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Information for authors

Problems of Forensic Sciences/Z Zagadnień Nauk Sądowych is a quarterly journal published by the Institute of Forensic Research in Kraków. All submitted manuscripts are assessed by two reviewers (see: review procedure). Papers published in the journal can also be accessed free of charge at http://forensicscience.pl. The main language of the journal is English.

Papers sent in to the journal should fulfil the following requirements:

1.  Format of submitted papers. Manuscripts for publication in Problems of Forensic Sciences should be submitted in electronic form (articles in *.doc or *.docx files, figures – see point 4c) to the e-mail address: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

2.  Field and language of submitted manuscripts:

   The Editorial Committee accepts research papers, review articles, case reports, methodological studies and preliminary communications (providing they contain new, important information) from a broad range of forensic sciences, including toxicology, forensic genetics, forensic and legal medicine, criminalistics, forensic psychology and psychiatry, road accident reconstruction and related fields;

   papers can be written in either English or Polish, and after receiving a positive review are published in both English and Polish. Papers are translated by the Editorial Committee.

3.  The length of the article should not exceed 40 000 characters (including spaces). In justified cases, the Editorial Committee may accept longer manuscripts for publication.

4.  The article should contain:

a.  Information about the authors. Authors should include:

   name and surname and also degree/academic title;


   e-mail address;

   telephone number;

   full address for correspondence.

b.  Abstract. Authors are required to include an abstract in English (at the beginning of the article) of length not greater than 20 lines, containing 6 compulsory elements:

   aim of the article;

   type of research methodology used/research approach;

   main results of the research/analyses;

   practical implications for the forensic sciences;

   3–6 key words.

c.  Figures and tables attached to the article must fulfil the following conditions:

   the following types of files are accepted: graphic formats *.bmp, *.jpg, and *.tif image with a resolution of 300–400 dpi, and *.eps files or programme files such as: Corel Draw, Excel, etc.;

   tables and figures should be numbered in Arabic numerals;

   both figures and tables should be described in English;

   figures and tables are published exclusively in the English language version of the article.

d.  Literature cited. In-text citations referring to cited sources (in the reference list) should be in accordance with APA (American Psychological Association) style:

   A single author: regardless of how many times a work is cited, you should always give the surname of the author and the date of publication of the work; in the case of more than one work by a given author published in the same year, you should add successive lowercase letters after the date (e.g. 2001a); this rule also applies in the case of a greater number of authors of a given work. Examples:

     Kowalski (2001) states…

     Research shows that… (Kowalski, 2001).

     In his paper, Nowak (2005a) discusses…

     A study (Nowak, 2005b) carried out…

   2 authors: regardless of how many times a work is cited, you should always give the surnames of both authors and the date of publication of the work; in the case of more than one work by these authors published in the same year, you should add successive letters of the alphabet after the date. Examples:

     As Kowalski and Nowak (1999) suggest...

     Research shows that... (Kowalski, Nowak, 1999).

   3−5 authors: when citing for the first time, you should give the surnames of all the authors and separate them with commas. In subsequent citations of the same work, you should only use the first author’s surname, and replace the remaining surnames with the term “et al.” (both in the text and in parentheses). Example:

     Citing for the first time:

     As Nowak, Kowalski, and Jankiewicz (2003) suggest...

     Research (Nowak, Kowalski, Jankiewicz, 2003) shows that...

     Subsequent citations:

     A study by Nowak et al. (2003) shows that...

     This study (Nowak et al., 2003)...

   6 or more authors: you should only mention the surname of the first author both when the work is cited for the first time and in subsequent citations, while the surnames of the remaining authors should be replaced by the abbreviation “et al.” (both in the text and in parentheses). The surnames of all the authors of the work should be given in the list of references. Examples:

     Nowakowski et al. argue that ... (1997).

     The first study on the subject (Nowakowski et al., 1997) suggests that...

   When referring to several works at once: they should be listed alphabetically in brackets according to the surname of the first author. Citations of successive works must be separated by a semi-colon. Years of publication by the same author/s must be separated by a comma. Examples:

     (Kowalski, 2001; Nowak, Kowalski, 1999).

