Author Guidelines


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 articles of the highest quality and impact.  

The JFS publishes original material in the following categories:

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

Critical ReviewJFS welcomes detailed Critical Reviews of a topic area of interest to forensic science. Critical Reviews may be invited by the EIC and are subject to peer review. Non-critical, narrative compilations of literature will not be accepted. Critical Reviews will be peer-reviewed for quality, considering, among others, the following factors:

  • A stated, recognized, and described protocol for the review, e.g., PRISMA
  • Clear search methodoloogy to be described and must include: 
    • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
    • Databases searched
    • Years searched
    • Any limitations on language of publication, etc. 
  • A flow chart showing the number of studies identified and then those rejected and those assessed. Flow chart examples can be found HERE.
  • A tabulated list of considered papers with a quality of evidence rating and a risk of bias assessment using an appropriate tool or tools. Some suggested tools can be found HERE.
  • The assessment of quality and bias must be undertaken by two independent reviewers. 
  • Appropriate meta-analysis where possible and where not, appropriate means of summarising and linking findings across multiple studies should be undertaken. 
  • A clear statement of forensic relevance and impact of the study should be made. 


JFSrecognizes that Critical Reviews are time consuming and resource intensive. Contacting the JFS Editorial Office prior to starting a Critical Review for potential publication in JFS is recommended, to ensure that the content and subject will be appropriate. The JFS Editorial Staff are happy to provide advice on the guidelines for Critical REviews, recognizing that forensic science topics do not always lend themselves to the strict criteria of some systematic review methodologies.

Original Paper – A full-length research report (hereinafter referred to as "Paper"). Such submissions will be peer-reviewed for quality, considering, among others, the following factors:

  • A clear stated hypothesis.
  • Quality of the literature review and clear statement of the novelty and value of the work in this context.
  • Strength of the experimental design, e.g., clear description of sample size and experimental controls.
  • Sufficient method validation and figures of merit.
  • Reasonable, defensible, and data-based interpretation and conclusions.
  • Potential of the paper to strengthen the scientific foundation of forensic science in legal and regulatory communities around the world.  


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. Technical Notes are usually shorter than Papers. Such submissions will be peer-reviewed for quality, considering, among others, the following factors:

  • A clearly stated problem that the manuscript addresses.
  • The novelty of the approach, method or outcome.
  • A clear focus on forensic practice.
  • A concise but supportive reference list.   


Case Report – A brief description or analysis of an unusual case or a small series of cases. Case Reports are to include new information and/or a critical review of the topic area to be acceptable for publication. Such submissions will be peer-reviewed for quality, considering, among others, the following factors:

  • A clear statement of impact and relevance.
  • A concise review of the literature making it clear how the current case or series of cases adds to current knowledge.


Letter – Usually a discussion on a manuscript previously published in JFS, or an issue of interest to the 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.


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


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.


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


Manuscripts submitted as Commentaries, Critical Reviews, 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 referenced. Use of previously published figures, tables, etc., require the written permission of the copyright owner of the prior work. Given the serious nature of dual publication, JFS suggests that if there is any doubt over the ability to publish your work that you contact the JFS Editorial Office.


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. In certain circumstances, papers previously published in non-English language journals may be considered.


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 is 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 (Commentaries, Critical Reviews, Papers, Technical Notes and Case Reports) have obtained required approval(s) for submission from authorized principals and/or internal reviews in their laboratories and/or organizations.



Posting of unreviewed manuscripts to a community preprint server by the author(s) will not be considered prior publication, provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. During submission, author(s) must acknowledge preprint server posting in the cover letter and provide the link to that posting. They must also provide any reference citations and/or DOIs. If the author(s) fail to declare that there is a preprint during the initial submission process, it may be a reason for rejection.
  2. Versions of the manuscript that have been revised and/or edited based on the revision process cannot be posted on preprint sites.
  3. The preprint cannot itself have been indexed in PubMed or MEDLINE.
  4. Upon publication, the author(s) are responsible for updating the archived preprint with a DOI and link to the published version of the article.

Community preprints can be cited in the References at the discretion of the EIC and/or Associate Editor.



Publishing work in conference proceedings is common in the forensic science community. JFS welcomes submissions including material that has been published in a proceedings abstract. However, the submission should provide a substantial enhancement of methods, analysis, and conclusions over the published conference proceedings and must conform to the requirements described under each manuscript category. The EIC and/or Associate Editor make the final decision on what constitutes “substantial enhancement.” Authors must provide details of the conference proceedings in the cover letter, including a relevant citation. Failure to do so may be a reason for rejection. Author(s) must obtain all the necessary permissions to re-use published material, if appropriate.


If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the authors should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) or review boards (e.g., Institutional Review Board [IRB]), have approved them. For experiments involving human subjects, authors must identify the committee (e.g., IRB) approving the experiments and include with their submission a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all subjects


For human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans: WMA Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects.


All animal experiments should comply with the  U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. If the work was performed outside the US, the authors must include a statement that it was conducted in compliance with the relevant guidelines for animal experiments.  

Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of individuals. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to the JFS, the AAFS or Wiley upon request.


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). The ICMJE 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 (to ensure blind review); 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), affiliation(s) including address(es), 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, highlights, 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. The highlights should be on a separate page as well, after the page with the abstract and keywords. 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.


Within the cover letter the authors may, if they wish, suggest up to three individuals who may be able to independently and critically review the paper. The use of such reviewers is at the EIC and/or Associate Editor’s discretion. Authors should confirm the availability and willingness of reviewers prior to recommending them to avoid delays in the review process.


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).



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.



Double-spacing should be used throughout the manuscript, including the abstract, keywords, highlights, 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).


To designate equal first co-authorship contributions, use the symbol with the following notation: Authors contributed equally. Equal first co-authorship must be agreed to by the other authors of the article. First co-authors must include in their cover letter details of their contributions to the paper.


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), affiliation(s) including full address(es), 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 bolded, i.e., Acknowledgments.


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.


Search Engine Optimization    

Search Engine Optimization can help drive usage, readership and citations of your article to raise the visibility of your research. Whether an article is being indexed by the academic search engines is crucial; however, it is also important where an article lands in the ranked search results list as that ranking will greatly impact the visibility of your research. 


Various search engines, e.g., Google Scholar and PubMed, are the principal ways that others will locate your published article. Optimizing your abstract and keywords for the search engines will allow your article to be discovered, read, used and cited in others’ work. Search engines also use the abstract and keywords to rank your article; therefore, it is important to give extra attention to these two components when preparing a submission. Try to include and repeat the key descriptive phrases that are relevant to your article and if you can, imagine phrases that a researcher might search for in your paper. It is recommended to include three to four key phrases in your abstract.


To ensure your article is discoverable and to increase its visibility, it is equally important to have the correct title – ensure that the key phrases are included within the first 65 characters of the title, if possible, and that the title is unambiguous. For example in a paper on “women’s health” include women’s health and not health. 


More details on search engine optimization can be found at Search Engine Optimization Guidelines.



The abstract should be no more than 250 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. References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Please also avoid the use of uncommon initials. The word Abstract should be in upper/lowercase letters and bolded.



Authors should provide a minimum of six keywords or key phrases that will allow your article to be found by the commonly used search engines. Please include the three to four key phrases from the abstract. The keywords should include the most important words that are relevant to your article as well as the forensic specialty, for example forensic anthropology, facial recognition, DNA analysis/testing, interpretation of DNA mixtures, forensic entomology, forensic pathology, forensic toxicology, novel psychoactive substances, fire debris analysis, shoeprint identification, etc. If an abbreviation is commonly used, please include both the word(s) and the abbreviation, e.g., polymerase chain reaction and PCR, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-mass spectrometry and LCMSMS.

The word KEYWORDS should be in all capitals and bolded.



Highlights are important. They have been proven to broaden an article’s readership and significance, by helping to increase the discoverability of the article via search engines.


Highlights should concisely convey how your manuscript impacts forensic science, now or in the future. They should describe the essence of the research and include the important methodological insights (especially if novel) and/or results and conclusions. It is vital to keep both your readers and your research firmly in mind as you write your highlights. Do not directly restate the abstract or summarize the main findings.  


Highlights are mandatory for the JFS manuscript categories bulleted below and must be provided at the time of original manuscript submission:

  • Commentaries
  • Critical Reviews
  • Papers
  • Technical Notes
  • Case Reports  


Highlights should be included in your main document after the Abstract and Keywords. Please include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 100 characters per bullet point, including spaces). Each bullet point should be a full sentence and should outline the key contributions of your manuscript and how it impacts forensic science. The Highlights header should be in upper/lowercase letters and bolded, i.e., Highlights.



The text of observational and experimental articles is usually – but not necessarily – divided into sections with headings. JFS uses 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 all caps and bolded, subheadings should be in upper and lowercase and un-bolded and italicized, and sub-sub-headings should be in upper and lowercase and normal text (no bold or italicize).






In JFS, the text component of the manuscript begins with an introduction and an “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 (human subjects, patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly. Identify the methods, equipment (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.


Describe the data analysis 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).  Methods should be validated, and figures of merit provided as appropriate to the study.


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. 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.


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 improperly or informally defined 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 forthcoming references cited by number in the text. Published abstracts (duly noted as being published in a Proceedings), printed manufacturers' protocols or instructions, and internet documents 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 and figures, cite references by Arabic numeral in square brackets [  ]. Within the Reference list, number the references 1., 2., 3., etc.  


References in the Reference list should be cited in Vancouver style, in accordance with ICMJE Recommendations. This style is based with slight modifications on the formats used by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the NLM Catalog ( 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.). NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).


Blakey LS, Sharples GP, Chana K, Birkett JW. Fate and behavior of gunshot residue – A review. J Forensic Sci. 2018;63(1):9–19. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13555.


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.


