In the context of research, participants are individuals who are selected to participate in a research study or who have volunteered to participate in a research study. They are one of the major units of analysis in both qualitative and quantitative studies and are selected using either probability or nonprobability sampling techniques. Participants make major contributions to research in many disciplines. The manner in which their contributions are made is determined by the research design for the particular study and can include methodologies such as survey research, experiments, focus groups, and naturalistic observation. This entry focuses on the selection and protection of participants.
In research literature, the word participants is used often interchangeably with informants, respondents, subjects, or interviewees. However, there are some ...
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