TIAFT Bulletin

The TIAFT Bulletin appears 3 times a year. It contains reports from TIAFT committees, articles on new technology and research, guidelines of laboratory practice and ethics, case notes, meeting reports, opinions from TIAFT members, and news of members.

The Bulletin is sent by mail to all standard TIAFT members whose dues are paid and current. If your dues are in arrears you will not receive the bulletin until your TIAFT account is paid in full. Back issues will not be sent if dues are paid in arrears. Additionally, it is the responsibility of all TIAFT members to ensure that their e-mail and mailing address are current. If you are a developing countries fund (DCF) member the bulletin is available electronically only onto the members area.

In order to keep our bulletin strong we need articles from the members. We have already awarded a number of papers for the best paper published in the bulletin. This is a small incentive for members to contribute regularly.

The Board has approved a "Best Bulletin Paper Prize" for the best published paper in the Bulletin over a full year. The award ($500USD) will be given at the annual TIAFT meeting.

How to Submit an Article

Please read (or download the pdf document) the following guidelines when submitting articles to the TIAFT Bulletin. Note: Content is generally due on the 1st of the month in which the respective issue is generated (i.e., 1 March, 1 July, 1 November). 

Article Submission Guidelines

  • Bulletin Article Type

    Announcement or Message
    Presidents’ message, Treasurer’s message, Secretary’s message, announcement of a scientific meeting, etc.
    The maximum word count is 500.

    Meeting Report
    Summary of scientific meeting (e.g. TIAFT, TIAFT regional meeting, IATDMCT, SOHT, SFTA, GTFCh, etc)
    The maximum word count is 1500.

    ‘Mentor’ column or ‘Ask the Expert’ column
    This column highlights the experience of senior toxicologists on contemporary issues in forensic toxicology, or big changes and challenges observed over their career, as well as their scientific experience.
    The maximum word count is 4000.

    Young Scientist column
    “Young Scientists Corner”, including PhD and early career researcher profiles, containing information on the individual as well as a short resume of their PhD work. This enables the Bulletin readers to have a follow-up on the novel research conducted in our field worldwide.
    The maximum word count is 4000.

    Case Report
    This report describes an interesting case report or a case report series.
    The maximum word count is 4000.

    Research Article
    A research article is a detailed description of an original study.
    The manuscript consists of an introduction, a methods section, results, discussion and references.
    The maximum word count is 7000.

  • Bulletin Article Guidelines

    Send the artwork in a separate file
    Make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (JPEG or high quality PDF)

    Send each Table in a separate file (JPEG, word or Excel)
    Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Place footnotes to tables below the table body and indicate them with superscript lowercase letters.

    Reference style (based on Journal of Analytical Toxicology [reference formatting] and on Forensic Science International [square brackets for in-text citations and numbered list])
    Citations in Text: indicate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text.
    Reference List: Number the references (numbers in square brackets) in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.


    • Reference to a journal publication:
      [1] Bertholf, R.L., Bertholf, A.L., Reisfield, G.M. and Goldberger, B.A. (2011) Respiratory exposure to ethanol vapor during use of hand sanitizers: is it significant? Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 35, 319–320.
    • Reference to a book/book chapter:
      [2] Jones, A.W. (2011) Driving under the influence of alcohol. In Moffat, A.C., Osselton, M.D., Widdop, B., and Watts, J. (Eds.), Clarke’s Analysis of Drugs and Poisons, 4th edition, Volume 1, Chapter 4. Pharmaceutical Press, London, U.K., pp. 87–114.
    • Reference to an electronic source:
      [3] (2018) UNODC World Drug Report 2018. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. https://dataunodc.un.org/drugs (accessed August 14, 2018).
  • Copyright Issues

    Agreement for publication of content in the TIAFT Bulletin

    By publishing in the TIAFT Bulletin, the author agrees to the following:

    • The submission is entirely original, including all written and visual content (e.g., images, figures, tables);
    • The author is the owner of all intellectual property rights of the contribution, including all copyrights, design rights, and database rights (‘Intellectual Property Rights’);
    • The author is responsible for obtaining written permission for the inclusion of any copyright material in the article, including text, illustrations or otherwise, and refer appropriately in the submission.

    Author Approval
    In addition, the author agrees to review and approve proofs of the submission within a reasonable time as designated by the Editors (minimum 3 days review period). If the author fails to return the proofs within the time specified, the TIAFT Bulletin Editors will consider the proofs as approved for publication.

