The idea of progress in forensic authorship analysis


Using Robert Nisbet’s (1979) The Idea of Progress I examine progress in research and practice in forensic authorship analysis. I describe the existing research base and examine what makes an authorship analysis more or less reliable. Further to this I describe the recent history of forensic science and the scientific revolution brought about by the invention of DNA evidence. I chart the rise of three major changes in forensic science – the recognition of contextual bias in analysts, the need for validation studies and shift in logic of providing identification evidence. I address the idea of progress in forensic authorship analysis in terms of these three issues with regard to new knowledge about the nature of authorship and methods in stylistics and stylometry. I propose that the focus needs to shift to validation of protocols for approaching case questions, rather than on validation of systems or general approaches.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > English Languages and Applied Linguistics
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College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: © Tim Grant 2022 This work is in copyright. It is subject to statutory exceptions and to the provisions of relevant licensing agreements; with the exception of the Creative Commons version the link for which is provided below, no reproduction of any part of this work may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. An online version of this work is published at under a Creative Commons Open Access license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 which permits re-use, distribution and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate credit to the original work is given. You may not distribute derivative works without permission. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecom
ISBN: 9781108974714
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2024 07:07
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2021 12:25
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Related URLs: ... DBF74DECA3EBA06 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Book
Published Date: 2022-04-22
Accepted Date: 2021-11
Authors: Grant, Tim (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5155-8413)



Version: Draft Version

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License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

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