Comparing the diffusion and adoption of linked data and research data management services among libraries

Author : Jinfang Niu


Libraries face innovations periodically. It is important to identify consistent patterns in the diffusion and adoption of innovations so that libraries and relevant stakeholders will be informed and well-prepared for future innovations.


This paper compares findings from two previous projects, each of which was conducted to investigate the diffusion and adoption of two recent innovations, research data management service and linked data, respectively.

The two projects were conducted using similar methods: collecting and analysing literature about the adoption of these innovations in libraries in the United States. Literature was collected through Google Scholar search, citation chasing, and target search for people or libraries that are involved in their adoption.


The gathered articles were then coded and analysed based on diffusion of innovation theories.


Similarities and disparities between the diffusion and adoption of the two innovations were identified.


Findings from this study are informative for the decision-making of libraries, librarians, funders, and professional associations facing future innovations. They also contribute to diffusion of innovation theories through revealing new communication channels and alternative adoption processes, as well as redefining existing concepts.