Judgmental Sample / Judgmental Sampling


  • A method in which a Sample of the Document Population is drawn, based at least in part on subjective factors, so as to include the “most interesting” Documents by some criterion; the Sample resulting from such method. Unlike a Random Sample, the statistical properties of a Judgmental Sample may not be extrapolated to the entire Population. However, an individual (such as a Quality Assurance auditor or an adversary) may use Judgmental Sampling to attempt to uncover defects. The failure to identify defects may be taken as evidence (albeit not statistical evidence, and certainly not proof) of the absence of defects. 1
  • A sampling process where the objects are selected on the basis of some person’s judgments about their relative importance rather than on a random basis. Judgmental sampling sometimes refers to the use of a seed set or preselected documents used to train predictive coding systems. Unlike random samples, judgmental samples are not typically representative of the collection or population from which they are drawn. It is not possible to extrapolate from the characteristics of a judgmental sample to the characteristics of the population or collection. 2


  1. Maura R. Grossman and Gordon V. Cormack, EDRM page & The Grossman-Cormack Glossary of Technology-Assisted Review, with Foreword by John M. Facciola, U.S. Magistrate Judge2013 Fed. Cts. L. Rev. 7 (January 2013).
  2. Herb Roitblat, Predictive Coding Glossary.