Publications by authors named "Maureen C Bottrell"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Strengths, Limitations, and Recommendations for Instrumental Color Measurement in Forensic Soil Characterization.

J Forensic Sci 2020 Mar 16;65(2):438-449. Epub 2019 Sep 16.

FBI Laboratory, 2501 Investigation Parkway, Quantico, VA.

Color determination of soil evidence is often done by visual comparison to soil color charts. A handheld spectrophotometer was tested with representative materials for its suitability for forensic soil characterization. Instrumental colorimetry provides accurate colorimetry with ~10-fold better precision than a soil color chart. The minimum sample size for accurate color determination was between 0.02 and 0.04 mg of fine soil for the specific instrument tested. Reporting colors in the L*a*b* space permits quantification of ΔE , a measure of perceptible color difference, could enable objective quantification of small color differences and thresholds for forensic soil comparisons. A ΔE greater than ~ 3.5 to 6 likely indicates disparate soil sources in a forensic comparison, in the absence of confounding factors like sample alteration. Despite the superior precision of instrumental colorimetry, this approach is inappropriate for samples which are mottled at an inseparable scale, attached to a substrate, or too small for instrumental measurement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14193DOI Listing
March 2020

A perspective on errors, bias, and interpretation in the forensic sciences and direction for continuing advancement.

J Forensic Sci 2009 Jul 26;54(4):798-809. Epub 2009 May 26.

FBI Laboratory, 2501 Investigation Parkway, Quantico, VA 22135, USA.

The forensic sciences are under review more so than ever before. Such review is necessary and healthy and should be a continuous process. It identifies areas for improvement in quality practices and services. The issues surrounding error, i.e., measurement error, human error, contextual bias, and confirmatory bias, and interpretation are discussed. Infrastructure is already in place to support reliability. However, more definition and clarity of terms and interpretation would facilitate communication and understanding. Material improvement across the disciplines should be sought through national programs in education and training, focused on science, the scientific method, statistics, and ethics. To provide direction for advancing the forensic sciences a list of recommendations ranging from further documentation to new research and validation to education and to accreditation is provided for consideration. The list is a starting point for discussion that could foster further thought and input in developing an overarching strategic plan for enhancing the forensic sciences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01081.xDOI Listing
July 2009