Factors affecting the diffusion of online end user literature searching

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Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify factors that affect diffusion of usage of online end user literature searching. Fifteen factors clustered into three attribute sets (innovation attributes, organizational attributes, and marketing attributes) were measured to study their effect on the diffusion of online searching within institutions. Methods: A random sample of sixty-seven academic health sciences centers was selected and then 1,335 library and informatics staff members at those institutions were surveyed by mail with electronic mail follow-up. Multiple regression analysis was performed. Results: The survey yielded a 41% response rate with electronic mail follow-up being particularly effective. Two dependent variables, internal diffusion (spread of diffusion) and infusion (depth of diffusion), were measured. There was little correlation between them, indicating they measured different things. Fifteen independent variables clustered into three attribute sets were measured. The innovation attributes set was significant for both internal diffusion and infusion. Significant individual variables were visibility for internal diffusion and image enhancement effects (negative relation) as well as visibility for infusion (depth of diffusion). Organizational attributes were also significant predictors for both dependent variables. No individual variables were significant for internal diffusion. Communication, management support (negative relation), rewards, and existence of champions were significant for infusion. Marketing attributes were not significant predictors. Conclusions: Successful diffusion of online end user literature searching is dependent on the visibility of the systems, communication among, rewards to, and peers of possible users who promote use (champions). Personal image enhancement effects have a negative relation to infusion, possibly because the use of intermediaries is still seen as the more luxurious way to have searches done. Management support also has a negative relation to infusion, perhaps indicating that depth of diffusion can increase despite top-level management actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalBulletin of the Medical Library Association
Volume87
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 23 1999

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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