The AAFS Reference Series Research Reminder: Delivering the Promise of Science for Global Good

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Source: Jeri D. Ropero-Miller, PhD, AAFS President

As Academy President, I want to spotlight the AAFS resources that benefit the membership. This first spotlight is a reminder of a tremendous research tool that includes hardback books and free pdf access to 17 years of abstracts (2003-2019) by key word or author on the AAFS website. It all started with books of proceedings for each and every section (a decade of abstracts for ten sections, five years for Criminalistics), perhaps the largest collection of forensic research and case studies worldwide, accepted into the Library of Congress. AAFS abstract books are available for all eleven sections on Amazon with free pdfs on the AAFS website. The Reference Series may be the largest collection of forensic research and case studies worldwide. 


This resource was offered to us through the dedicated effort of Laura Liptai, Series Editor, who engaged and sought the assistance of many “champions” throughout the Academy. The initiative was the result of unifying leadership that progressed our AAFS mission “… to promote professionalism, integrity, competency, education, foster research, improve practice, and encourage collaboration in the forensic sciences” including Anne Warren (Executive Director), Nancy Jackson (AAFS Accreditation & Outreach Coordinator), Betty Layne DesPortes (Past President, then Publications Committee Chair), 980 authors, 11 section directors, and 11 section chairs. See the family of section books below or click   



The electronic version of the Reference Series is a popular AAFS asset receiving 32,000 hits since 2014. AAFS Annual Meeting Proceedings from 2003 to 2019 (and soon 2020) are available for all sections to reference in an easy to use database, allowing for at-your-desk discovery of relevant case studies for research. The online search engine allows queries by:

  • key word or other specific terminology
  • author name (test it out with your abstracts)
  • state and/or country
  • presenting section
  • presenting year

This year, it has a new location on the website. Here are a few “helpful hints” that will get you there with one “short click” once you know where to look. Once there, there are six unique search fields that can be used individually or in combination to help you narrow your search for what you are looking for specifically or more broadly. It even gives you an option to combine selections into one pdf document for a streamlined search document for your records. Enjoy access to one of our academy’s legacies!

  1. Go to Resources drop down, pass “Reference Library” and select AAFS Reference Library or click