    The author accepts the above terms:
    Name (print)
    Date, place

    Copyright concerning articles published in the TIAFT Bulletin

    In all of the situations below, the TIAFT Bulletin must be appropriately referenced.

    Following publication in the TIAFT Bulletin, authors can freely use or distribute a copy of their article. Articles published in the TIAFT Bulletin may be reworked for submission to peer-reviewed journals. Authors may reprint their Bulletin articles as a handout or bundle their articles (e.g., for reprint as a book). Such reprints may be professionally distributed (e.g., for the purposes of education or research training); however, they should not be reprinted for sale or for commercial purposes.


    Reproduction or distribution (via copy, print, electronic or any other means) of the Bulletin content is prohibited without approval from the TIAFT Bulletin Editors and the authors. Requests for reproduction or distribution must be made to the Bulletin Editors, who will consult with the original author(s).

    Contact: bulletin@tiaft.org

Bulletin Advertising

Advertising is at $500USD per half A4 page or $1000USD per full A4 Page.
Hi resolution images of PDF's should be sent to bulletin@tiaft.org.
Please, contact Bulletin Editors (full contact details below) for any further information.

Buy past TIAFT Bulletin issues

You can contact either TIAFT Treasurer or Bulletin Editor to request a specific issue of the Bulletin and to know about its availability. Past issues of the TIAFT Bulletin cost 25.00 U.S. Dollars (USD). Payments can be made online by using PayPal as described below. Upon receipt of payment, the Bulletin issue requested will be mailed to you in paper or electronic format if paper one is no more available.

  • Instructions for online payment of Bulletin past issues
    • Click on the Add to Cart button above
    • This takes you to the PayPal Shopping Cart. By default you're requested of 25 USD for 'one' past issue of the Bulletin. If you need more, please change the number needed in the Quantity field and click on Update Cart.
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      • To pay by credit card: Simply click on the Continue button at the bottom right of the page. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A PAYPAL ACCOUNT.
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    • This takes you to the Review Your Payment page. Check all the information. (If you are paying dues for someone else, you must indicate the name of the person you are paying for in the Message for Seller box).
    • If everything is correct, click Pay. A receipt will be e-mailed to you.

Bulletin History

To have an insight of the TIAFT Bulletin history, the following is a must read article:

  • The TIAFT Bulletin through the ages

    Published on July 1999 (Vol. 29, n. 3)
    Ilkka Ojanpera
    TIAFT Secretary (1996-1999)

    The First Issues

    A concrete heritage of the activities of our association is the TIAFT Bulletin. The Secretary has in the archives all the Bulletins published so far, and each issue reflects the current questions and opinions of its time, forming together an interesting history of forensic toxicology. In the present writing I will briefly survey the TIAFT Bulletin and its makers.

    TIAFT was founded in London April 21, 1963. The founding meeting elected Dr. E.C.G. Clarke (UK) as President, Dr. Alan S. Curry (UK) as Secretary, Dr. Ian Holden (UK) as Treasurer and Dr. Fred Rieders (USA) as Newsletter Editor. The first newsletter was edited in November 1963 by Rieders, and from the very beginning it bore the name "Bulletin of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists". It was a 3-page A4 size blue spirit duplicated leaflet which contained four case notes. The analytical methods relied much on TLC, spectrophotometry and spot tests. The first note was by L.W. Bradford (USA) giving advice on how to calibrate UV spectro-photometers with mercury vapour. The second note by K. Genest and C.G. Farmilo (Canada) described a method to analyse chlordiazepoxide, the first benzodiazepine in the market, in urine, blood and tablet material by TLC and UV spectrophotometr y. They also described a method for LSD in biological and tablet material by TLC and spectrophoto-fluorometry. The third note was by L. Kazyak (USA) who published a UV spectrum from a jequirity seed extract, probably abrin. In the fourth note F. Rieders and V. Cordova (USA) described a colour test for thallium in urine.

