A comparative method for themes saturation (CoMeTS) in qualitative interviews

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Saturation of data has been acknowledged by many social scientists as evidence of rigor in qualitative research. Though there is a consensus about its definition and usefulness in qualitative research, the methods for achieving saturation are scarce while the social scientists who mention data saturation in their research methodologies do not adequately describe how this is achieved. This paper describes a new method for achieving saturation in studies that use interviews. The method is called Comparative Method for Themes Saturation (CoMeTS). CoMeTS is comparative in two ways. First, all themes from all interviews are compared with each other. Second, the sequence of interviews is reordered multiple times in order to check saturation again. This is because the sequence of interviews during the check makes saturation vary and, therefore, reordering helps confirming saturation. This paper concludes that CoMeTS is a simple, comparative and holistic method for achieving saturation and that it can be used in complicated qualitative studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-588
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • CoMeTS
  • qualitative interviews
  • saturated terrain
  • saturation threshold
  • themes saturation


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