Recommendation sources on the intention to use e-books in academic digital libraries

Chiun Sin Lin, Gwo Hshiung Tzeng, Yang Chieh Chin, Chiao Chen Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Few library studies have investigated recommendation classifications for e-book (electronic book) usage, while none have directly compared what recommendation sources (word-of-mouth, advertising, and expert recommendation) might influence e-book usage intentions. To fill this gap in the literature, the main purposes of this study are to: examine how users perceive the influence of recommendations on the intention to use e-books for academic purposes; and to measure the level of the perception of trust and perceived risk when users receive e-book recommendations from peers, advertisers, and experts. Design/methodology/approach - Data for this study were collected from 382 academic digital library users between the ages of 18 and 25. A multiple regression analysis was then conducted to identify the key causal relationships. Findings - The comparison of three recommendation sources (word-of-mouth, advertising, and expert recommendations) revealed that word-of-mouth (WOM) played a more important role than other recommendations in determining the intention to use e-books in an academic digital library. In addition, enhancing the perceived trust and reducing the risk towards the use of e-books can mediate the relationship between recommendation sources and the behavioural intentions to use e-books. Research limitations/implications - This study assessed self-reported behavioural intention as part of its survey and, as a result, could have introduced unintentional inaccuracies. Practical implications - Librarians should emphasise e-book advantages (e.g. easy searching, easily accessible index) to get positive recommendation if users follow all of the recommendations of the source. They can also create online discussion forums to provide usage intention discussions, which can influence users' perceptions of trust and risk and increase the willingness of potential users to read e-books. Originality/value - Little has been written on the intentions of using e-books. Therefore, this conceptual model is novel. This model is also useful in explaining how recommendations stimulate the intentions of using e-books by enhancing the perceived trust and reducing the perceived risk; these findings may generally be applicable to librarians, current users, and potential users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-857
Number of pages14
JournalElectronic Library
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic libraries
  • Books
  • Electronic books
  • Taiwan
  • User studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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