The five articles in this special issue of FSI:Synergy were created to advance the understanding and adoption of insights from cognitive psychology into forensic practice. Together these articles form the “Human Factors in Forensic Science Practice Sourcebook,” which the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) directed RTI International's Forensic Technology Center of Excellence to develop. Each article in this issue represents a “chapter” of this reference and is intended to address a specific field of knowledge within the cognitive psychology literature and how it may apply to and strengthen forensic science.

This sourcebook is designed to serve a wide range of forensic science stakeholders in three primary ways:

  • Describe the state of knowledge of human factors as applied to forensic practice.
  • Guide forensic laboratories to take into account how human factors considerations can improve the practice of forensic science.
  • Inform researchers and funders about research gaps that could be addressed in the application of cognitive psychology to forensic practice.

The aim of the sourcebook is to open readers’ eyes to different aspects of human factors with which they may not have been previously familiar. These articles are intended to be helpful and instructive to the forensic science community and provide tools to improve the work experience and product, provide support in court, and present to laboratory management to obtain support where needed.

Heidi Eldridge et al., Overview of special issue: Human factors in forensic science practice sourcebook, 4 Forensic Science International: Synergy 1–3 (2022).
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