Snowball or chain sampling


Snowball or chain sampling involves utilizing well informed people to identify critical cases or informants who have a great deal of information about a phenomenon.  The researcher follows this chain of contacts in order to identify and accumulate critical cases.  Often a few key informants or cases will be mentioned multiple times and take on additional importance.

Why use this method?

This method can be useful for identifying a small number of key cases that are identified by a number of key or expert informants as important cases or exemplars.

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