The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)

Sub-adult Aging Method Selection (SAMS): an online decisional tool for standardized method selection and evaluation


1Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3UMR 7268 ADES - EFS - CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université

April 16, 2020 11:15AM, Diamond 2 Add to calendar

Several hundreds of publications are available to biological anthropologists for subadult age estimation. The applicability of these methods mainly depends on the context of study (e.g. forensic or bioarchaeological) and the type of skeletal or dental material available and is case or study-dependent. However, the relevance and methodological strength of these publications can be objectively assessed by comparing their sampling and statistical parameters. This paper presents SAMS (, an online decisional tool developed to objectively evaluate and provide a means to compare over 260 sub-adult age estimation publications based on standardized methodological parameters. These parameters are based on previously published recommendations for sub-adult age estimation in forensic anthropology. With SAMS, users can choose up to three selective parameters to filter the database according to the material available for their study and up to twenty descriptive parameters to be displayed with the results. The resulting query then presents the selected descriptive parameters and two means of publication evaluation, namely the Validity score and the Relevance score, calculated using a simple classification algorithm. Validity represents the percentage of compliance of a publication with valid methodological criteria. Relevance represents how well the publication matches with the users’ query. SAMS can easily and quite extensively assist users in choosing sub-adult age estimation methods by providing them with the necessary information for evaluating protocol validity and other practical details on their applicability. The database will be gradually updated and implemented with new sub-adult age estimation publications as they are made available.


Slides/Poster (pdf)