AbstractsSocial Sciences

Development of a Scale for Measuring Perceptions of Trustworthiness for Digitized Archival Documents.

by Devan Ray Donaldson

Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Information
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: Digital Curation; Trustworthiness; Digitized documents; Genealogy; Digital repositories; Information and Library Science; Social Sciences
Record ID: 2059665
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/111489


Trustworthiness is the most fundamental but least well understood property of digital repositories that hold and preserve archival documents. As these digital repositories scale in size and complexity, they are becoming essential sources for increasingly diverse populations of users. Scholarship across multiple disciplines has demonstrated that the trustworthiness of a digital repository tends to originate with organizational branding, surrounds and envelops the ???control zone??? of the managed digital space, and so resides primarily at the collective level of the repository. In spite of its conceptual centrality, little research has investigated trustworthiness of the documentary contents of repositories as conceived by the designated communities of users that the repository is intended to serve. This dissertation investigates users??? perceptions of trustworthiness for archival documents housed in a large, heterogeneous, government???run digital repository. This dissertation utilizes the methodology of scale development, which involves four steps: 1) Construct Definition, 2) Generating an Item Pool, 3)Designing the Scale, and 4) Full Administration and Item Analysis. To address Steps 1 and 2 of scale development, I conducted a focus group study to elicit perspectives on trustworthiness and identify items for measurement of trustworthiness based upon actual users??? articulation of the concept; twenty???two genealogists who regularly utilize documents preserved by the Washington State Digital Archives participated. To address Steps 3 and 4 of scale development, I conducted quantitative survey research and evaluated the responses of 233 genealogists, including constructing and testing an original Digitized Archival Document Trustworthiness Scale (DADTS). I also validated DADTS with a sample of users beyond the participants who were used to develop it. DADTS specifies the components of trustworthiness and also demonstrates the measurability of the concept within a digital repository context at the document level. This dissertation advances scholarship on trustworthiness in three ways. First, it revises an existing conceptual model for trustworthiness perception. Second, it creates an original measurement model for digitized archival document trustworthiness perception???the Digitized Archival Document Trustworthiness Scale (DADTS). Third, it contributes to a deeper understanding of the concept of trustworthiness by providing measurement of the concept in a way that is sensitive to its nuances.