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Forensic Document Analysis Standards

Standards for forensic document analysis delve into the myriad of duties carried out by forensic document examiners, making clear the procedures, terminology, and limitations of the field. Contrary to popular opinion, forensic document examiners do not study handwriting to determine psychological characteristics of the author, but instead analyze the material used to make the document, what material was used to mark the document, what tools and techniques were used in the process, and what has happened to the document since its creation. In essence, forensic document analysis reveals the life story of a document. With standards for the analysis, preservation, and matching of documents that have been altered, cut, torn, perforated, soaked by liquids, or even charred, forensic document analysis covers a broad spectrum of forensic procedures.

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ASTM E2388-11

Standard Guide for Minimum Training Requirements for Forensic Document Examiners

1.1 This guide provides minimum requirements and procedures that should be used for the fundamental training of forensic document examiners (Guide E444 ). 1.2 This guide may not cover all aspects of training for the topics addressed or for unusual or uncommon examinations. 1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E2286-08a

Standard Guide for Examination of Dry Seal Impressions

1.1 This guide provides procedures that should be used by forensic document examiners (Guide E 444 ) for examinations and comparisons involving dry seal devices and their impressions. 1.2 These procedures are applicable whether the examination(s) and comparison(s) is of questioned and known items or of exclusively questioned items. 1.3 These procedures include evaluation of the sufficiency of the material available for examination. 1.4 The particular methods employed in a given case will depend upon the nature and sufficiency of the material available for examination. 1.5 This guide may not cover all aspects of particularly unusual or uncommon examinations. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory requirements prior to use.


ASTM E2287-09

Standard Guide for Examination of Fracture Patterns and Paper Fiber Impressions on Single-Strike Film Ribbons and Typed Text

1.1 This guide provides procedures that should be used by forensic document examiners (Guide E 444 ) for examinations and comparisons involving single-strike film ribbons with typed text and related procedures. 1.2 These procedures are applicable whether the examination and comparison is of questioned and known items or of exclusively questioned items. 1.3 These procedures include evaluation of the sufficiency of the material submitted for examination. 1.4 These procedures are also generally applicable to examinations of lift-off and cover-up correction tapes and sheets. 1.5 These procedures may also be applicable (in whole or in part) to examinations of carbon paper and carbon copies or of documents produced with certain non-impact printing devices (for example, printing devices using a thermal imaging transfer ribbon). 1.6 The particular methods employed in a given case will depend upon the nature of the material available for examination. 1.7 This guide may not cover all aspects of unusual or uncommon examinations. 1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory requirements prior to use.


ASTM E2285-08

Standard Guide for Examination of Mechanical Checkwriter Impressions

1.1 This guide provides procedures for examinations that should be used by forensic document examiners (E 444 ) for examinations and comparisons involving mechanical checkwriters and their impressions (exclusive of rubber stamp checkwriter impressions or computer generated checkwriter impressions). 1.2 These procedures are applicable whether the examination(s) and comparison(s) are of questioned and known items or of exclusively questioned items. 1.3 These procedures include evaluation of the sufficiency of the material available for examination. 1.4 The particular methods employed in a given case will depend upon the nature and sufficiency of the material available for examination. 1.5 This guide may not cover all aspects of particularly unusual or uncommon examinations. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory requirements prior to use.


ASTM E2289-08

Standard Guide for Examination of Rubber Stamp Impressions

1.1 This guide provides procedures that should be used by forensic document examiners (E 444 ) for examinations and comparisons involving rubber stamps and their impressions. 1.2 These procedures are applicable whether the examination(s) and comparison(s) is of questioned and known items or of exclusively questioned items. 1.3 These procedures include evaluation of the sufficiency of the material available for examination. 1.4 The particular methods employed in a given case will depend upon the nature and sufficiency of the material available for examination. 1.5 This guide may not cover all aspects of particularly unusual or uncommon examinations. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory requirements prior to use.


