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Diffusion and EBooks

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Generally, the diffusion theory may explain the increasing popularity of EBooks. Almost all researches on the emergence and adoption of EBooks contain a reference to the theory. EBooks started from e-journals and later to EBooks, which now has spread through social channels to merge with the technological realm. This has seen EBooks take plethoric figures within the online world. Diffusion theory can specifically explain the development of EBooks into the library threatening to take a major part of the print book’s share. DOI theory focuses on the characteristics of innovations such as the EBook idea that are influencing their future and adoption (Lynch 2000).

DOI identifies the characteristics of relative advantage, trial ability, compatibility, observability and complexity that influence the adoption of EBooks. Most prominent is the relative advantage character of EBooks since it is a judgment within the user’s jurisdiction. The vendors and libraries cannot change this unlike the other four whose perception can be altered through modifications. If EBooks have a relative advantage over the print peers, then they possess a superior quality and will be adopted more rapidly according to Rogers. In pursuance to the characteristic of compatibility, DOI theory is resourceful in many researches. There is no definite stand that EBooks are of a relative advantage to print media. Researchers indicate that culture has played a part in the EBook adoption debate. The American culture for instance inculcates a culture of reading books from a tender age. Hence valuing print books is entrenched in the cultures of many societies and people too. EBooks seem to be adopted at different preference levels due to diversity of purpose for which they are adopted. Rogers offers five categories of people who adopt, this are innovators, level one early adopters, level two late adopters and laggards. Research on DOI and Rogers indicates that the adoption of EBooks in the library is still in the innovations stage (Mahajan et al. 1979).

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