Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
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The lifecycles of format technology have been a defining concern for digital stewardship research and practice. However, little evidence exists to provide robust methods for assessing the state of any given format technology and describing its evolution over time. This article introduces relevant models from diffusion theory and market research and presents a replicable analysis method to compute models of technology evolution. Data cleansing and the combination of multiple data sources enable the application of nonlinear regression to estimate the parameters of the Bass diffusion model on format technology market lifecycles. Through its application to a longitudinal data set from the UK Web Archive, we demonstrate that the method produces reliable results and show that the Bass model can be used to describe format lifecycles. By analyzing adoption patterns across market segments, new insights are inferred about how the diffusion of formats and products such as applications occurs over time. The analysis provides a stepping stone to a more robust and evidence-based approach to model technology evolution.