    The second issue of the Bulletin, also edited by Rieders, came out in June, 1964. It contained six case notes and two announcements of research activity. K.J. Kimber (UK) described a fatal amitriptyline poisoning, analysed by UV, and A. Curry presented data f rom two fatal pethidine poisonings. J. Jones (USA) described a fatal methyl salicylate poisoning and a fatality following ingestion of brake fluid, which was investigated by GC. T. W. McConnell Davis and C.G. Farmillo (Canada) described the analysis of medicinal carbamates by TLC, and Z. Marek and Z. Grochowska (Poland) pressented a fatal meprobamate poisoning, analysed by photometry. A. McBay (USA) listed a compilation of the most often prescribed drugs in USA, which contained many drugs that still today are of interest to forensic toxicologists: aspirin, codeine, morphine, paracetamol, warfarin, hydroxyzine, meprobamate, chlordiazepoxide, thioridazine, prochlorperazine, fluphenazine, promazine.

    Outstanding Editors

    After Rieders, the editorship of the Bulletin was as follows: The second Bulletin Editor was John V. Jackson (UK), who served in this position from September 1964 to June 1972. It is a matter of opinion whether the TIAFT Secretary was the official Editor and Jackson a Case Notes Editor, or not. Jackson was helped by Michael Moss (UK), who provided toxicology abstracts. From December 1972, the TIAFT Secretary D.J. Blackmore (UK) took over the editorship for a short period, while Jackson continued as Case Notes Editor until his death in 1984. Moss continued as Abstracts Editor until 1982. In September 1973, the next TIAFT Secretary Neville Dunnett (UK) became the Editor and had a remarkably long career in this position, up to 1990. Dr. Vina Spiehler (USA) was elected TIAFT Secretary in 1990 and published her first Bulletin in January 1991. From 1984 Dr. M. David Osselton (UK) and from October 1993 Prof. Albert Fraser (Canada) served as Case Notes Editors. The Abstracts Editor from July 1982 was Dr. John Oliver (UK) and from August 1991 Dr. Maciej Bogusz (Germany). In 1996, when I was elected the TIAFT Secretary, it became obvious that a separate, dedicated Bulletin Editor would be again needed to meet the increasing demands of the international membership. In addition, the new TIAFT constitution from year 1995 clearly expressed how the Editor is appointed: "The TIAFT Secretary shall be Editor of the TIAFT Bulletin or shall appoint the Editor, subject to approval of the Executive Committee." Anya Pierce (Ireland) was appointed and she released her first Bulletin in January 1997. Fraser and Bogusz continued as Case Notes and Abstract Editors, respectively, until April 1998. After that an Editorial Board was formed, with Bogusz as Abstracts Editor and Wayne Jeffery Canada) and Dr. John Lewis (Australia) as Case Notes Editors.

    TIAFT logo Changing Appearance

    After the first two blue ink issues, the Bulletin continued as a black and white A4 size duplicate with approximately 6 pages per issue and a focus on case notes from members. In the first issue of year 1970, a new cover was introduced with a sketch of what later became the TIAFT logo, designed by Mrs. Barbara Moss (UK). The blue coloured stars already appeared in this original version. Furthermore, the Bulletin began to cover additional material to case notes, such as abstracts, news and views, and expanded to about 20 A 4 pages. From June 1974, the Bulletin cover got the TIAFT logo that is still used today, redesigned by Mr. P.G. Ashton (UK).

    In the beginning of 1978, the Bulletin was still a thick 50-page A4 duplicate but in the same year the format was changed to A5 with reduced, superior quality type-face and grey card b o a rd covers. The contents consisted of case notes, abstracts and association news as before. Advertisements were scarce but they existed. When Vi n a Spiehler took over the editorship 1991, she maintained the paper size and the established balance of the contents but, as the Bulletin was printed in the USA, there were changes in the layout and cover. The colour of the cardboard cover was changed to light blue and the cover logo was re-designed to be less Eurocentric and without meridians "as they actually are not seen from the space". Spiehler was able to produce exactly four issues per year on schedule.

    Anya Pierce introduced a totally new look Bulletin in January 1997. It began with twenty pages but today it rather consists of thirty A4 size pages professionally printed on quality paper. The cover is two-coloured and shows again the official Moss/Ashton TIAFT logo. The new Bulletin contains feature articles, photographs, news, association news and letters, being more lively and colourful than its predecessors. Unfortunately, there is less supply of case notes, probably because of the many scientific journals available to authors. Five special editions of the Bulletin have been published:

    • A bibliography of GC-MS applications in toxicology 1976-79 (August 1980).
    • A Collection of therapeutic, toxic and fatal blood drug concentrations in man (1984).
    • GC Retention indices (year unknown).
    • Abstracts from the 24th International TIAFT Meeting, 1987 Banff, Canada (May 1988).
    • Therapeutic and toxic drug concentrations (January 1996).

