Guide for Authors

All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

• Types of paper
• Ethics in publishing
• Conflict of interest
• Submission declaration
• Additional information
• Authorship
• Changes to authorship
• Article transfer service
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Funding body agreements and policies
• Open access
• Green open access
• Language (usage and editing services)
• Submission
• Referees
• Additional information
• Use of word processing software
• Discussion
• Essential title page information
• Abstract
• Graphical abstract
• Highlights
• Keywords
• Abbreviations
• Acknowledgements
• Nomenclature and units
• Artwork
• Tables
• References
• Additional information
• AudioSlides
• Supplementary material
• Interactive plots
• Submission checklist
• Use of the Digital Object Identifier
• Online proof correction
• Offprints
• Author orders

Science & Justice is the official publication of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences which was founded, in 1959, with the objects of advancing the study, application and standing of forensic science, and facilitating co-operation among persons interested in forensic science throughout the world. Science & Justice is published six times a year, and will be of interest primarily to practising forensic scientists and their colleagues in related fields. It is chiefly concerned with the publication of formal scientific papers, in keeping with its international learned status, but will not accept any article describing experimentation on animals which does not meet strict ethical standards.

Types of paper

In order to accommodate a range of articles of interest to members and other readers, each issue may contain material as follows:

1. Professional Articles: on matters of a professional nature including casework reports, non-technical reviews and essays, legal comment, the investigative sciences, and any items concerned with the professional standing of expert witnesses.

2. Scientific and Technical Articles: technical reviews or articles in which there is a clear novel experimental or interpretative content. These may cover the areas of statistics, experimental pathology, histology, biology, botany, molecular biology and biochemistry, general chemistry and toxicology, questioned documents, firearms examination, metallurgy and road accident investigation or any subject matter deemed acceptable under this heading by the Honorary Editor.

3. Proceedings: intended for the rapid publication of comprehensive summaries or the edited texts of papers read at scientific meetings of the Forensic Science Society. The Editor reserves the right, at his own discretion, to submit for peer review any proceedings papers which he feels would benefit. The title of the manuscript should be that of the presentation.

4. Society News: intended for the activities of the Forensic Science Society and its affiliated society, the California Association of Criminalists of a more formal nature than that reported in the Society s newsletter.

5. Editorial: intended as a platform for the Editor and for others with a keen interest in forensic science who wish to comment on current affairs.

6. Other features that appear frequently, although not necessarily in every issue, are Book Reviews and Abstracts.

The Editor welcomes original contributions in English on any aspect of forensic science; authors are asked to specify the section of Science & Justice for which they wish the manuscript to be considered. Authors should aim to make their manuscripts comprehensible to the majority of Science & Justice's readers, bearing in mind that this majority will not be specialists in the author s particular field. Those intending to submit manuscripts for publication in Science & Justice are advised to study carefully the following instructions. Articles are published on the understanding that publication is not taken to imply endorsement of the views therein by either the Editor or the Council of the Forensic Science Society.

While the Editor may seek the opinion of a referee on any article submitted, it is editorial policy that all manuscripts submitted for publication in the Professional and Scientific and Technical sections are subject to peer review by at least two referees, who remain anonymous. Although referees are sent the manuscript without the title page, authors should recognise that their identity may be obvious from reading the manuscript.

Ethics in publishing

For information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see and

Conflict of interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. If there are no conflicts of interest then please state this: 'Conflicts of interest: none'. See also Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at:

Submission declaration

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

Additional information

This does not preclude consideration of a complete report that follows publication of preliminary findings or of a manuscript where an abstract or report was published previously in the Society News section.


All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

Changes to authorship

This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.

Article transfer service

This journal is part of our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor feels your article is more suitable in one of our other participating journals, then you may be asked to consider transferring the article to one of those. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by the new journal. More information about this can be found here:


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright, see An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult

For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. For more information see

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Funding body agreements and policies

Elsevier has established a number of agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some authors may also be reimbursed for associated publication fees. To learn more about existing agreements please visit
After acceptance, open access papers will be published under a noncommercial license. For authors requiring a commercial CC BY license, you can apply after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

Open access

This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

Open access
• Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse
• An open access publication fee is payable by authors or on their behalf e.g. by their research funder or institution
• Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our universal access programs (
• No open access publication fee payable by authors.

Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

There is a 30% discount off the open access publication fee for members of the Society. The Society member price is USD 2100, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:

Green open access

Authors can share their research in a variety of different ways and Elsevier has a number of green open access options available. We recommend authors see our green open access page for further information ( Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository after an embargo period. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications. Embargo period: For subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before an article becomes freely available to the public. This is the embargo period and begins from the publication date of the issue your article appears in.

This journal has an embargo period of 12 months.

Language (usage and editing services)

Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop ( or visit our customer support site ( for more information.


Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.

Submit your article
Please submit your article via


Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential referees. For more details, visit our Support site. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.

Additional information

All submissions must be accompanied by a covering letter from the author who is to be responsible for correspondence about the manuscript. The covering letter should contain a statement that the manuscript has been seen and approved by all authors and by any person whose aid has been acknowledged. Authors working within an organisation where approval to publish is required should show in the covering letter that such approval has been obtained. Also included should be copies of any permission required to reproduce published material or recognisable photographs of individuals. Where the paper describes work done with material donated by volunteers or experimental work involving volunteer subjects the paper must include a statement indicating that the study protocol has been approved by a properly constituted Research Ethics Committee. The only exception will be where authors of the paper have used samples donated by themselves for the study.