ASTM E2494-08

Standard Guide for Examination of Typewritten Items

1.1 This guide covers procedures that should be used by forensic document examiners (Guide E 444 ) for examinations and comparisons involving typewritten items and related procedures. 1.2 These procedures are applicable whether the examination and comparison is of questioned and known items or of exclusively questioned items. 1.3 These procedures include evaluation of the sufficiency of the material (questioned, or known, or both) available for examination. 1.4 Procedures are also given for taking exemplars from typewriters and the proper handling of typewriters or parts of typewriters that might be relevant. 1.5 These methods can also be applicable (in whole or in part) to examinations of documents prepared on other impact and nonimpact printing devices. 1.6 The particular methods employed in a given case will depend upon the nature of the material available for examination. 1.7 This guide might not cover all aspects of unusual or uncommon examinations of typewritten items. 1.8 This guide cannot replace training (Guide E 2388 ) or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. 1.9 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard. 1.10 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E2288-09

Standard Guide for Physical Match of Paper Cuts, Tears, and Perforations in Forensic Document Examinations

1.1 This guide provides procedures that should be used by forensic document examiners (Guide E 444 ) for examinations and comparisons to determine whether or not two or more paper fragments were at one time joined to form a single piece of paper. 1.2 These procedures are applicable whether the examination(s) and comparison(s) is of questioned and known items or of exclusively questioned items. 1.3 These procedures include evaluation of the sufficiency of the material available for examination. 1.4 The particular methods employed in a given case will depend upon the nature sufficiency of the material available for examination. 1.5 This guide may not cover all aspects of unusual or uncommon examinations. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory requirements prior to use.


ASTM E2710-11e1

Standard Guide for Preservation of Charred Documents

1.1 This guide provides procedures that should be used by forensic document examiners (Guide E444 ) for the preservation of charred documents. 1.2 These procedures include evaluation of the sufficiency of the material requiring preservation. 1.3 The particular methods employed in a given case will depend upon the nature of the material available for preservation. 1.4 This guide does not cover all procedures to preserve charred documents. Consultation with a document conservationist, archivist, or related material expert, as well as reference materials, may be necessary. 1.5 This guide does not replace knowledge, skill, ability, experience, education, or training (Guide E2388 ) and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E2711-11

Standard Guide for Preservation of Liquid Soaked Documents

1.1 This guide provides procedures that should be used by forensic document examiners (Guide E444 ) for the preservation of liquid soaked documents. 1.2 These procedures include evaluation of the sufficiency of the material requiring preservation. 1.3 The particular methods employed in a given case will depend upon the nature of the material requiring preservation. 1.4 This guide does not cover all procedures to preserve unusual or uncommon liquid soaked documents. Consultation with a document conservationist, archivist, or related material expert, as well as reference materials, may be necessary. 1.5 This guide does not replace knowledge, skill, ability, experience, education, or training (Guide E2388 ) and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


ASTM E444-09

Standard Guide for Scope of Work of Forensic Document Examiners

1.1 This guide describes, in general, the duties of forensic document examiners, also referred to as questioned document examiners, examiners of questioned documents, document examiners, or document analysts. 1.2 This document can provide guidance to anyone encountering matters involving forensic document examination.


ASTM E1658-08

Standard Terminology for Expressing Conclusions of Forensic Document Examiners

1.1 This terminology is intended to assist forensic document examiners in expressing conclusions or opinions based on their examinations. 1.2 The terms in this terminology are based on the report of a committee of the Questioned Document Section of the American Academy of Forensic Science that was adopted as the recommended guidelines in reports and testimony by the Questioned Document Section of the American Academy of Forensic Science and the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners .


ASTM E2195-09

Standard Terminology Relating to the Examination of Questioned Documents

1.1 This terminology standard includes terms that relate to the examination performed by forensic document examiners. Note 1 The terms in the Terminology Section refer to typical copybook styles of writing and do not account for exceptional forms.


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