Written for students and researchers who wish to understand the conceptual and practical aspects of sampling, this book is designed to be accessible without requiring advanced statistical training. It covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of sampling to special topics such as sampling rare populations, sampling organizational populations, and sampling visitors to a place. Using cases and examples to illustrate sampling principles and procedures, the book thoroughly covers the fundamentals of modern survey sampling, and addresses recent changes in the survey environment such as declining response rates, the rise of Internet surveys, the need to accommodate cell phones in telephone surveys, and emerging uses of social media and big data.

Evaluating Samples

In this final chapter, we turn to the question of how to describe and evaluate samples and how good the sample needs to be. You will learn the following:

  • What information should be provided in a sample report
  • Factors that influence how good the sample must be
  • General advice for obtaining better, even if imperfect, samples

9.1 The Sample Report

To evaluate a sample, you need information about it. This information is normally contained within a more general methodology report that should be prepared for any survey. The methodology report documents the design and procedures of the survey for future reference. This documentation serves various purposes, such as allowing the researcher to answer questions about the survey without having to rely on memory and allowing other researchers ...

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