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Forensic Literature

Free searches

Since many  search services are  expanding their services, many new and easy to use methods have become available. This field is evolving rapidly, since also publishers are converting to free information.


An excellent source for finding articles is Infotrieve
Access the most powerful database of scientific, technical, medical, and other scholarly content. Search through 26 million citations and 8.5 million abstracts from over 54,000 journals.
http://scholar.google.com is an easy to use interface
is a comprehensive scientific research tool on the web. With over 450 million scientific items indexed at last count, it allows researchers to search for not only journal content but also scientists' homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional repository and website information. It cross searches through databases.
Medline a very important source for forensic pathologists and psychiatrists
Yahoo - Selected library services on the World Wide Web
Many people publish their articles as PDF-files on the web also in Computer Science. They have indexed this on Citeseer.

NCJRS also has a good index of articles http://www.ncjrs.org/abstractdb/search.asp

Also most forensic journals are available on line now. A new service is www.forensicsource.org where five forensic journals are accessible with pdfs for payment or subscription. Other journals are available in the links at http://forensic.to/links/pages/General_information_resources/Literature_and_journals/

There are also free full text medical journals on line, also with high impact factors

Publishers / Books / Libraries

Elsevier has many of their publications on line at Science Direct. Registering gives some more possibilities.

Wiley has forensic information at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/search/allsearch

Taylor and Francis at www.informaworld.com

The libraries are expanding their services to become competitive with the other search services http://books.google.com 

A  development that is very challenging is the Worldcat-library of OCLC. In this source over 14000 libraries in 45 countries are searchable. Over 57.000 hits on the word forensic !


A resource to find free patent information is Espace of the European Patents Office is full text for US, European and Japanese patents.
The US Patent and Trademark Office also has a database on line in which also the applications of patents are searchable.

Also here a new development of google : http://patents.google.com convenient to use however it needs more options to compare it with the other services. It is expected that also other options and perhaps different patent files (EU?) will become available.


Societies and Journals begin to publish on the web. While searching for the best way to publish, depending on the time and journal they might be free or they ask for subscription or pay-per-article.

Associations and Societies
Literature and Journals

Commercial databases

The commercial databases exist for over thirty years now. They have an excellent index to articles, however you are charged for viewing this information.

For chemical questions STN is a host for chemical abstracts. They have a simple database for searching Easysearch, were you can view the costs based on clicks before, and an interface were you can mix databases, and search in a wide variety of ways. They have over 200 databases, and the Science Citation Index and Inspec are worth a visit.

For laws and news use LEXIS/NEXIS. A patent database that is good to use is http://www.delphion.com . With this database it is easily possible to find trend in patents. An example of biometrics is shown in own research.

The database for forensic science is the  FORS . This database is a very good source for forensic science, and for me it is the source which I always use. The system is maintained by the Forensic Science Services in The U.K. It is also available on the web.

Another service is  Dialog. Many databases can be searched and records can be on pay-per-view basis.

If you do not have access to the databases, please subscribe one time, or visit your library, and they might do the search for you.

If you have any other suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me at zeno@forensic.to.

Please visit this presentation on forensic databases at the AAFS for hands on training. It is however somewhat old, and should be revised since much has changed since then !


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Last revision: 30 dec 2011

© Zeno Geradts

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For the internet there are different ways to find the forensic literature you need for research or case-work. You can find different