Digital forensics best paper award for Virginia Franqueira

Certificate of DFRWS best paper award

Dr Virginia Franqueira, Lecturer in Cyber Security of the School of Computing, has won an award for her work in digital forensics.

Dr Franqueira won the Best Paper Award at the Digital Forensics Research Workshop (DFRWS) EU 2020 conference for her paper “Towards Sound Forensic Arguments: Structured Argumentation Applied to Digital Forensics Practice”, co-authored with Dr Graeme Horsman from Teesside University. Dr Franqueira is also a Core Member of Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS) and Institute of Advanced Studies in Cyber Security and Conflict (SoCyETAL).

The award-winning paper is published at the journal Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, and can be openly accessed at

This is a great achievement because DFRWS USA and EU conferences are the two most important research venues in digital forensics research and development worldwide. Every year they bring together hundreds of researchers and practitioners with legitimate interest in addressing digital forensics challenges and innovations.

Dr Franqueira said: “This outcome was a complete surprise since the standards are known to be high for DFRWS conferences. We are absolutely delighted with the award!

The paper proposes and illustrates the use of Toulmin’s structured argumentation as a practical approach to logically organise all key facts uncovered by an investigation allowing full scrutiny, and evaluation of the investigatory process by different stakeholders such as peer examiners, defence council and the jury. The approach aligns well with the push for a more science-oriented model for digital forensic investigations which promotes rigor, standardization and transparency in practices and reporting.”