  1. Standard Journal Article Available Online; However, Not Yet Published in an Issue. (List all authors; however, if the number of authors exceeds six, list six authors followed by et al.)

Topoleski JJ, Christensen AM. Use of a gelatin-based consolidant to preserve thermally-altered skeletal remains. J Forensic Sci. doi: 10.1111/1556-402.14019. Epub 2019 Feb 08.


  1. Open Access Journal Article. Author Name, Article Title, Journal Name, Year of Publication, Volume Number and Last Six Digits of the DOI. (List all authors; however, if the number of authors exceeds six, list six authors followed by et al.) NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

Trafimow D. The sufficiency assumption of the reasoned approach to action. Cogent Psychol. 2015;2:1014239. doi: 10.1080/23311908.2015.1014239.   


  1. Organization as Author. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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


  1. Article not in English. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

Magni F, Rossoni G, Berti F. BN-52021 protects guinea-pig from heart anaphylaxis. Pharmacol Res

Commun. 1988;20(Suppl 5):S75–8.


  1. Issue with Supplement. NOTE:Provide the Full Citation and the DOI(if available). 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. Issue with Part. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

Edwards L, Meyskens F, Levine N. Effect of oral isotretinoin on dysplastic nevi. J Am Acad Dermatol.

1989;20(Pt 1):257–60.


  1. Issue with No Volume. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

Joyal CC, Carpentier J, Martin C. Discriminant factors for adolescent sexual offending: On the usefulness of considering both victim age and sibling incest. Child Abuse Negl. 2016 Apr;54:10–22. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.01.006.


  1. No Issue or Volume. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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


  1. Pagination in Roman Numerals. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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


  1. Article Containing Retraction. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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. NOTE: Provide the Full Citation and the DOI (if available).

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). Include the Page Numbers of Your Citation.

Colson JH, Armour WJ. Sports injuries and their treatment, 2nd edn. London, U.K.: Saul Publishers; 1986. p. 45–6.


  1. Editor(s), Compiler as Author. Include the Page Numbers of Your Citation.

Diener HC, Wilkinson M, editors. Drug-induced headache. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag; 1988. p. 35–44.


  1. Organization as Author and Publisher. Include the Page Numbers of Your Citation.

Virginia Law Foundation. The medical and legal implications of AIDS. Charlottesville, VA: The Foundation; 1987. p. 45–9.


  1. Chapters in a Book. Include the Page Numbers of Your Citation.

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. p. 45–54.


  1. Conference Proceedings. Include the Page Numbers of Your Citation.

Harley NH. Comparing radon daughter dosimetric and risk models. In: Gammage RB, Kaye SV, editors.

Proceedings of the Seventh Life Sciences Symposium; 1984 Oct 29-31; Knoxville, TN. Chelsea, Ml: Lewis Publications; 1985. p. 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.




  1. Internet Document. Include Title, as Well as URL and Date Accessed.

American Cancer Society. Cancer facts and figures – 2010. Accessed 10 Jan 2021.


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. 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; 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 edn. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 1988. p. 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. 


Personal Communication


  1. Personal communications and submitted manuscripts are not valid references. Personal communications should be cited in the text, in parentheses, at the appropriate location.

(J. Smith, personal communication, May 17, 2018).



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 after the References in the manuscript file, with a brief table legend provided for each table (e.g., TABLE 1   Table legend text.; TABLE 2   Table legend text); 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. Shading of table columns and rows should be avoided. 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. 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. Submission of colored figures, if available, is strongly encouraged.


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


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., FIGURE 1   Figure legend text.; FIGURE 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.


Figure Legends should be self-explanatory and the reader should be able to review the figure without having to read the manuscript text. One sentence legends are rarely complete or informative.


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. 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 article. 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 "Editor:" should follow the title and precede the body of the letter.


Responses to Letters should be entitled “Author’s Response.” The salutation "Editor:" 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.


Revision Submissions     

Should a paper be returned to the author(s) for revisions, the edits must be made clear in the revised document (either by using a different color text or by highlighting the changes in yellow), and the cover letter should explain where changes have been made or provide suitable justification for why changes have not been made. This approach will assist the EIC, Associate Editors and peer-reviewers in assessing revised manuscripts. Authors must prepare a list of detailed responses to the reviewers’ comments and include these as a separately uploaded file with their revision in Manuscript Central.


When responding to a set of referee reports, we ask that authors go through them point-by-point in a letter written specifically for the referees. Authors should list the referees' individual points and then explain the changes made to answer each issue and why they think they have satisfied the referees' concerns. Clearly show the revisions in the text, either by using a different color text or by highlighting the changes in yellow. This is in addition to describing the changes in your point-by-point cover letter.





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 Commentaries, Critical Reviews, Papers, Technical Notes or Case Reports 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 ensure that the final accepted version of the work, as it will appear in print, is released. 





Dr. Michael A. Peat, JFS Editor-in-Chief

Email: [email protected]


Brenda K. Peat, JFS Managing Editor

Email: [email protected]






Updated: May 2022