Information For Authors


Any manuscript that provides an in-depth discussion of a specific topic or subject matter that relates directly to the science of firearms and toolmark identification and/or its application. Articles will present the author’s own observations and research to support any conclusions drawn, events reported, or opinions given.


Case Report

Any manuscript that covers the details of an unusual case or any case that warrants discussion in the AFTE Journal. Case reports, however, may be published as an article if the Editor feels that the author has adequately extended the case report into a topic discussion that meets the criteria for an article, or if the case report is used as an example of a point in the author’s article.


Technical Report

Any discussion, report, or brief that presents a particular product or technique for the benefit of AFTE members.


Letters to the Editor

Reply or rebuttal to items printed in the AFTE Journal will be published in the next scheduled Journal when possible. To be considered for publication, these replies should reference the original article and be composed with cordial and professional demeanor. The author(s) of the original article will be given the opportunity to respond. Letters to the Editor are not peer reviewed.



Letters that discuss topics of interest to the community, but do not reference specific articles, will be published as soon as possible. Correspondences are not peer reviewed.


AFTE Letter to the Editor Policy


Book Reviews

Reviews of books relevant to the science of firearms and toolmark identification and/or its application. Book reviews are not peer reviewed.



Copies of articles submitted to the Editor for consideration for reprint in the AFTE Journal must  include written permission from the original publisher  for the reprint of any and all previously published material to include technical information, advertisements, schematic drawings, etc.


The AFTE Journal follows Scientific Style and Format: The Council of Science Editors (CSE) Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 8th Ed.

Please use the following formatting requirements:

  • Manuscripts should be saved as a Microsoft Word document using left Justify.
  • Denote measurements in both Imperial and Metric units.
  • Abbreviations must be spelled out when first used in the text, with the abbreviation in parentheses after it.
  • Tables should be submitted in a Microsoft Excel file.
  • Images and photos should be submitted as separate files. For those images/photos with embedded text, arrows, etc., please submit both the unaltered and altered version.
  • Provide a list of captions for all tables, figures, images, and photos submitted in a separate Microsoft Word document.

Authors are asked to utilize the following guidelines when using references or footnotes in the context of their submission. References are to be cited in text by number in order of mention (citation-sequence style). Due to formatting issues, use Arabic numerals with brackets, e.g. [1], on the normal line of type and not as superscripts. The reference list should be double-spaced. Some sample references taken from https://www.scientificstyleandformat.org/Tools/SSF-Citation-Quick-Guide.html are provided below.


  • Journal Articles: Author(s). Article title. Journal title. Date;volume (issue): location.
    • Smart N, Fang ZY, Marwick TH. A practical guide to exercise training for heart failure patients. J Card Fail. 2003;9(1):49-58.

  • Books: Author(s). Book title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher;date. Extent. Notes.
    • Ferrozzi F, Garlaschi G, Bova D. CT of metastases. New York (NY): Springer; 2000.

  • Websites: Title of homepage. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date of pubication [date updated; date accessed]. Notes.
    • APSnet: plant pathology online. St Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Association; c1994-2005 [accessed 2005 Jun 20]. http://www.apsnet.org/.

  • Personal Communication: References to personal communication are placed in running text rather than as formal end references. Permission is usually required and should be acknowledged in an “Acknowledgment” or “Notes” section at the end of the document.
    • . . . and most of these meningiomas proved to be inoperable (2003 letter from RS Grant to me;             unreferenced, see “Acknowledgements”) while a few were not.

Submissions can be emailed to the AFTE Editor (see email link below) or mailed to: 

Jennifer Gelston
Bureau of Forensic Services
P.O. Box 148285
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-8285

An ideal submission would include the following:

  • A separate title page to assist with the double-blind process. This page should include the title, author(s), and any acknowledgements.
  • Manuscript saved in a Microsoft Word file that follows the CSE Scientific Style and Formatting guide.
  • Excel file(s) containing tables and graphs.
  • JPEG image files (minimum of 150 dpi for good print quality)
  • Caption list.
  • Completed Author Publication Checklist 

Submissions may be returned to the author if the requirements are not followed.

If you have any questions regarding the AFTE Journal, please contact the Journal Editor.

Jennifer Gelston, AFTE Journal Editor
Contact Jennifer Gelston


Tables should be submitted in an MS Excel Spreadsheet. Please note that if tables are submitted in the manuscript text file, they must be converted to a MS Excel file by the Editor prior to importing it into the formatting program. This can be done, but creates additional work for the Editor.

Images and Photos

Images and Photos should be submitted as separate files. Please note that Images/Photos with arrows or text embedded with Photoshop or other imaging software may not be clearly read once placed in the formatting program. It is for this reason that the editor requests that BOTH altered and unaltered photos submitted. If an unaltered photo is submitted, text and/or arrows on an image can be recreated by the editor if the author’s alterations do not appear clearly once imported into the formatting program.

As a courtesy to all AFTE Members, it is recommended that the documentation of weights and measures be denoted in both Imperial Units and Metric Units. This serves to benefit those who are unfamiliar with one of the two methods.

  • DO NOT attempt to duplicate the Journal formatting as it exists in the Journal. All formatting within an article will be reformatted by the Editor prior to publication.
  • Excessive formatting of articles is discouraged. This includes bold, italics and underlined text. While this may make your article more visually appealing for submission, most advanced formatting will not transfer to InDesign and must be recreated by the Formatting Team.
  • Keep pictures and charts separate from the body of the text regardless if they are submitted as separate items, or files on disc. The Formatting Team will place all pictures and charts in a logical location.
  • Please format mathematical formulas and characters appropriately. Mathematical formulas or complicated symbols must be saved as a complete image. If the article contains unusual formatted objects it is unlikely that they will properly translate into InDesign.
  • Appropriately label and submit any images, tables, or charts as separate files. Images embedded into an MS Word file will print with poor resolution when formatted for the Journal.
  • Use of passive voice and avoidance of personal pronouns is not required, but is generally encouraged.