     (Kowalski, 1997, 1999, 2004a, 2004b; Nowak, Kowalski, 1999).

e.  The reference list. It is published in English only. It should be arranged in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author of each work in accordance with rules laid down by the APA.


     Surname, X., Surname2, Y., Surname3, Z. (Year of publication). Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher.

   edited book:

     Surname, X., Surname2, Y., Surname3, Z. (Eds.), (Year). Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher.

   article or chapter on an edited book:

     Surname, X., Surname2, Y, Surname3, Z. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. (In) X. Surname, Y. Surname2 (Eds.), Title of book, (pp. first–last page of chapter). Place of publication: Publisher.

   article in periodicals:

     Surname, X., Surname2, Y., Surname3, Z. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), first–last page of article.

   article from an online:

     Surname, X., Surname2, Y., Surname, Z. (Date of Pulication). Title of article.  Retrieved month day, year from: http://xxxxxxxxx

   article from an online periodical:

     Surname, X., Surname2, Y., Surname3, Z. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume numer, Retrieved month day, year from: http://xxxxxxxxx

   article in press (with DOI Assigned):

     Surname, X. (in press). Title of article. Title of journal, volume numer. DOI:xxxx.

5.  Before editorial work can commence on a given manuscript, each of the authors is required to fill out an electronic form declaring the contribution of individual authors to the publication. This declaration of contribution form is provided by the Editorial Committee; responsibility for the authenticity of the declaration rests with the author submitting the text. The declaration of contribution form has been incorporated into the submission procedure by the Editorial Committee in order to help prevent ghost-writing and guest authorship. All cases of such research misconduct will be disclosed with notification of relevant institutions.

6.  The Editorial Committee does not remunerate authors for published manuscripts.

7.  The Editorial Committee reserves the right to make necessary corrections, abridgements, changes in titles and other editorial changes without the consent of the author(s). Please take particular care to ensure the correct spelling of all surnames and names mentioned in the article, titles of cited works, dates, numbers, statistical data, measures, weights etc.

8.  An article may only be submitted if it has not yet been published and does not infringe the copyright of other authors. The Editorial Committee will not accept articles sent to several publishers at the same time and all such articles, together with any submitted in the future by the same author(s), will be rejected. Submission of an article also means that the author(s) consent(s) to its publication and agree(s) to transfer exclusive copyright to the publisher, including the right to reproduce and distribute the article in printed and electronic form via various media and also in data base systems and computer networks.

9.  The submitted texts, after preliminary assessment and selection carried out by subject editors who are members of the Editorial Committee, will be reviewed (see: Review procedure) by two reviewers in accordance with a form, which contains the following questions:

Overall publication value of the article:      Is the subject an important one?

                                                          Does the article possess scientific/practical/educational value?

Title:                   Is the title consistent with the problem actually presented?

                          Does the title reflect the main message of the study?

Abstract:             Is the abstract presented in structured form?

                         Does the abstract give an adequate picture of the entire article?

Introduction:    Is the background of the study made clear and helpful to readers unfamiliar with the subject?

                            Is the purpose of the article clearly stated?

Case report:           Is the case clearly presented?

                           Does the case add any novel findings to current knowledge?


and methods:         Is the research design appropriate and the methods clearly explained?

                           Are the criteria for selecting the sample clearly explained and justified?

                           Are the essential characteristics of the sample adequately described?

                           Is the sample size adequate and representative?

                           Have the data been collected in a systematic and comprehensive manner?

                            Is the statistical methodology appropriate?

                            Are there any ethical concerns about this study?

Results:                 Is the analysis of the data systematic?

                            Are the results credible?

                            Are the results important?

Discussion:          – Is the interpretation of the results clearly presented and adequately supported by the evidence adduced?

Conclusions:       Are the conclusions logically valid and justified by the evidence adduced?

Graphics:           Are all the figures and tables adequate and necessary?

References:       Are the references up-to-date?

                       Have the most important previous studies been cited?

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