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Daniels, J, Caetano, SJ, Huyer, D, Stephen, A, Fernandes, J, Lytwyn, A and Hoppe, FM (2017)

Benford's Law for Quality Assurance of Manner of Death Counts in Small and Large Databases

Journal of Forensic Sciences 62(5), pp. 1326-1331.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.13437

Abstract: To assess if Benford's law, a mathematical law used for quality assurance in accounting, can be applied as a quality assurance measure for the manner of death determination. We examined a regional forensic pathology service's monthly manner of death counts (N = 2352) from 2011 to 2013, and provincial monthly and weekly death counts from 2009 to 2013 (N = 81,831). We tested whether each dataset's leading digit followed Benford's law via the chi‐square test. For each database, we assessed whether number 1 was the most common leading digit. The manner of death counts first digit followed Benford's law in all the three datasets. Two of the three datasets had 1 as the most frequent leading digit. The manner of death data in this study showed qualities consistent with Benford's law. The law has potential as a quality assurance metric in the manner of death determination for both small and large databases.

@article{, author = {Daniels, Jeremy and Caetano, Samantha-Jo and Huyer, Dirk and Stephen, Andrew and Fernandes, John and Lytwyn, Alice and Hoppe, Fred M.}, title = {Benford's Law for Quality Assurance of Manner of Death Counts in Small and Large Databases}, journal = {Journal of Forensic Sciences}, volume = {62}, number = {5}, pages = {1326--1331}, doi = {10.1111/1556-4029.13437}, url = {}, year = {2017} }

Reference Type: Journal Article

Subject Area(s): General Interest, Medical Sciences