Author(s): Bowen GA
Saturation is mentioned in many qualitative research reports without any explanation of what it means and how it occurred. Recognizing the saturation point presents a challenge to qualitative researchers, especially in the absence of explicit guidelines for determining data or theoretical saturation. This research note examines the saturation concept in naturalistic inquiry and the challenges it presents. In particular, it summarizes the saturation process in a grounded theory study of community-based antipoverty projects. The main argument advanced in this research note is that claims of saturation should be supported by an explanation of how saturation was achieved and substantiated by clear evidence of its occurrence.