About the Journal

Aims and Scope

The Journal of Forensic Science Education (JFSE) (ISSN 2641-8533) is a U.S.-based open access journal indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) that publishes peer-reviewed articles geared mainly to forensic science educators and educational programs from the high school through graduate school level.  JFSE publishes original manuscript contributions focused on course content, laboratory experiments, modes of content delivery, pedagogies, assessment, and programmatic accreditation. Submitted manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and evaluated on the basis of scholarship, novelty, pedagogy, helpfulness, and presentation. The primary audience is forensic education researchers and practicioners. JFSE does not publish science research papers unless they have a direct link to the teaching and learning of some aspect of forensic science.

Manuscript categories include:

1. Articles – Description of a novel educational idea or approach (including modes of delivery), content for the classroom or laboratory, pedagogy, educational research, assessment, and programmatic accreditation.

2. Activity or Laboratory Experiment – Description of hands-on activities that can be done in the classroom, laboratory, or other informal setting.

3. Commentary - Scholarly discussion of a topic of interest to the forensic science education community that includes the opinions of the authors.

4. Communication – Updates or extensions of previously published topics or short article. May also scholarly describe a website, software application, media item, or other use of technology that enhances teaching and learning.

5. Book Reviews – Reviews of educational text of concern to the forensic science educator.

6. Demonstrations - Description and procedure for an actual or virtual demonstration for teaching scientific concepts.

7. Letters - Responses to previously published manuscripts in the JFSE which contribute to or elicit discussion on a subject without overstepping the bounds of professional courtesy.

Appropriate article size should be 5000 words for an Article, 3000 words for an Activity or Laboratory Experiment, 2000 words for a Commentary or Communication, and 1000 words for a Book Review, Demonstration, or Letter.

Peer Review Process

All submitted manuscripts will undergo peer review before acceptance. Peer review is an objective method of guaranteeing excellence in scholarly publishing, and has been adopted by all reputable scientific journals. Our reviewers play a vital role in maintaining the standards of the Journal of Forensic Science Education.

Initial manuscript evaluation

One of the Chief Editors first evaluates all submitted manuscripts. It is rare, but it is possible for an exceptional manuscript to be accepted at this stage. Manuscripts rejected at this stage are insufficiently original, have serious scientific flaws, have poor grammar or English language, or are outside the aims and scope of the Journal. Those that meet the minimum criteria are normally passed on to at least two expert referees for reviewing.

Authors of manuscripts rejected at this stage will usually be informed within two weeks of receipt.

Type of peer review

The Journal of Forensic Science Education employs ‘double blind’ reviewing, in which the reviewers remain anonymous to the author(s) throughout and following the review process, whilst the identity of the author(s) is likewise unknown to the reviewers.

How the reviewer is selected

Whenever possible, reviewers are selected to their expertise and experience. Each paper will be matched with a reviewer that can best review the authors’ work and give suggestions when necessary.  We welcome suggestions for reviewers from the author(s), though such non-binding recommendations are not necessarily used.

Reviewer reports

Reviewers are asked to evaluate whether the manuscript:

  • Is original as to thought and method (including data)
  • Is methodologically sound
  • Has results which are clearly presented and support the conclusions
  • Correctly and exhaustively references previous relevant work
  • Follows appropriate ethical guidelines, especially as concerns plagiarism and authorship
  • Clearly adds to the knowledge and development of the field

Language correction is not part of the peer review process, but reviewers are encouraged to suggest corrections of language and style to the manuscript. In the final round, the handling Editor will check matters of linguistic and stylistic correctness, and may suggest or apply corrections at this point. In rare cases, the manuscript may be returned to the author(s) for a full linguistic and stylistic revision.

How long does the review process take?

The time required for the review process is dependent on the response of the reviewers. For the Journal of Forensic Science Education, the typical time for the first round of the refereeing process is approximately 6 weeks, with a maximum of three months. Should the reviewers’ reports contradict one another or a report is unnecessarily delayed, a further expert opinion may be sought. In the rare cases when it is extremely difficult to find a second reviewer to review the manuscript, whilst the one referee’s extant report has thoroughly convinced the handling Editor, a decision to accept, reject or ask the author for a revision may be made, at the handling Editor’s discretion, on the basis of only one referee report. The handling Editor’s decision will be sent to the author with the referees’ recommendations, usually including the latter’s verbatim comments. As a rule, revised manuscripts are sent to the initial referees for checking; these may then request further revision.

Final report

A final decision to accept or reject the manuscript will be sent to the author along with the recommendations made by the reviewers, including (if applicable) the latter’s verbatim comments.

The Chief Editor's decision is final

Referees advise the Editor-in-Chief, who is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the article.

Publication Ethics

The journal is committed to upholding the highest standards of publication ethics set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). Reviewers and readers should direct suspected infractions of publication ethics to the the Editor-in-Chief. 

Publication Frequency

JFSE is published biannually in May/June and November/December. Submissions will be accepted throughout the year and accepted submissions will be included in the next available volume for publication. The journal has been published continuously since 2019. 

Open Access Policy

The journal provides immediate free open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. The journal fulfills the DOAJ definition of open access. Readers do not need to register or create an account to access the journal or the published works. Any user may read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link the full texts of articles to their webpages or online profiles. Articles may be used for indexing, data for review and reanalysis, search engine searches for any other lawful purpose. There are no submission, article processing, color figure, page or other charges or fees. Authors may deposit their manuscript (submitted version, accepted version or published version) in their institutional repository. 

Copyright and Licensing

Authors retain copyright of their work and can permit others to use their work using a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND) under their discretion.  Articles published prior to 2021 include an incorrect copyright line in the PDFs; authors retain all rights to their work.

Texas Digital Library

JFSE is powered by Open Journal Systems (Phoenix, AZ) and hosted by Texas Digital Library (TDL, 101 E. 21st Street, Stop S5471, Austin, TX 78712-1498).

Journal History

The Journal of Forensic Science Education (JFSE) is an open access journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles geared mainly to forensic science educators and educational programs from the high school through graduate school level.  JFSE publishes original manuscript contributions focused on course content, laboratory experiments, modes of content delivery, pedagogies, assessment, and programmatic accreditation. Submitted manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and evaluated on the basis of scholarship, novelty, pedagogy, helpfulness, and presentation. JFSE does not publish science research papers unless they have a direct link to the teaching and learning of some aspect of forensic science.

The journal was the brain child of Dr. Lawrence Quarino (laquarin@cedarcrest.edu), Dr. Adrienne Brundage (adrienne.brundage@tamu.edu), and Dr. Kelly Elkins (kmelkins@towson.edu), all long-time members of COFSE. These three are passionate about communicating forensic science educational resources, and spent nearly a year working on getting the journal up and running. They currently serve as Tri-Editors-in-Chief. 

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