Welcome to the launch of my new website, Mapping Forensic Anthropology Research (MFAR), the result of the project I worked on as a 2022-2023 CHI Graduate Fellow!
This website is an exploratory resource for students and professionals in forensic anthropology. It is aimed at helping to understand what United States-based documented skeletal collections are used for the biological profile methods that are considered important to the field of forensic anthropology. Important biological profile methods were chosen based on their inclusion in the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA) reading list (a prep list for those aiming to sit for the board exam). Then, any article that used at least a partial sample from a United States-based documented skeletal collection was included on the website.
Visitors to the website can explore how United States-based documented skeletal collections are used. On the Articles page, visitors can click on any article to visually see on the map which skeletal collections were used for that study (if other samples were used, they are provided in a pop up as well). On the Topics page, visitors can see how different research foci (age, population affinity, sex, and stature) are included (i.e., total number of articles represented) and which collections they are mainly using, as visualized on the map. On the Collections page, visitors can learn more about the four collections that have been used in the research included in this website. On the About page, visitors are redirected to the original article’s DOI if they would like to read or access these articles. Lastly, visitors can contact me using the Contact page, if they wish to ask any questions (or potentially add any resources if I chose to expand the articles covered by pulling from more sources than the ABFA reading list).
Rather than showcasing the results of a particular study, this website is meant to provide a different perspective on our research in forensic anthropology and how we as scholars are using available resources (i.e., documented skeletal collections). I see this aiding in my own future research on the use of skeletal collections and hope it can provide some context to others in the field as well, whether they are hoping to better understand a study or are interested in using a skeletal collection for their own research.
I hope those out there find this website helpful and a useful tool towards engaging with forensic anthropology research and the sample sources for that research.