This section starts with the literature review with the concept of the five independent variables which are consumer purpose, awareness, eBook platforms, e-retailers, and consumer income level, related to the dependent variable which is purchase decision. The conceptual framework is developed and proposed here with relevant hypotheses (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5) are developed based on the literature review the related researchers have done previously.
There are a lot of articles describing how academic libraries are experiencing, purchasing and managing eBook collections today, most of the researchers have done with how to purchase eBooks for academic and libraries. This literature review features recent studies that identified eBooks and eBooks in general by students in academic / university libraries.
While some of the methods for purchasing electronic books (eBooks) are similar to those used for journal-evaluation purposes, there are a number of important factors to consider that are different for eBooks. Typically, as usage patterns have been dictated. While theoretically there should be some advantages with purchasing books in electronic formats, such as user preferences and reduction of theft, many of these are reduced by factors imposed by publishers and merchants.
While most electronic databases provide access to journal articles, often times to unlimited titles, eBooks rarely follow this access model. There are often restrictions regarding the number of users allowed to view an item at the given time. Purchasing decisions of eBooks depend on many more factors such as eBook’s acquisition route, access model, title selection, access management, file formats, cataloguing, Interlibrary loan, Licensing and copyright, privacy, open access etc …
The purpose of an eBook is to convey information. Whether that information is reasonably driven or for personal reasons, eBooks are always going to be an essential part of people’s lives. The readers must choose and purchase which they like best, and what factors go into making that decision.
2.1.1. Purpose for purchasing decision
Purchasing eBooks will always be a base for many reasons. Whether that is due to educational purposes or reading for their own personal pleasure. However, due to the fast changing technological advancementss of the world.
The essence of eBook accessibility relates to supporting flexible ways for people to engage in the eBook content based on their personal needs. The adage of “no one size fits all” is particularly true of people with print disabilities accessing eBooks or any reading material and one of the strengths of eBook technologies is to allow users to quickly and easily customize the way the content is presented to suit their requirements. (Gunn, 2016)
The libraries continue to face growing financial constraints, evidence-based purchasing models can help librarians make more informed and relevant purchasing decisions for their institutions. This ability to select and purchase content based on detailed usage reports and overall research trends allows librarians to save both time and money while ultimately providing a better service for their users and increasing their ROI. (Jirát, 2016)
The University of Jaffna, Eastern University, Sri Lanka and South Eastern University of Sri Lanka found out that 81.4% of respondents prefer electronic materials than print materials. According to the study eBooks & e_Journals usage of freshmen in those universities is 6.4%. Most of the global studies conducted about eBooks are in relation to usage of available eBook repositories in their libraries. (Vithana, 2015)
The advantages of eBooks are built into the teaching and learning process with lecturers demonstrating their use during lectures and classes, as well as devising activities and assessments which demonstrate their increased accessibility, flexibility and functionality. Some libraries have adopted the bookshop approach to signposting, using QR codes on shelves to provide further information and a direct link to the individual eBook. (Woodward, 2014)
A quick turnaround survey of the teaching course, students via Blackboard around the use of eBooks at the university in March 2014 showed that most respondents (60%) used eBooks weekly, or at least monthly, with most use being related to textbooks and reference works (90%) to help complete coursework assignments. (Woodward, 2014)
This has been noted that users typically interact with eBooks for specific purposes (Daniel and Woody, 2013). There survey ascertained that, overall, eBooks are used for research purposes to quickly “browse (72%), “search (56%) and “scan (52%). This is in line with other surveys that reported reading habits were dominated by “power-browsing” (Schomisch et al., 2013, p. 395). The search ability of eBooks also increases their appeal and provides part of the explanation for the short reading times as users “dip in and out” of them (Nicholas et al., 2008, p322). These patterns of use also match the previous question of quick usage sessions to browse, search and scan for appropriate information.
An interview with an educated tutor showed that there are three reasons for using eBook readers: 1. To make studying more convenient for students, 2. To investigate whether students changed their learning behavior when using an eBook reader, 3. To investigate whether it is cheaper to buy an eBook reader or to print out the material. (University of Leicester, 2010).
Package/collection purchasing constitutes a larger percentage of library spending than individual purchase, though it is unclear whether this is because libraries purchase packages as a way of building ‘critical mass’ or because they are looking for economies by bulk purchasing. (Bucknell, 2010)
Many higher education institutions around the world are placing eBook collections in their campus libraries and adopting eBooks as learning materials. (Lin et al., 2010) Academic eBooks are gaining in popularity and significance among libraries (Nelson, 2008). University libraries have illustrated that the demand and use of written content has clearly moved towards electronic sources. As a result, they have begun to amass a sizeable collection of digital materials that includes eBooks (Jantz, 2001).
EBooks are used for the academic purpose in globally. Mainly students and readers need eBooks today, because of their busy work schedules and the need to gather information very quickly and in an easier manner. There are different types of readers in Sri Lanka, students want to get information according to their requirement most probably their assignment and research, and they can find information according to their requirements. Most of the lecturers need eBook according to their pursuit titles. Students in Sri Lanka are using eBooks more when compared with other readers, Main government universities have introduced eBooks portal, however, these facilities have depended on the person. Still, students are using manual book most of the time for their assignments and research, discussed with some local university students, that they told they are having that facility, but they are not using it. This is for government universities. Private and international university students are used to buy relevant eBooks online for their assignment and research requirement. Other audiences are readers who have been addicted to reading. The reason behind some readers to purchasing eBooks is that they like to read in the travelling time. The retired audience interest depends on their likeliness to read to improving their knowledge. Readers purpose will be the different from person to person.
2.1.2. Awareness for purchasing decision
Awareness levels of the eBook format amongst students and staff were very high with over 80% and 90% positive responses. Awareness that their universities are providing eBooks was also high with responses over 70% for students and 80% for staff. However, the proportion of students who were unsure (12%) about what is an eBook provides grounds for some caution in interpreting the results. (Anon, 2017)