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DFIR Review is here

If you have been keeping up with online conversations about DFIR research being peer-reviewed outside the academic review process, then this post is for you because…

DFIR Review is here!

Check DFRWS's public announcement:  https://dfrws.org/dfir-review  

What is DFIR Review?

Short version : Your DFIR research can be peer-reviewed in less than a month, published as peer-reviewed by a committee, you get the credit for your effort, the community shares (and grows with) your work, and you are encouraged to further develop your research as you see fit.  

Longer version : Back in June of last year, I posted an idea of peer-reviewing DFIR bloggers’ research .  The idea evolved through several additional posts (and response posts from others) until finally reaching today’s jump off of DFIR Review.  There has been lots of effort, lots of online conversations, and lots of coordination to get this off the ground. Joshua James posted " DFIR already has Rapid Peer Review - we can do better ' as part of this process.

Although Jessica Hyde has been instrumental in moving this effort forward, every person named on the list below has publicly put their name on this project to support it in one way or another. I certainly have not been the first to talk about this since the topic has been around for some time.


In my opinion, this idea is well past needed. The current peer review process is fine for its purpose, but I have always felt that the traditional method of writing up an idea or research in a blog or document to be uploaded to a website does not do its author nor community service as much as having a peer review system that addresses these kinds of research.

Basically, uploading a PDF or writing a blog post on your great research only goes so far. But if you allow it to be stamped as “peer-reviewed”, you and the community gain so much more from your work.  From my post on The Dearth of Documentation in DFIR , a visual that I made to show the value of social media posts (like Twitter) compared to a blog post illustrates the need for something that lasts longer on the Internet. Books and journals can be effective and easily found for 10 years or more with blog posts lasting about 2 years… social media posts are measured in minutes.


DFIR Review takes your research that you want to share from lasting minutes to lasting years. The effect of this is that your work will spur, inspire, and support the research of others well beyond the work you initially did. This means you can affect the community more directly, substantially, and for some time to come.

Show me the money!

In short. There is none . None for you. None for the volunteers . None for anyone.  At one point, I had been communicating with some about the commercial aspect of DFIR Review.  My point is that there is no aspect of commercialization, and posted more details about it with Getting Your Blog Post Officially DFIR Peer Reviewed – An Update . The peer reviewed papers are not going to be behind a paywall.

What you won’t get

I put out a bit about the benefits you can get with a peer review with The Rapid Peer Review , and in that post, I state the things you won’t get.  This is what you won’t get:

* You won't get a certificate.

* You won't get more initials after your name.

* You won't get a coin.

The intention is simply to be a bridge between a blog post and a scientific journal.

Are you still against peer review?

I only ask because a few of the heated private exchanges I had of adding yet-another-thing to DFIR documentation and research felt this is unnecessary. So I wrote a few points with If Peer Review is so Important, Why Doesn’t Everyone Do it ? I wrote that we do research correctly, but we don’t follow through enough with the publication and immutability of our work. There are reasons for this, mostly due to the extra time involved to get formally published in a journal or book. DFIR Review bridges that gap.

I illustrated the time problem of formal publishing of this in a post Publish your #DFIR research !  The example I gave compared a paper (a PDF….) that I wrote on virtualization forensics and a book written on the same topic by someone else. As soon as I finished writing the paper, it was online at www.forensicfocus.com in a matter of days, whereas the book took 2 years to be in print (the book even referenced my paper....). My point is that between the time my paper was put online and the time that the book came out, I am assuming some examiners were able to benefit from my paper during that time, where they weren’t able to benefit from a book to be published years later.

How difficult is this going to be for you?

It is not difficult at all. I expect some things to pop up that will slow the process down a little, but nothing that will not be solved in a day. For the researcher, all you have to do is submit your work. That’s it.  You won’t even have time to forget that you submitted it before the peer review is done. Then, what you choose to do with your research is up to you.

As for me, I support you submitting it to a journal, or finessing it into a book, and researching more. Get your work in the hands of the community while at the same, getting credit for your work. This is not about ego, but about getting great research out in the public, with your name on it. That’s pretty cool.

As for the tweet that started all of this, at least for me.....

Written by :Brett Shavers

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