Systematic Sample - short version

A sample where every kth member of the population is chosen for the sample, with value of k being approximately N/n, where N equals the size of the population and n equals the size of the sample.

Systematic Sample - long version

Systematic sampling is a statistical method involving the selection of elements from an ordered sampling frame. The most common form of systematic sampling is an equal-probability method. Using this procedure each element in the population has a known and equal probability of selection. This makes systematic sampling functionally similar to simple random sampling. It is however, much more efficient (if variance within systematic sample is more than variance of population).

The researcher must ensure that the chosen sampling interval does not hide a pattern. Any pattern would threaten randomness. A random starting point must also be selected. Systematic sampling is to be applied only if the given population is logically homogeneous, because systematic sample units are uniformly distributed over the population.

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