Human Biology Open Access Pre-Prints

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Open Access Preprint

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Modern computational resources make available a rich toolkit of statistical methods that can be applied to forensic questions. This toolkit is built on the foundation of statistical developments dating back to the 19th century. To fully and effectively exploit these developments, both the makers and users of software must be keenly aware of the quality, i.e., the accuracy and precision, of the data being modeled or analyzed, and end-users must be sufficiently familiar with the underlying theory to understand the process and results of any analysis or software they use. This is especially important for medico-legal personnel who might be called upon to testify in a court of law and be subject to cross-examination. With respect to the development of computational tools, it is increasingly important that they be made available as open-source code to avoid the pitfalls of commercial software support and the potential dependence of end-users on orphaned software.