May 20, 2022

New Preprint: “A Two-Step Model for Assessing Relative Interest in E-books Compared to Print”

The following approved for publication preprint was recently made available on the College & Research Libraries website and is schedule for publication date in the January 2016 issue of the journal.

Full Title

A Two-Step Model for Assessing Relative Interest in E-books Compared to Print


Steven A. Knowlton
University of Memphis


College & Research Libraries
Anticipated Publication Date: January 2016
Accepted for Publication: March 2015


Librarians often wish to know whether readers in a particular discipline favor e-books or print books. Because print circulation and e-book usage statistics are not directly comparable, it can be hard to determine the relative interest of readers in the two types of books.

This study demonstrates a two-step method by which librarians can assess the appeal of books in various formats. First, a nominal assessment of use or non-use is performed; this eliminates the difficulty of comparing print circulation to e-book usage statistics. Then, the comparison of actual use to Percentage of Expected Use (PEU) is made. By examining the distance between PEU of e-books to PEU of print books in a discipline, librarians can determine whether patrons have a strong preference for one format over another.

Direct to Full Text (30 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.