editors. Pathologic physiology: mechanisms of disease. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 1974;457–72.

  1. Conference Proceedings

Vivian VL, editor. Child abuse and neglect: a medical community response. Proceedings of the First AMA National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect; 1984 Mar 30-31; Chicago, IL. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, 1985.

  1. Conference Paper

Harley NH. Comparing radon daughter dosimetric and risk models. In: Gammage RB, Kaye SV, editors. Indoor air and human health. Proceedings of the Seventh Life Sciences Symposium; 1984 Oct 29-31; Knoxville, TN. Chelsea, Ml: Lewis Publications, 1985;69–78.

  1. Scientific or Technical Report

Akutsu T. Total heart replacement device. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, 1974 Apr. Report No.: NIH-NHLI-691 218514.

  1. Dissertation

Youssef NM. School adjustment of children with congenital heart disease [dissertation]. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh, 1988.

  1. Patent

Harred JF, Knight AR, McIntyre JS, inventors. Dow Chemical Company, assignee. Epoxidation process. US patent 3,654,317. 972 Apr 4.

Other Published Material

  1. Newspaper Article

Rensberger B, Specter B. CFCs may be destroyed by natural process. The Washington Post 1989 Aug 7; Sect. A:2 (col. 5).

  1. Audiovisual

AIDS epidemic: the physician’s role [videorecording]. Cleveland, OH: Academy of Medicine of Cleveland, 1987.

  1. Computer File

Renal system [computer program]. MS-DOS version. Edwardsville, KS: MediSim, 1988.

  1. World Wide Web address or URL (accessed [add date]).

  1. Legal Material

Toxic Substances Control Act: Hearing on S. 776 Before the Subcommittee on the Environment of the Senate Committee on Commerce. 94th Cong., 1st Sess. 343 (1975).

  1. Map

Scotland [topographic map]. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society (US), 1981.

  1. Book of the Bible

Ruth 3:1–18. The Holy Bible. Authorized King James version. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1972.

  1. Dictionary and Similar References

Ectasia. Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary. 27th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 1988;527.

  1. Classical Material

The Winter’s Tale: act 5, scene 1, lines 13-16. The complete works of William Shakespeare. London, U.K.: Rex, 1973.

Unpublished Material

  1. In press

Lillywhite HD, Donald JA. Pulmonary blood flow regulation aquatic snake. Science. In press.


Tables should be numbered consecutively (in Arabic numerals) in the order in which they are first cited in the manuscript text. Tables should be included in the final pages of the manuscript file, with a brief table legend provided for each table; however, if the table(s) include complex information as Excel spreadsheets they should be uploaded as a separate file(s). Do not submit tables as TIFF, PNG or PDF files. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain in footnotes all nonstandard abbreviations that are used in each table. Use the following symbols for footnotes, in this sequence: *,†,‡,§,((,¶,**,††,‡‡.

Identify statistical measures of variations such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean. Do not use internal horizontal and vertical rules. Be sure each table is cited in the text.

If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge fully. The use of too many tables in relation to the length of the text may produce difficulties in the layout of pages.

The EIC and/or Associate Editors, upon accepting a paper, may recommend or even require as a condition of acceptance, that additional tables containing important backup data too extensive to publish be included as Supplemental Information (see below). In that event, an appropriate statement will be added to the manuscript text. Submit such tables for consideration with the paper as separate files.


Color figures are included at no cost in the on-line version of the accepted manuscript. If the authors believe color figures are necessary for the presentation of their work in the printed issue of JFS, the cover letter should indicate that the author(s) or their institutions are prepared to pay the substantial costs associated with reproducing color figures in print. In addition, the corresponding author will need to complete the appropriate section of the Manuscript Central submission site.

More detailed information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found at:

Figures should be numbered consecutively (in Arabic numerals) according to the order in which they are first cited in the text. If a figure has been published, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. Permission is required irrespective of authorship or publisher, except for documents in the public domain.

Figure Legends

Figure legends should be provided on the last page of the manuscript file, double-spaced, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the respective figure, e.g., FIG. 1—Figure legend text, FIG. 2—Figure legend text. When symbols, arrows, numbers or letters are used to identify parts of the figure, identify and explain each one clearly in the legend. In addition, explain the internal scale and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.

Supplemental Information

This information may include tables, figures and appendices that include data supporting the results included in the manuscript. They should be designated as such by the authors and should be uploaded as separate files. Please note that the EIC and/or Associate Editors reserve the right to request such information before acceptance and to designate submitted data as Supplemental Information based on reviewers’ comments.

Units of Measurement

Measurements of length, height, weight and volume should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram, or liter or their decimal multiples). Temperatures should be given in degrees Celsius. Blood pressures should be given in millimeters of mercury. All hematologic and clinical chemistry measurements should be reported in the metric system in terms of the International System of Units (SI). In some types of manuscripts (e.g., engineering), the use of non-metric units is permitted if they are the norm in that field or professional area.

Abbreviations and Symbols

Terms and nomenclature in all disciplines should be in accordance with the current standards and lists approved or adopted by appropriate national or international committees or organizations, such as the International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee, I.U.P.A.C., I.U.B., the Enzyme Commission, the Committee on International Standardization of Gene Nomenclature (ISGN), etc. Use only standard abbreviations. Generally, avoid abbreviations in the title, abstract and keywords. The full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in text unless it is a standard unit of measurement. Liter(s) is abbreviated L, not l. Micro should be abbreviated with µ, not u.

