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Quota Sampling in Internet Research: Practical Issues

IM, EUN-OK PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN; CHEE, WONSHIK PhD

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: July 2011 - Volume 29 - Issue 7 - pp 381-385
doi: 10.1097/NCN.0b013e3181f9dc45
Continuing Education

Quota sampling has been suggested as a potentially good method for Internet-based research and has been used by several researchers working with Internet samples. However, very little is known about the issues or concerns in using a quota sampling method in Internet research. The purpose of this article was to present the practical issues using quota sampling in an Internet-based study. During the Internet study, the research team recorded all recruitment issues that arose and made written notes indicating the possible reasons for the problems. In addition, biweekly team discussions were conducted for which written records were kept. Overall, quota sampling was effective in ensuring that an adequate number of midlife women were recruited from the targeted ethnic groups. However, during the study process, we encountered the following practical issues using quota sampling: (1) difficulty reaching out to women in lower socioeconomic classes, (2) difficulty ensuring authenticity of participants' identities, (3) participants giving inconsistent answers for the screening questions versus the Internet survey questions, (4) potential problems with a question on socioeconomic status, (5) resentment toward the research project and/or researchers because of rejection, and (6) a longer time and more expense than anticipated.

Author Affiliations: School of Nursing (Dr Im) and Department of Mechanical Engineering (Dr Chee), The University of Texas at Austin.

This is part of a larger study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NINR/NIA) (R01NR008926).

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Corresponding author: Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, 1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701 (eim@mail.nur.utexas.edu).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.