Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Security Research Institute




Almarzooqi, A., Jones, A., & Howley, R. (2016). Applying Grounded Theory Methods to Digital Forensics Research. Annual ADFSL Conference on Digital Forensics, Security and Law. 12.


Deciding on a suitable research methodology is challenging for researchers. In this paper, grounded theory is presented as a systematic and comprehensive qualitative methodology in the emergent field of digital forensics research. This paper applies grounded theory in a digital forensics research project undertaken to study how organisations build and manage digital forensics capabilities. This paper gives a step-by-step guideline to explain the procedures and techniques of using grounded theory in digital forensics research. The paper gives a detailed explanation of how the three grounded theory coding methods (open, axial, and selective coding) can be used in digital forensics research. Grounded theory offers a rich and detailed methodology for theorising while presenting and exploring the How and Why questions at every stage of the research. The method shared in this paper provides a detailed critique, making it a valuable contribution to the discussion of methods of analysis in the field of digital forensics.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.