Research Trends in Digital Forensic Science: An Empirical Analysis of Published Research

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Cyber forensics, Computer forensics


Computer Engineering | Computer Sciences | Electrical and Computer Engineering | Forensic Science and Technology | Information Security


Digital forensic science is a new discipline. In order to advance and improve this science, stakeholders should stay abreast over the research trends in this domain. This research studied, categorized and analyzed a sample of five-hundred publications (n=500) from this discipline. The results indicated that the rate of publication in this domain continues to increase over time. Additionally, results showed an overall lack of anti-forensics research where only 2% of the sampled papers dealt with anti-forensics. In terms of research methodology, the results indicated that 17% of the sampled publications were secondary research, 36% were exploratory studies, 33% were constructive and 31% were empirical. The results also indicated a lack of basic research in this scientific discipline where most of the research (81%) was applied, and that only 19% of the sample was categorized as basic research. Additionally, results exemplified a lack of quantitative research in the discipline, with only 20% of the research papers using quantitative methods, and 80% using qualitative methods. Furthermore, results showed that the largest portion of the research (42.9%) from the examined sample originated from the United States. The findings also showed a lack of cooperative research between academia and industry, where only 10% of the research studies examined where a collaborative effort between industry and academia. Lastly, the findings indicated an increase in the disparity between the number of published articles and the number of cited articles over the years possibly indicating isolation amongst researchers in this domain.


Volume 114 of the series Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering.

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Publisher Citation

Baggili, I., BaAbdallah, A., Al-Safi, D., & Marrington, A. (2013). Research Trends in Digital Forensic Science: An Empirical Analysis of Published Research. In Rogers, Marcus K., Seigfried-Spellar, Kathryn C. (Eds.)Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime (pp. 144-157). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. ISBN: 978-3-642-39890-2