We report on the functionality, available support, and research capability of the Forensic Anthropology Database for Assessing Methods Accuracy (FADAMA; DOJ DUBX0213).
FADAMA is an online repository for case data from identified forensic skeletal cases. The goal of FADAMA is to address the lack of adequate measures for assessing accuracy and reliability of forensic anthropology methods. FADAMA requires users to apply for access with their university or organization credentials. Verified users may upload and download anonymized case data via the user interface, after signing a terms of service agreement outlining ethical behavior. Case data uploads require information about the actual biological profile of the decedent and the forensic anthropology estimations. Uploading case data takes approximately 15–25 min. FADAMA users currently have 85 methods to select from when entering case data, with the capability to add new methods as they are developed. Access to the database is free, and online video tutorials are available for users covering database functionality. Currently, the database houses anonymized case data for over 350 identified cases from across the U.S. Funding has been allocated for a database technician to assist offices with large caseloads to upload cases. As it stands, the database is easy to use, and maintains thoughtful tools to assist users. The power of the database to identify trends in both method accuracy and usage is apparent, and will continue to grow as more cases are added. (Publisher Abstract)