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ACE-V and the Scientific Method

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Identification Volume: 60 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2010 Pages: 87-103
Michelle Reznicek; Robin M. Ruth; Dawn M. Schilens
Date Published
January 2010
17 pages
This article examines the relationships among the scientific method, theory testing, hypothesis testing, and the scientific methodology of analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification (ACE-V).
The scientific method is a general approach for all hypothesis testing. Analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification (ACE-V) is a scientific methodology that is part of the scientific method. Several publications have attempted to explain ACE-V as a scientific method or its role within the scientific method, but these attempts are either not comprehensive or not explicit. This article expands on these previous works and outlines the scientific method as a seven-step process. The scientific method is discussed using the premises of uniqueness, persistence, and classifiability. Each step of the scientific method is addressed specifically as it applies to friction ridge impression examination in casework. It is important for examiners to understand and apply the scientific method, including ACE-V, and be able to articulate this method. Figures and references (Published Abstract)