Call for Abstracts

The 22nd Triennial Meeting of International Association of Forensic Sciences in conjunction with the 25th Symposium of the Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society Organising Committee invites the submission of abstracts for consideration as an oral or digital poster presentation in the IAFS 2020 Meeting Program.

The theme for IAFS 2020 is ‘where to from here’, which asks the forensic science community to review contemporary practices and consider strategies to improve operational contributions and effectiveness in the light of both current and future challenges.

Key Dates
Abstract Submission Open Monday 23 September 2019
Abstract Submission Close Friday 31 January 2020
Authors Notified of Acceptance Friday 10 April 2020
Author Registration & Early Bird Deadline  Monday 22 June 2020
IAFS 2020 Meeting Dates 21 – 25 September 2020

 *Note that we recommend using Chrome or Internet Explorer for your abstract submission.

Abstract Submission

Disciplines for Submission

Authors must select one of the following disciplines that their abstract relates to. Expand the boxes to see a detailed description of each discipline.

Anthropology & Archaeology

Issues relevant to the recovery and examination of human remains (e.g., from clandestine burials), physical anthropology (including human osteology), and the application of archaeological methods to the collection and interpretation of traces.

Biological Criminalistics

All aspects of forensic biology, including the collection and analysis of biological materials (from presumptive tests through to DNA profiling), and the interpretation of associated results.

Chemical Criminalistics

Physical and chemical analysis of materials, including glass, paint, textile fibres, and miscellaneous substances not covered elsewhere, and the interpretation of the associated results.

Clinical Forensic Medicine & Forensic Nursing

All aspects of clinical forensic medicine (clinical practices to support potential legal proceedings) and forensic nursing (nursing processes associated with the treatment of patients in cases of abuse, violence, criminal activity, liability, and accidents).

Crime Scene Investigation

Issues related to crime scene examinations and the disciplines generally covered by field-based practitioners (e.g., scene of crime detection, scene recording, footwear impressions, bloodstain pattern analysis, etc.)

Digital Forensic Science & Electronic Evidence

Forensic exploitation of the various forms of digital/electronic information that may form part of an investigation (e.g., data from mobile phones, laptops, PCs, PDAs, GPS systems, fax machines, etc.), including its collection, analysis and interpretation.

Document Examination

The examination of questioned documents, including the physical and chemical analysis of paper, inks, toners, etc., and the interpretation of associated results.

Education & Training

Issues related to education and training across the various fields of forensic science, including tertiary education, online programs, short courses and continuing professional education.

Fingerprint Evidence & Biometrics

Physical and chemical techniques used for fingermark detection and enhancement, together with issues related to fingerprint identification, including the interpretation of fingerprint evidence. Also includes biometric technologies for authentication and identification purposes (e.g., access control) that measure and analyse human body characteristics, such as fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, voice patterns, facial configurations and hand measurements.

Firearms & Toolmarks

Issues related to scene examination, and specimen collection, analysis and interpretation for incidents involving firearms and toolmarks. This includes the chemical analysis of firearm discharge residues.

Fires & Explosions

Issues related to scene examination, specimen collection, analysis and interpretation for incidents involving fire or explosion. This includes the chemical analysis of fire debris and explosive residues.

Forensic Pathology

Pathology that focuses on medicolegal investigations of sudden or unexpected death with a view to determining cause, manner and mode of death.

Forensic Taphonomy & Entomology

The interrelated studies of the post-mortem changes of human remains – focusing largely on environmental effects – and the identification and biological attributes of insects with application to forensic investigations (e.g., through estimation of the post-mortem interval).

Humanitarian Forensic Science

The application of the knowledge and skills of forensic medicine and science to humanitarian action, especially following conflicts or disasters. This includes the forensic response to mass graves and mass-casualty incidents where Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) protocols are required, and complex investigations and prosecutions of international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Illicit Drugs & Clandestine Laboratories

Issues related to scene examination, specimen collection and analysis for incidents involving illicit drugs, including clandestine laboratories involved in the manufacture of illicit materials. Specimen analysis includes the application of chemical profiling techniques, related databases, and data interpretation issues.

Management & Quality Assurance

Aspects related to the management of forensic services, including quality assurance requirements (e.g., ISO 17025 accreditation).

Military Forensic Science & Counterterrorism

The military application of forensic techniques (including battlefield forensics) and issues specifically related to counterterrorism. This includes specimen collection and analysis where CBRN agents may be involved.


Application of dental science to legal investigations, primarily involving the identification of human remains based on dental records, or the identification of an offender by comparing dental records to a bite mark left on a victim or at the scene.

Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences

Psychiatric consultation and the assessment of mental health applied to legal matters, including clinical work with both offenders and victims. Behavioural science covers the various disciplines that deal with human actions, with such fields including sociology, social and cultural anthropology, and psychology.

Science, Justice & Legal Issues

Issues related to the interface between the various forensic science disciplines, the forensic science system and the justice system in its broadest definition, including how forensic evidence is perceived and interpreted by the legal community, how forensic evidence is presented in court, and how we can make forensic science more effective and reliable. This includes cases of alleged or actual wrongful conviction.

Toxicology & Pharmacology

Aspects related to the use of toxicology and other disciplines – such as analytical chemistry, pharmacology and clinical chemistry – as part of the medicolegal investigation into incidents of death, poisoning, and drug use.

Wildlife Forensics & Environmental Crime

Issues related to the physical and biochemical analysis of animal- and plant-based material that may be encountered in wildlife crime investigations (e.g., illegal trafficking of native animals and plants), as well as specimen collection and analysis for broader environmental crime investigations, such as pollution incidents.

General Policies and Requirements

Abstract Format and Layout Guidelines

Program At A Glance

Notification of Acceptance

The IAFS 2020 Scientific Committee and Discipline Convenors will review all submitted abstracts and asses them in relation to quality of abstract and relevance to the Meeting disciplines. Notifications of acceptance will be sent via email to the submitting author on Friday 10 April 2020. Abstracts submitted for oral presentations that cannot be accommodated within the program will be considered and reviewed for a place as a digital poster.

The Meeting Managers will not be held responsible for abstract submissions not received via the website or for submission errors caused by internet service outages, hardware or software delays, power outages or unforeseen events.