Wednesday, 13 June 2012

How many qualitative interviews is enough?

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National Centre for Research Methods Review Paper  
How many qualitative interviews  is enough? 
Expert voices and early career reflections on sampling and cases in qualitative research 
Sarah Elsie Baker, Middlesex University 
Rosalind Edwards, NCRM, University of Southampton

Students conducting a piece of qualitative research frequently ask ‘how many interviews is enough?’ Early career researchers and established academics also consider this question when designing research projects. In this NCRM Methods Review paper we gather and review responses to the question of ‘how many’ from 14 renowned social scientists and 5 early career researchers. The riposte to the question of ‘how many’ from most contributors is ‘it depends’. In considering what ‘it depends upon’ however, the responses offer guidance on the epistemological, methodological and practical issues to take into account when conducting research projects. This includes advice about assessing research aims and objectives, validity within epistemic communities and available time and resources

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