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Snowball Sampling

By: Charlie Parker, Sam Scott & Alistair Geddes | Edited by: Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont, Alexandru Cernat, Joseph W. Sakshaug & Richard A. Williams Published: 2019 | Length:   3 | DOI: |
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Snowball sampling is one of the most popular methods of sampling in qualitative research, central to which are the characteristics of networking and referral. The researchers usually start with a small number of initial contacts (seeds) who fit the research criteria and are invited to become participants within the research. The agreeable participants are then asked to recommend other contacts who fit the research criteria and who potentially might also be willing participants, who then in turn recommend other potential participants, and so on. Researchers, therefore, use their social networks to establish initial links, with sampling momentum developing from these, capturing an increasing chain of participants. Sampling usually finishes once either a target sample size or saturation point has been reached. This entry begins with ...

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