Manuscripts prepared according to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals are acceptable, with the exception that in citations the journal title should be given in full and not abbreviated. Details of these requirements are available at several web sites including

Use of word processing software

It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier: Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not you embed your figures in the text. See also the section on Electronic artwork.
To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

Subdivision - numbered sections
Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. (the abstract is not included in section numbering). Use this numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.

State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

Material and methods
Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described.

Results should be clear and concise.


The Discussion should emphasise new and important aspects of the study and end with conclusions that follow from them. Results should not be repeated in detail in the Discussion, but their implications and limitations should be considered and related to other relevant studies.

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.


A concise and factual abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

Graphical abstract

Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. See for examples.
Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration and Enhancement service to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements: Illustration Service.


Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article and should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). See for examples.


Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using British spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.


Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.


Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

Nomenclature and units

Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other quantities are mentioned, give their equivalent in SI. You are urged to consult IUB: Biochemical Nomenclature and Related Documents: for further information.


Electronic artwork
General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Color artwork
Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF), or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color: in print or online only. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please see

Figure captions
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.


Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules.

Novelty Statement (max. 150 words)
Please provide a concise summary of the novel contribution(s) of this work to knowledge in the forensic sciences. Please note that this statement will be made available to reviewers of the manuscript for consideration.


Additional information

Citing Legal Cases

For English cases, case names should be the Law Reports -AC, Ch, QB if possible. For recent cases the WLR or All ER reference should be used if there is one. Put the v in roman type without the full point - e.g., Brown v White. A general case reference would be as follows: AvB [1988] AC 123.

A reference to a specific page should be made as follows, with the first page of the report always referred to first: Re Smith [1989] AC 123, 134

Note the following abbreviations: R (not Rex/Regina), Alt Gen, ex p (prefaced by a comma). Square brackets should be used around the year of the report where this is essential to find the reference. Where this is not the case because the report has a volume number, the brackets should be round. For Scottish law reports the year is not placed in brackets. Thus: [1988] 2 WLR 456; (1986) 130 SJ 78 and 1984 SC 111. An example would be R v Poplar Coroner, ex p Thomas [1992] 2 WLR 547, 549.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have a standard template available in key reference management packages. This covers packages using the Citation Style Language, such as Mendeley ( and also others like EndNote ( and Reference Manager ( Using plug-ins to word processing packages which are available from the above sites, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article and the list of references and citations to these will be formatted according to the journal style as described in this Guide. The process of including templates in these packages is constantly ongoing. If the journal you are looking for does not have a template available yet, please see the list of sample references and citations provided in this Guide to help you format these according to the journal style.

If you manage your research with Mendeley Desktop, you can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the link below:
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice. For more information about the Citation Style Language, visit

Reference style
Text: Indicate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.
Example: '..... as demonstrated [3,6]. Barnaby and Jones [8] obtained a different result ....'
List: Number the references (numbers in square brackets) in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.
Reference to a journal publication:
[1] J. van der Geer, J.A.J. Hanraads, R.A. Lupton, The art of writing a scientific article, J. Sci. Commun. 163 (2010) 51–59.
Reference to a book:
[2] W. Strunk Jr., E.B. White, The Elements of Style, fourth ed., Longman, New York, 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
[3] G.R. Mettam, L.B. Adams, How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: B.S. Jones, R.Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age, E-Publishing Inc., New York, 2009, pp. 281–304.


The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available at Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

Supplementary material

Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide the data in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at

Interactive plots

This journal enables you to show an Interactive Plot with your article by simply submitting a data file. For instructions please go to

Submission checklist

The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.
Ensure that the following items are present:
One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
• E-mail address
• Full postal address
All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:
• Keywords
• All figure captions
• All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
Further considerations
• Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
• References are in the correct format for this journal
• All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
Printed version of figures (if applicable) in color or black-and-white
• Indicate clearly whether or not color or black-and-white in print is required.
For any further information please visit our customer support site at

Availability of accepted article
This journal makes articles available online as soon as possible after acceptance. This concerns the accepted article (both in HTML and PDF format), which has not yet been copyedited, typeset or proofread. A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is allocated, thereby making it fully citable and searchable by title, author name(s) and the full text. The article's PDF also carries a disclaimer stating that it is an unedited article. Subsequent production stages will simply replace this version.

Use of the Digital Object Identifier

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. Example of a correctly given DOI (in URL format; here an article in the journal Physics Letters B):
When you use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.

Online proof correction

Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.


The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with 25 free paper offprints, or, alternatively, a personalized link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. This link can also be used for sharing via email and social networks. For an extra charge, more paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's WebShop ( Authors requiring printed copies of multiple articles may use Elsevier WebShop's 'Create Your Own Book' service to collate multiple articles within a single cover (

Author orders

When your article is published, you can commemorate your publication with printed author copies of the journal issue, customized full-color posters, extra offprints, and more. Please visit to learn more.

You can track your submitted article at You can track your accepted article at You are also welcome to contact Customer Support via