University of Oulu

Natalie R. Langley, Lee Meadows Jantz, Shauna McNulty, Heli Maijanen, Stephen D. Ousley, Richard L. Jantz, Data for validation of osteometric methods in forensic anthropology, Data in Brief, Volume 19, 2018, Pages 21-28, ISSN 2352-3409, (

Data for validation of osteometric methods in forensic anthropology

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Author: Langley, Natalie R.1; Jantz, Lee Meadows2; McNulty, Shauna3;
Organizations: 1Department of Anatomy, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine Arizona Campus
2Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee
3Science Department, Umpqua Community College
4University of Oulu, Archaeology
5Department of Mathematics and Information Technology, Mercyhurst University
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-06-28


Many techniques in forensic anthropology employ osteometric data, although little work has been done to investigate the intrinsic error in these measurements. These data were collected to quantify the reliability of osteometric data used in forensic anthropology research and case analyses. Osteometric data (n =99 measurements) were collected on a random sample of William M. Bass Donated Collection skeletons (n = 50 skeletons). Four observers measured the left elements of 50 skeletons. After the complete dataset of 99 measurements was collected on each of the 50 skeletons, each observer repeated the process for a total of four rounds. The raw data is available on Mendeley Data (DCP Osteometric Data, Version 1. DOI: 10.17632/6xwhzs2w38.1). An example of the data analyses performed to evaluate and quantify observer error is provided for the variable GOL (maximum cranial length); these analyses were performed on each of the 99 measurements. Two-way mixed ANOVAs and repeated measures ANOVAs with pairwise comparisons were run to examine intraobserver and interobserver error, and relative and absolute technical error of measurement (TEM) was calculated to quantify the observer variation. This data analysis supported the dissemination of a free laboratory manual of revised osteometric definitions (Data Collection Procedures 2.0, pdf available at and an accompanying instructional video ( This manual is versioned and updatable as new information becomes available. Similar validations of scientific data used in forensic methods would support the ongoing effort to establish valid and reliable methods and protocols for proficiency testing, training, and certification.

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Series: Data in brief
ISSN: 2352-3409
ISSN-E: 2352-3409
ISSN-L: 2352-3409
Volume: 19
Pages: 21 - 28
DOI: 10.1016/j.dib.2018.04.148
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 616 Other humanities
Funding: This work was supported by the National Institute of Justice (grant number 2013-DN-BX-K038).
Copyright information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (