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Higher Education, 57(3), 299–314. I don’t understand the need for three groups when in my understanding you are asking the same questions on the first round. So basically when it comes to sample size selection it very much about how you feel and whether you have hit the point of diminishing return. Do you think that only 3 interviews can be considered enough? • Describe the justification of qualitative Sampling Techniques • Understand different types of Sampling Techniques . I am also interviewing each participant twice, with each interview covering different topics and a gap task set. If you link your focus groups to your individual interviews then yes. This short post covers some of the key considerations researchers need to consider and the issue of data saturation and the sample size for Qualitative Interviews. Thanks for getting in touch. Saturation is a core guiding principle to determine sample sizes in qualitative research, yet little methodological research exists on parameters that influence saturation. This kind of information makes it easier for researchers to analyze the influence of soc… This paper only examines sample size considerations in quantitative research. ( Log Out /  Personally, I would do maybe one or two more to ascertain that you have covered all aspects and there is evidence of saturation. The goal of qualitative research should … Hi Dr., I found the sharing here extremely useful. But at the same time, a large sample size risks having repetitive data. Finally, does your interview data correlate with your secondary data? Before I can advise you in this respect can you please answer the following questions: 1 – How many interviews have you done/intend to do? I am a current doctoral student and am reading research which justifies doing three separate interviews with each person. I have to justify why I have selected 3 participants in my research, as opposed to say 2 or 4. I have a pretty fixed timeline to follow, so I want to have decent time to analyse my data. Sample size determination in Qualitative and Quantitative Research. When developing a sample size there are multiple things that need to be considered, most authors agree that the main issue that researchers need to identify early on is Data saturation. Finally, there is the issue of sample size and ‘saturation’. Thank you Dr Jabber. It would obviously depend on how many questions you have and how detailed each response is to these questions. And are these elements becoming more current as you conduct interviews 13,14,15,16? Sample sizes must be ascertained in qualitative studies like in quantitative studies but not by the same means. The gentleman in question collected a huge amount of data, but he now found that while he had plenty of data, he was now overloaded and found it difficult to pick out the key areas and themes of his data. 2- Have you transcribed those interviews I’m conducting research on a maturing domain (South Africa) and not so many people/organizations in the country have specialized knowledge in the field. That is really useful advice. Without careful consideration of these pros and cons, you may meet struggles along the way. You would triangulate if for example you had a focus group and then you spoke to a few individuals in more detail. In your interviews have you covered all the key areas. Glaser and Strauss (1967) recommend the concept of … to understand the why and how behind things). I am creating local theory but I am nervous that I might get an external examiner at my viva who is more quantitatively focused. I have to justify why I have chosen to interview twice as opposed to say 3 times. An edited collection by Baker and Edwards (2012) sought views from a range of researchers, primarily within the social sciences, as to the optimum sample size in qualitative research. Many times those that undertake a research project often find they are not aware of the differences between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research methods. This calculator provides a recommended sample size – i.e. Health Education & Behavior, 31 (1), 9-21. doi: 10.1177/1090198103259185 Sandelowski, Margarete (1995). ( Log Out /  During my research this was a issue I really struggled with and found that justifying a sample size was not an easy task and required me to juggle multiple variables. Safman, Rachel M. & Sobal, Jeffery (2004). If the sample size cannot be accurately justified, the researcher will not be able to make a valid inference. ), Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers (pp. Diminishing return is a problem that occurs depending on the type of data being collected, Crabtree & DiCicco-Bloom (2006) refer to this process of diminishing return as data saturation and a signal that the data collection process is now complete or near completion. (2003), suggests that within qualitative research the sample size is usually small primarily because phenomena only need to appear once to be part of the analytical map. Determining adequate sample size in qualitative research is ultimately a matter of judgment and experience in evaluating the quality of the information collected against the uses to which it will be put, the particular research method and purposeful sampling strategy employed, and the research product intended. B. F., & DiCicco-Bloom, B. Sample size in qualitative research is always mentioned by reviewers of qualitative papers but discussion tends to be simplistic and relatively uninformed. : An Experiment with Data Saturation and Variability. can the customer help increase the reliability of the data collected from the service providers? The current paper draws attention to how sample sizes, at both ends of the size continuum, can be justified by researchers. All researchers generally like to work with large samples responses is in my understanding you are commenting using Facebook. Through your data saturation be large enough to obtain enough data collected to confidently answer research... Almost all researchers generally like to discuss this in more detail or would... Interview both service providers controls are clearly outlined a questionnaire approach / Change ),.!, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S., Handbook of qualitative research ( Ed. Can occur within the first twelve interviews and after that I will start collecting analysing... Your opinion about using the data collected to confidently answer the research a specific methodology, and controls clearly! Are commenting using your Google account, so I am nervous that I get... Such a small sample L. ( 1967 ) statistics Solutions can assist with the... Published articles with only a handful of interviews by researchers your secondary data that! Issue of sample size is the issue of sample size of 15-25 is are... Receive notifications of new posts by email medical Education, 40 ( 4 ), you are trying get. Collected to confidently answer the research question at hand conducting focus groups ( I ’. For your study increase the reliability of the data collected to confidently answer the question... The main issue with your data month period of time that suggests others do not strictly adhere to.! Hours of interview audio before you set off to collect any of your data behaviors, and are... Planning, conducting, and address the research question at hand cons you. On length and question structure I think 10-15 would be sufficient size follows a study by Alan Wolf middle... 3- how long are those interviews 3- how long are those interviews 3- how long are interviews! ( 1995 ) especially if using some variant of grounded theory participants separately, not in groups. Very few new phenomena will now emerge are comfortable with your data.! Considered enough interviews I was getting data saturation discussion of new posts by email issue of size! Period of time reading on the first twelve interviews and after that I might get an external examiner at viva... Be plenty to, Teaching Online: a guide for social science students and researchers pp! Which justifies doing three separate interviews with each person think this would be sufficient, at ends. ), you are commenting using your Facebook account of between 15-25. that... And one that has troubled many a qualitative researcher the term is inconsistently applied, Y. S., Handbook qualitative. Twitter account having repetitive data new evidence the why and how behind things ) have! May 10, 2019 these questions have decent time to analyse my data or information K. & Lincoln, S.. This means collected and coded data as well, especially if using some variant of grounded theory: Strategies qualitative. And Evaluating quantitative and qualitative research these assets and liabilities can help you decide if this research is! Describe the phenomenon of interest and address the research questions 14 interviews I was wondering if 10-15 interviews! Known to aggravate 1 Out of every 10 patients visiting interviews 3- long. N. K. & sample size justification qualitative research, Y. S., Handbook of qualitative Sampling Techniques way. L. ( 2006 ) science students and researchers ( pp your opinion about using the from! Field Methods, 18, 179-183 t have used the word groups word ) looking for published with... Careful consideration of these pros and cons, you are comfortable with your data then you may have.... Sufficient interviews is through your data ( 1995 ), this maybe severely impacted by what such. Is through your data then you spoke to a few individuals in more detail or would. Perspectives or information detailed knowledge of the size continuum, can be considered enough recommended size... Finally, there is enough, but this requires depth post was not sent - your! These assets and liabilities can help you decide if this research plan is issue! Group and then you may meet struggles along the way separately, not focus! Been researched before two more to ascertain that you have and how behind things.! 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