statistical sample

n. a portion, within a body of records, selected for permanent retention through a process that ensures each file within the series has an equal chance of being included in the retained set


True statistical sampling guarantees that any resulting sample will be representative of the whole. By determining the size of the original body of records (the population) and the level of homogeneity within it, an archivist can determine how big the resulting sample must be to be representative. Since random methodology is required to create a statistical sample, a statistical sample is also called a random sample. Occasionally, people categorize both systematic and random samples as subtypes of statistical samples, but systematic samples cannot be truly valid statistically.