Letters to the Editor-in-Chief

Letters concerning a previously published item should be entitled “Commentary on:  Full title of  published manuscript. J Forensic Sci citation.” The citation should follow the ICMJE Recommendations style. Letters concerning other matters should begin with a brief descriptive title. The salutation “Sir or Madam:” should follow the title and precede the body of the letter.

Responses to Letters should be entitled “Author’s Response.” The salutation “Sir or Madam:” should follow the title and precede the body of the letter.

The name(s) and affiliation(s) of the writer(s) should appear at the end of Letters, as well as the Responses to Letters.


Authors will have the opportunity to order reprints of their published work. Currently Wiley Publications is responsible for responding to reprint requests.

Policies of the Journal of Forensic Sciences

Confidentiality (adapted from the ICMJE Statement on Confidentiality)

Manuscripts will be reviewed with due respect for authors’ confidentiality. In submitting their manuscripts for review, authors entrust the EIC and Associate Editors with the results of their scientific labor and creative effort, upon which their reputation and career may depend. Authors’ rights may be violated by disclosure or by revelation of the confidential details of the review of their manuscript.

Reviewers also have rights to confidentiality, which must be respected by the EIC and Associate Editors. Confidentiality may have to be breached if there are allegations of fraud or dishonesty, but otherwise must be honored.

The EIC and Associate Editors will not disclose information to third parties about manuscripts, including their receipt, their content, their status in the review process, their criticism by reviewers, or their ultimate disposition. Such information should be provided only to the corresponding author and respective reviewers.

The EIC and Associate Editors will make clear to reviewers that manuscripts sent for review are privileged communications and are the private property of the authors. Therefore, reviewers and other individuals involved in the editorial process should respect the authors’ rights by not publicly discussing the authors’ work or appropriating their ideas before the manuscript is published. Reviewers are not allowed to make permanent copies for their files and are prohibited from sharing it with others, except with the permission of the EIC. It is expected that any printed copies of the manuscript be destroyed once the review process is complete.

Reviewers’ identities are confidential, and will not be revealed to authors or third parties who may request the information. Reviewers’ comments may be shared with other reviewers of the same manuscript.

Manuscripts will be reviewed in a double-blind peer review process, which means that both the reviewers and author(s) identities are blinded from each other throughout the review process.

Conflicts of Interest (adapted from the ICMJE Statement on Conflict of Interest)

A conflict of interest for a given manuscript exists when a participant in the peer review and publication process – author, reviewer, Associate Editor or EIC – has ties to activities that could inappropriately influence his/her judgment, whether or not judgment is in fact affected. Financial relationships with industry (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents or paid expert testimony), either directly or through immediate family, are generally considered the most important conflicts of interest. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic or research competition, and intellectual passion.

Public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published work depends in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review and editorial decision-making. Bias can often be identified and eliminated by careful attention to the scientific methods and conclusions of the work. Financial relationships and their effects are less easily detected than other types of conflicts of interest. Participants in peer review should disclose their conflicting interests, and the information should be made available so that others can judge their effects for themselves.

Authors are responsible for recognizing and disclosing financial or other conflicts of interest that might bias their work when they submit a manuscript or letter. All financial support for the work and other financial or personal connections to the work should be acknowledged on the manuscript’s title page.

Submission of manuscripts or commentary primarily for the purpose of bolstering an author’s position as an expert witness in legal proceedings is not acceptable.

Reviewers must disclose to the EIC any conflict of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should disqualify themselves from specific manuscripts if they believe it appropriate. The EIC must be made aware of conflicts of interest to interpret the reviews and judge whether the reviewer should be disqualified. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work gained during the review process, before publication of the work, to further their own interests.

The EIC and Associate Editors should have no personal financial involvement in any of the issues that he/she may be called upon to judge. Published manuscripts and letters should include a description of all financial support and any conflict of interest that, in the EIC’s judgment, readers should know about.

Protection of the Anonymity of Patients / Victims

Detailed descriptions or photographs of individual patients or victims are sometimes central to documentation in a published item. Every effort must be made to protect the anonymity of such patients or victims and their families. Masking of the eyes in photographs may not be adequate protection. Changing data about a patient or victim is never an acceptable method of protecting anonymity.

It is recognized that cases or situations forming the basis of items submitted to JFS may be matters of public record as a result of public court proceedings, news reports, etc. For purposes of publication in JFS, however, emphasis should be placed on medical and/or scientific aspects and information that should form the basis for publication. No information that might violate the privacy of people should be included unless it can be justified as absolutely necessary to the medical and/or scientific presentation.

Release of Full Text of Accepted Manuscripts Prior to Publication

Requests for the release of accepted Papers, Technical Notes, Case Reports or Reviews prior to their actual publication are occasionally made by the media or by attorneys involved in courtroom proceedings. The full release of accepted, but as yet unpublished, peer-reviewed material by authors is not permitted, except by permission of the EIC and the publisher. “Full release” means a complete copy of the manuscript, or any other type of reproduction of the complete work including all data. This prohibition does not, and is not intended to, apply to short summaries (even in the form of brief news releases), or brief abstracts for or from meeting presentations.

Requests for the pre-publication release of accepted items will be carefully considered, and generally honored for legitimate reasons in accordance with the procedure specified below. Authors must obtain the permission of the EIC and of Wiley Publishing, and must provide a legitimate reason for early release.

Requests should be made in writing to the EIC, and provide the reasons for the request. If the EIC and Wiley approve the release, Wiley will produce, for a one-time fee (approximately the same as the cost of reprints), the copies that are to be released. Because many manuscripts go through several iterations of modification, correction, and revision, this procedure helps insure that the final accepted version of the work, as it will appear in print, is released.

Revised March 1, 2017