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Saturation Sampling

The parameters that underpin quality research especially qualitative research keep changing and so the need for more clarity and transparency. The lucidity and transparency of reports from qualitative research form the basic philosophical foundation upon which the rigor as well as credibility of the qualitative study is evaluated. Qualitative studies are highly anchored on the quality of the reports generated and thus there is increased emphasis on the data collection stage.

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Given that all reliable targets may not be available to the qualitative researcher, the concept of saturation sampling allows the researcher to survey all the identifiable targets. In other words, saturation sampling helps researchers to overcome problems of lack of intentional sampling frames. For that reason, the researchers will attempt to survey all samples available. In addition, Fontanella et al (2008) add that saturation sampling allows the researcher to take a multifaceted approach in the study by removing the limits to the techniques of data collection, the mode of use, and the type of data collected.

This boosts the reliability of the investigation by providing as much information as possible (Fontanella et al 2008). An example of a research study that employed data saturation is found in the ‘Public Understanding of Science- Journal’ titled ‘Ethno-cultural community leaders’ views and perceptions on biobanks and population specific genomic research: a qualitative research study’ by Godard et al (2010).

The authors of the article note that due to the large gap existing due to lack of sufficient data on views and perceptions of communities on biobanks, their qualitative study required an in-depth interview of ethno-cultural leaders but the public’s involvement was also important. In the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that leadership and general public must equally be involved in the partnership even if the public is not informed of the significance of the biobanks. In addition, the model allowed the researchers to identify various socio-cultural and ethical issues that impact on the effective performance of biobanks.

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