I'm looking for a word that indicates something has been sampled (i.e, scientifically analyzed, measured, collected, etc.) multiple times within a span of time. Specifically, I want it to reflect "having many samples given the amount of time".

Words that don't quite work:

  • "Well studied" and "repeatedly sampled" don't stress this latter criterion of temporal constraint.

  • "Finely sampled" also doesn't sound quite right (and doesn't make clear that number of samples vs scope of sampling is being emphasized).

    • "Heavily sampled" is closer, but sounds cruder and less "scientific"
  • "Densely" is a strange way to refer to degree/amount/continuousness of effort.

  • Both "laboriously" and "tediously" seem to emphasize the difficulty (not the positive capturing of more info).

    • Tediously is better and obviously is used a lot in scientific writing to emphasize "completeness," but again is not what I'm looking for.
  • Are you looking for the word “periodically”?
    – pablopaul
    May 9, 2018 at 20:35
  • @pablopaul Nope. "Periodically" emphasizes the repeated portion but doesn't emphasize that the sampling is done numerous times within a given [short] amount of time. thanks May 9, 2018 at 20:37
  • 1
    Could it be as simple as "often" (or a synonym thereof)?
    – Laurel
    May 9, 2018 at 20:44
  • @ Laurel! ha! yes, perhaps even just "frequently" will work!!! May 9, 2018 at 20:48
  • It's amazing how your brain just won't make simple connections for you sometimes! Thanks, @Laurel. [Though I certainly do welcome additional answers/suggestions :). May 9, 2018 at 20:50

4 Answers 4


One option is

densely sampled.

This is a well-attested usage, as you can see here.

  • 1
    Doesn't dense relate to the size of an individual sample? One of the books in your search even says: 'SPARSE VS DENSELY SAMPLED DATA'.
    – JJJ
    May 9, 2018 at 20:52
  • hmm, so it is used in scientific writing. Who knew? Thanks! May 9, 2018 at 20:52
  • 1
    @JJJ My impression is that in that source, the author is referring to angular density (12 vs 24 sonars, where 12 is more sparse, and 24 more dense). But the OP would be using density in the temporal domain. To the reader, this should be clear from the context. It is not at all unusual to import spatial terms to temporal domain (and vice versa). Also, the meaning is clearly temporal e.g. here. May 9, 2018 at 21:36

Frequently seems to fit the role nicely.

The researchers frequently sampled the plots.

See google scholar for many more examples of this usage.


Continuous sampling (plan), according to This paper by A.H. Bowker at Stanford University:

The purpose of the present paper is to review the subject of continuous sampling plans. These plans are used where production is continuous and the formation of inspection lots for lot-by-lot acceptance may be impractical or artificial, often the case for conveyor line production.

Rather than taking many samples of the time period, one large sample is taken over the course of the time period. For example, in a donut factory, each minute, 10 donuts will be picked from the belt to be tested for sugar content (that's just an example).

  • hmm this seems to work very well in manufacturing, but less so in most scientific contexts, since most research cannot afford to continuously sample (though atmospheric and aquatic environmental samples can be effectively continuous). Thanks for your answer! May 9, 2018 at 21:07
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    @theforestecologist indeed it depends a lot what you are trying to sample. In a scientific context you might measure something for a certain period, in a biology context that could be continually monitoring a protein interaction in an organ (for the duration a patient takes a placebo / the real stuff). Getting data on all proteins at any time may be impossible to achieve, but having a small device take samples and sending it out may just be possible. Example of machine learning on computer models of PPI (note: I am not a biologist)
    – JJJ
    May 9, 2018 at 21:14

Meticulous would, in my opinion, fit best. It means that something was done thoroughly and precisely, with attention to detail. If you are trying to say that there were many well tested samples regardless of the amount of time then meticulous is the right word.

After meticulous sampling of the microbial culture we found…

However, if you are trying to say that there where many well tested samples for the amount of time but not necessarily that the time given was enough to properly test the samples, or for a proper quantity of samples, then you should mention the amount of time over which the samples were taken.

The microbial culture was meticulously sampled for a period of two weeks. We found…

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