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Hi all,

Does anyone know of uses of the term "snowball sampling" before 
Coleman's 1958 paper? Because it is a natural analogy for the process of 
collecting data via exploiting relational information collected from 
respondents, I expect is has been in informal use for a long time. 
Coleman (1958) who defines it as:

"Snowball sampling: One method of interviewing a man's immediate social 
environment is to use the sociometric questions in the interview for 
sampling purposes."

Are there earlier references in print?



James S. Coleman, "Relational Analysis: The Study of Social 
Organizations with Survey Methods", Human Organization, 28--36, 1958

Mark S. Handcock
Professor of Statistics
Department of Statistics
University of California     Phone:  (310) 817-6778
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1554.   FAX:   (206) 457-1953
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