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dc.contributor.authorSim, Julius
dc.contributor.authorSaunders, Benjamin
dc.contributor.authorWaterfield, Jackie
dc.contributor.authorKingstone, Tom
dc.date.accessioned2018-06-29T21:33:19Z
dc.date.available2018-06-29T21:33:19Z
dc.date.issued2018-03-27
dc.identifierER5286
dc.identifier.citationSim, J., Saunders, B., Waterfield, J. & Kingstone, T. (2018) Can sample size in qualitative research be determined a priori? International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 21(5), pp. 619-634.
dc.identifier.issn1464-5300
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2018.1454643
dc.identifier.urihttps://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/handle/20.500.12289/5286
dc.description** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router.
dc.description.abstractThere has been considerable recent interest in methods of determining sample size for qualitative research a priori, rather than through an adaptive approach such as saturation. Extending previous literature in this area, we identify four distinct approaches to determining sample size in this way: rules of thumb, conceptual models, numerical guidelines derived from empirical studies, and statistical formulae. Through critical discussion of these approaches, we argue that each embodies one or more questionable philosophical or methodological assumptions, namely: a nave realist ontology; a focus on themes as enumerable 'instances', rather than in more conceptual terms; an incompatibility with an inductive approach to analysis; inappropriate statistical assumptions in the use of formulae; and an unwarranted assumption of generality across qualitative methods. We conclude that, whilst meeting certain practical demands, determining qualitative sample size a priori is an inherently problematic approach, especially in more interpretive models of qualitative research.
dc.format.extent619-634
dc.format.extent619-634
dc.publisherInforma UK Limited
dc.relation.ispartofInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
dc.subjectGeneral Social Sciences
dc.titleCan sample size in qualitative research be determined a priori?
dc.typearticle
dcterms.accessRightspublic
dc.description.facultysch_die
dc.description.volume21
dc.description.ispublishedpub
dc.description.eprintid5286
rioxxterms.typearticle
refterms.dateAccepted2018-03-15
refterms.dateEmbargoEnd2019-09-28
refterms.dateFCD2018-04-02
qmu.authorWaterfield, Jackie
dc.description.statuspub
dc.description.number5


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