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Directed Content Analysis: Exploring the Readability of Forensic Scientists' Written Reports for Police, Lawyers and Judges

Citation

Howes, LM, Directed Content Analysis: Exploring the Readability of Forensic Scientists' Written Reports for Police, Lawyers and Judges, SAGE Research Methods Cases ISSN 1479-375X (2014) [Non Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.4135/978144627305014537442

Abstract

Even though police, lawyers and judges may regularly encounter forensic science in their roles, familiarity does not guarantee understanding of it. Before a case reaches court, the results of forensic scientific tests are formally communicated using written reports. As part of my industry-sponsored PhD research project, I aimed to explore the nature of forensic scientists' reports and whether they would be readable to the police, lawyers and judges who use them in their work. This case study describes the process of developing a method to explore the readability of forensic scientists' reports. Content analysis offered a good fit to answering questions about the nature of written communication from scientists to non-scientists. However, specific issues for doing content analysis include deciding upon the criteria to assess and how to assess them. This case study describes the process of locating the particular analytic criteria through a literature review and then adapting and refining those criteria in an ongoing process. This case study emphasises the need for a good match between the research questions asked and the criteria used, whether driven by theory and past research, by data, or both, to describe and explain holistically the phenomenon under examination.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Keywords:content analysis, research methods
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the Law
Objective Field:Criminal Justice
Author:Howes, LM (Dr Loene Howes)
ID Code:105208
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-12-14
Last Modified:2016-08-10
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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