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

  • Ibrahim Baggili
  • Afrah BaAbdallah
  • Deena Al-Safi
  • Andrew Marrington
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 114)


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.


Digital forensic science research trends research methodologies challenges in digital forensics science 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Science, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ibrahim Baggili
    • 1
  • Afrah BaAbdallah
    • 2
  • Deena Al-Safi
    • 2
  • Andrew Marrington
    • 2
  1. 1.Tagliatela College of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of New HavenUSA
  2. 2.Advanced Cyber Forensics Research LaboratoryZayed UniversityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

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