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Measuring the Impact of Forensic Science Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2013
1 page
This article discusses ways of measuring the impact of forensic science research.
Bibliometrics is a commonly used performance indicator. It is the application of mathematical and statistical methods to quantify the impact of books, articles, and other media. Bibliometrics measures a researcher's reputation by counting publications-related data, including publication years, citations, online downloads, authors, and co-authors listed on publications, and journal impact factor. In the case of research funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), as of February 2013, NIJ grant awards for 2009-2012 resulted in 150 publications, including those in referred journals, 370 presentations, and 31 final technical reports. The final technical report is an extensive narrative of the analytical procedures, findings, and conclusions of the research. It is the definitive product of all NIJ research and development awards. Another measure of the impact of forensic science research is how research influences practice, i.e., how well-regarded the research is in the scientific community. The economic and social benefits of research can be shown by observing how it influences policy, technology, administrative, and legal decisions. In forensic science, for example, an indication of end-user esteem can include citations in Daubert hearing testimony, citations in laboratory operating procedures, changes in laboratory protocols, influence in equipment procurement decisions, and its use in replacing certain laboratory testing methods.

Date Published: July 1, 2013