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Examine carefully the field of forensics, which is the scientific approach to gathering and analyzing evidence from crime scenes to be used in legal proceedings. Beyond crime scenes, forensic experts may also investigate train or plane crashes to determine what caused them, analyze materials to determine the presence of chemical weapons or explosives, or examine DNA to determine a person’s identity.

Also known as forensic science, forensics is a multidisciplinary field that requires biology, chemistry, and medicine as well as physics, computer science, geology, and psychology. Forensic scientists examine objects, substances (including blood or drug samples), chemicals (paints, explosives, toxins), tissue traces (hair, skin), or impressions (fingerprints or tidemarks) left at the crime scene.

There are many subdisciplines within forensics, including forensic anthropology (the study of skeletal remains), criminalistics (examination and interpretation of physical evidence and the preparation of reports for legal proceedings), digital and multimedia sciences (the recovery and examination of evidence from computers and phones), forensic engineering (with a focus on accident investigations, product failures, and environmental contamination—often providing expertise in criminal and civil proceedings), forensic dentistry (using dental knowledge to identify human remains), forensic pathology (injury analysis and performance of autopsies to determine cause and manner of death), forensic biology (examination of blood and other bodily fluids, hair, bones, insects, and plant and animal remains), forensic toxicology (study of the adverse effects of drugs and chemicals on biological systems), forensic document examination (handwriting analysis), and forensic psychology (determination of a defendant’s competence to stand trial, assessment of mental illness as it relates to criminal responsibility).

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Forensics Resources

Gale provides scholarly forensics resources, including databasesprimary source archives, and eBooks.


Gale databases offer researchers access to credible, up-to-date content from forensics publications.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources offers forensics archives and collections that provide researchers with firsthand content.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of topics, including computer forensics, experiments, geology, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • Cloud Storage Forensics, 1st Edition

    Cloud Storage Forensics, 1st Edition

    Elsevier Science | 2013 | ISBN-13: 9780124199910

    To reduce the risk of digital forensic evidence being called into question in judicial proceedings, it is important to have a rigorous methodology and set of procedures for conducting digital forensic investigations and examinations. Digital forensic investigation in the cloud computing environment, however, is in infancy due to the comparatively recent prevalence of cloud computing. Cloud Storage Forensics presents the first evidence-based cloud forensic framework. Using three popular cloud storage services and one private cloud storage service as case studies, the authors show you how their framework can be used to undertake research into the data remnants on both cloud storage servers and client devices when a user undertakes a variety of methods to store, upload, and access data in the cloud. By determining the data remnants on client devices, you gain a better understanding of the types of terrestrial artifacts that are likely to remain at the Identification stage of an investigation. Once it is determined that a cloud storage service account has potential evidence of relevance to an investigation, you can communicate this to legal liaison points within service providers to enable them to respond and secure evidence in a timely manner.

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  • Emerging Digital Forensics Applications for Crime Detection, Prevention, and Security, 1st Edition

    Emerging Digital Forensics Applications for Crime Detection, Prevention, and Security, 1st Edition

    Information Science Reference | 2013 | ISBN-13: 9781466640078

    The revolutionary way in which modern technologies have enabled us to exchange information with ease has created a demand for interdisciplinary research in digital forensics and investigations aiming to combat the abuse of computer technologies. Emerging Digital Forensics Applications for Crime Detection, Prevention, and Security presents various digital crime and forensic disciplines that use electronic devices and software for crime prevention and detection. This book provides theoretical and empirical research articles and case studies for a broad range of academic readers as well as professionals, industry consultants, and practitioners involved in the use, design, and development of techniques related to digital forensics and investigation.

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  • Underwater Forensic Investigation, 2nd Edition

    Underwater Forensic Investigation, 2nd Edition

    CRC Press | 2013 | ISBN-13: 9781466507517

    The evidence discovered at underwater crime scenes must be handled with the same attention to proper chain of custody procedures as with any other type of investigation. Improper handling of these scenes can lead to evidence being lost, unrecognizable, destroyed, contaminated, or rendered inadmissible at the time of trial. Updated and expanded, Underwater Forensic Investigation, 2nd Edition presents a comprehensive approach to the processing of an underwater crime scene and the steps necessary to conduct the operation.

    The book summarizes the history, physics, and laws applicable to underwater investigations and includes topics such as team formation, roles, deployment, and accountability. Explaining procedures that can make a true difference in the final outcome of water-related incidents, the author also debunks myths associated with submerged evidence.

    This second edition contains several new chapters on photography, contaminated sites, preservation of evidence, and release of the crime scene and includes expanded information on death investigation and organizing the dive team. Nearly 100 color illustrations supplement the text.

    The science of water-related investigations is still in its infancy, and hence, the field needs accurate and useful sources of education. This text will assist law enforcement professionals and those in other areas of public safety in gaining the knowledge that historically has been lacking. The incorporation of the procedures presented will enable those tasked with working these scenes to develop a greater degree of professionalism, objectivity, thoroughness, and accuracy relating to the investigation of water-related incidents—increasing the chance for successful resolution of these difficult cases.

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  • What’s Cool about Science?: Discover Forensic Science, 1st Edition

    What’s Cool about Science?: Discover Forensic Science, 1st Edition

    Lerner Publications | 2017 | ISBN-13: 9781512410662

    Forensic scientists study evidence to figure out who committed a crime. But how do they determine the cause of death? And how do they use trained dogs and devices to track scents? Learn about the latest tools and techniques in use by forensic scientists and discover how their work helps bring criminals to justice.

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