    Extract of the contents

    In the following, I will quote small fragments from the early years of the Bulletin:

    "How international is the T.I.A.F.T.? We now have members in 27 countries. In alphabetical order these are as follows: Argentine 3, Australia 1, Austria 2, Belgium 1, Canada 3, Denmark 1, Eire 1, Finland 1, France 5, Germany 5, Holland 1, India 1, Israel 1, Italy 1, Japan 1, Norway 1, Peru 4, Portugal 1, Puerto Rico 1, Rumania 1, Singapore 1, South Africa 1, Sweden 2, Switzerland 1, Tanganyika 1, U.K. 30, U.S.A. 44."

    1970 (VOL. 7 NO. 2), J.V. JACKSON:
    "There is a disturbing trend towards a neglect of the established analytical methods. Young analysts faced with an unknown substance to identify will often use instrumental methods before establishing whether the substance is mainly organic or inorganic, a pure compound or a mixture. The classic preliminary tests (microscopic examination, melting point, solubility, behaviour with acid and alkali, heat and smell, etc) use very little material and are still essential. Again paper chromatography is abandoned for thin-layer, and even this is considered old fashioned by some analysts who advocate gas chromatography as the only worthwhile technique... We are still interested in any method you have found useful, be it old or new. So please do not think you have nothing to contribute because you are not equipped with all the latest machines, many toxicologists are in the same position."

    JANUARY 1974, A.S. CURRY:
    "Clearly the days of test-tubes have gone; the next ten years must see the implementation of the latest techniques in the routine toxicology laboratory. A l ready mass spectrometry linked to gas and high pressure liquid chromatography is becoming essential and I see T.I.A.F.T. introducing a computer based analytical data bank within the next few years."

    1977 (VOL. 13 NO. 1&2), BRYAN S. FINKLE (USA):
    "As a result of the expanding nature of toxicology and its many subspecialities in the United States, a variety of legislation intended to regulate the standards of practice in toxicology laboratories has been promulgated. It is now highly likely that in the United States mandatory programs for Proficiency testing in analytical forensic toxicology will be enforced within the very near future."

    "...a proposal that T.I.A.F.T. should publish a 'proper' Journal for toxicology. Much thought was channeled into the proposal and many members expressed their views both orally and in written form... As a result the subcommittee reported that T.I.A.F.T. should not publish a full scientific journal of toxicology. They also felt that where appropriate members should use the new Journal of Analytical Toxicology possibly noting that the author is a member of T.I.A.F.T."

    "Japanese forensic toxicologists started a branch of TIAFT and held their first meeting during 1982. Hans Brandenberger attended and reported that 9 papers were presented to the 109 persons participating. Our Japanese membership currently stands at 177 comprising 3 main groups; Forensic Medicine, Pharmacists, and Chemists."

    JUNE 1986, M.D. OSSELTON:
    "One of the most important functions of TIAFT is to facilitate the dissemination of toxicological information between members. This is generally achieved by Annual Meetings, circulation of abstracts and publication of Case Notes. ...You may be the first TIAFT member to encounter a case of poisoning involving a new compound and your experience could be of great help to fellow TIAFT members who may be likely to encounter subsequent cases. ...Case Notes are simple to format and do not require the extensive preparation associated with the publication of papers in established scientific journals. Members are therefore urged to look through their recent case records and to submit details of cases which were either interesting or slightly unusual."

    "The twenty-first birthday of the Association was celebrated at Brighton in 1984 by holding the first triennial meeting separate from the IAFS. The international significance of the Association was emphasised at the meeting by the fact that firstly the European meetings were in future no longer to be known as such but simply as TIAFT meetings, recognising the fact that many who attended were from outside Europe, and secondly that Hans Brandenberger handed over the leadership to an Australian. This international trend continued at Banff in 1987 when Australia and Japan vied for the privilege of holding the 1990 meeting."

    Closing words

    In spite of the new wonderful electronic communication facilities, of which the TIAFTnet is a splendid example, I wish the printed Bulletin a fruitful future as an every-member's archive-fit association newsletter - not a scientific journal. The Bulletin is a considerable effort and the most remarkable expense for TIAFT but I am sure that it is worth all it.

Note: If you experience any trouble paying on-line, please contact TIAFT Treasurer:
Christophe Stove, PhD
Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Ghent University, Ghent (Belgium)
e-mail: treasurer@tiaft.org