Informed decisions about sampling are critical to improving the quality of research synthesis. Even though several qualitative research synthesists have recommended purposeful sampling for synthesizing qualitative research, the published literature holds sparse discussion on how different strategies for purposeful sampling may be applied to a research synthesis. In primary research, Patton is frequently cited as an authority on the topic of purposeful sampling. In Patton’s original texts that are referred to in this article, Patton does not make any suggestion of using purposeful sampling for research synthesis. This article makes a unique contribution to the literature by examining the adaptability of each of Patton’s 16 purposeful sampling strategies to the process of qualitative research synthesis. It illuminates how different purposeful sampling strategies might be particularly suited to constructing multi‐perspectival, emancipatory, participatory and deconstructive interpretations of published research.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited