Scientific Working Group for Materials Analysis

SWGMAT was dedicated to improving the field of trace evidence analysis through development of guideline documents for the analysis of fibers, paint, glass, hairs, or tape; the interpretation of data; for the training new forensic examiners; and through cooperative research projects and academic exchange.


SWGs served as a common voice for their scientific disciplines. Meetings held at least once a year allowed SWG members to come together to discuss issues of concern and reach consensus on documents drafted through out the year. In that regard, the SWGs created, prepared, and published standards and guidelines for their constituents in the forensic community. These documents provide crime laboratories a solid basis for operational requirements. Enforcement of the guidelines is left to the appropriate governing agency and each group's internal policies. The documents are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals in the group's discipline. SWGMAT has published standards and guidelines in Forensic Science Communications (can be found at and in the Journal of the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners (can be found at

SWGMAT provided the Guidelines/Best Practices that have application to Fibers, Glass, Paint, Hair, and Tape

Process To Create

  • Annual meetings of representatives from state/local/private entities from across the nation as well as Canada, England, and Germany
  • Discussions/presentations lead to documents and guidelines.
  • Information shared through the regional associations