'Saturation' is "the point in data collection and analysis when no additional themes and categories emerge from data, which happens when all relevant categories and sub-categories have been identified and described." Or, it's "the point in coding when you find that no new codes occur in the data." It's an important concept in qualitative research, write the authors, but are studies taking it into account. All the studies (n=60) evaluated in this paper (14 page PDF) addressed the achievement of saturation, though a third to one half considered the definition of saturation. "The most-mentioned expression to indicate the achievement of saturation was the emergence of new information, themes, categories, and codes, where most of the participating studies used expressions related to this aspect."
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