"A detective working a missing persons case undoubtedly knows how to make the most of databases such as the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), but does he or she know how to investigate a paint chip, a tire track, an ink sampling, or a piece of glass? Many government and private forensic databases can help both law enforcement investigators and the scientists who support their work in the lab. To help spread the word about the existence of these tools, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded West Virginia University to gather the following basic information."
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: http://www.ncjrs.gov/
National Institute of Justice Journal, Issue no. 258