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Respondent Driven Sampling Blog; has been set up to create a platform for researchers to share their experience of respondent driven sampling (RDS) research methodology. It is a forum for researchers who use the respondent driven sampling research methods to discuss issues and challenges around setting up a study site to recruit participants and to collect the data.

Having managed a respondent driven sampling research site I found the methods used to capture the data time consuming and prone to errors as the number of participants increased. This led to the development of BRYANT Research Systems.

What is Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS)?

Respondent-driven sampling (RDS), combines “snowball sampling” (getting individuals to refer those they know, these individuals in turn refer those they know and so on) with a mathematical model that weights the sample to compensate for the fact that the sample was collected in a non-random way. Douglas Heckathorn is the originator of Respondent Driven Sampling

The situation changed with the advent of respondent-driven sampling (RDS), a sampling method that overcomes this dilemma by showing that the breadth of coverage of network-based methods can be combined with the statistical validity of standard probability sampling methods. This makes it possible for the first time to draw statistically valid samples of previously unreachable groups. In essence, respondents recruit their peers, as in network-based samples, and researchers keep track of who recruited whom and their numbers of social contacts. A mathematical model of the recruitment process then weights the sample to compensate for non-random recruitment patterns. This model is based on a synthesis and extension of two areas of mathematics, Markov chain theory and biased network theory, which were not a part of the standard tool kit of mathematical sampling theory. The resulting statistical theory, termed RDS, enables researchers to provide both unbiased population estimates and measures of the precision of those estimates. This extends the realm within which statistically valid samples can be drawn, to include many groups of importance to public health, public policy, and arts and culture.

RDS was developed by Douglas Heckathorn less than a decade ago, in 1997, as part of a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded HIV-prevention research project targeting drug injectors in several Connecticut cities. RDS served as the recruitment mechanism for an intervention design developed with Robert Broadhead termed “peer-driven intervention” (PDI).

EXTRACT from www.respondentdrivensampling.org CORNELL UNIVERSITY

RESPONDENT DRIVEN SAMPLING MANAGEMENT

Respondent Driven Sampling Blog has been setup for researchers using respondent driven sampling methods for their research projects. To create a platform to share their experience or needs to setup a research surveillance site and what systems to put in place to:

        • Recruit Participants
        • Barcode Invite Coupon Generator
        • E-Invites
        • Screen Participants
        • Manage Research
        • Data Collection Methods
        • Electronic Questionnaires
        • Audio Questionnaires
        • Incentive Management

        There are many researchers who have used this method over the years since RDS was developed by Douglas Heckathorn more than a decade ago, in 1997, as part of a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded HIV-prevention research project targeting drug injectors in several Connecticut cities. RDS served as the recruitment mechanism for an intervention design developed with Robert Broadhead termed “peer-driven intervention” (PDI).

        So we are putting together a database of RDS related publications as a reference tool for researchers. If you would like to share yours, please submit them to the Blog.

        for more information on a site management system.

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