Journal of Forensic Sciences Update

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source: Michael A. Peat, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Forensic Sciences    

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) leadership team, we continue to grow our scientific recognition and improve our performance metrics. Included below are summaries of the key achievements during 2020 and 2021 to-date. Thank you to all who have contributed, especially the JFS Associate Editors and the JFS Managing Editor.

  • JFS Submissions – A total of 992 original submissions were received in 2020 (1,401 inclusive with revisions), which is record setting for JFS and a 23% increase over 2019. Submissions continue to be strong for 2021, with approximately 550 original submissions received to-date.
  • JFS App – The JFS App has been very successful, with 125,439 page views and 8,459 app downloads since its launch in 2018 through year-end 2020 – showing continuing excellent growth. Note: Wiley’s comparative data reflects, on average, a journal app receives approximately 500 app downloads per year.
  • Usage and Engagement – JFS continues to see an increase in both non-AAFS subscriptions and content usage, with JFS downloads increasing by 18.7% in 2020. A 44.2% increase in circulation also occurred over the past five years (see table below for data).

  • Online Metrics – The JFS Editorial Office works closely with Wiley to promote and market JFS, in an effort to engage authors and increase readership. Online metrics reflect that in 2020, page views increased by 22.7%, unique visitors increased by 47.3%, and JFS article downloads increased by 18.7%. Note: Page views relate to the number of JFS articles and/or webpages accessed, regardless of the number of pages in any given article. A unique visitor refers to a person who visits a site at least once within the reporting period. Each visitor is only counted once during the reporting period.

  • TAT Performance Metrics – Tables providing various turnaround time (TAT) performance metrics are provided below. Efforts to continue to improve TAT are ongoing. This is an important metric, as the ability to promptly have their research available online is a key factor authors consider when selecting the journal to submit their research.

  • JFS Noteworthy Articles – The JFS Noteworthy Articles initiative implemented by the JFS leadership and piloted in 2018-19 was a tremendous success, with one of the article downloads exceeding 11,000+. For those unable to visit JFS in the AAFS Exhibit Booth during 2021 AAFS, we’re thrilled to share the JFS 2020 Noteworthy Articles which are available HERE. Congratulations to all authors whose articles were selected to be part of this collection!
  • JFS compiled a special Virtual Issue in 2020, to celebrate National Forensic Science Week: Advances in Pattern Recognition
  • Reviewer Reward/Recognition Programs – The two Reviewer Reward/Recognition programs launched in 2020, i.e., Publons and Reviewer Certificates, received positive feedback; thus, will continue in 2021. The 2021 JFS Reviewer Certificate was branded with the new JFS cover/design.
  • A new JFS cover design, as well as a new journal format for article content, were launched with the January 2021 issue – giving JFS a fresh, modern look: JFS new cover. In addition to improving the appearance of JFS content and readers’ online experience, the new format design will enable JFS to capitalize on opportunities as Wiley enhances their digital platform capabilities.
  • In addition to the new look, as of the January 2021 issue JFS articles contain an additional feature: Highlights. Highlights concisely convey how the article impacts forensic science and have been proven to broaden an article’s readership and significance.
  • JFS launched its social media (SM) presence in 2020 by utilizing the AAFS SM accounts to promote selected articles deemed to be high impact. The JFS Editorial Office is in the process of creating JFS Author Social Media Guidelines to facilitate the expansion of its SM promotion.
  • Inclusive Issue PDF – A complete PDF for each JFS issue continues to be made available to AAFS Members (through their AAFS Member Portal) as an added feature to their JFS Digital Subscription.

The JFS leadership is excited about further improvements and enhancements scheduled for launch in 2021-22, and we look forward to announcing these developments over the next several weeks.

Thank you for your continued support of JFS and its initiatives. For questions, please contact JFS Managing Editor Brenda Peat at