June 2024

An Empirical Examination of Data Reuser Trust in a Digital Repository

by Elizabeth Yakel, Ixchel M. Faniel, Lionel P. Robert Jr

Most studies of trusted digital repositories have focused on the internal factors delineated in the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model—organizational structure, technical infrastructure, and policies, procedures, and processes. Typically, these factors are used during an audit and certification process to demonstrate a repository can be trusted. The factors influencing a repository's designated community of users to trust it remains largely unexplored.

This article proposes and tests a model of trust in a data repository and the influence trust has on users' intention to continue using it. Based on analysis of 245 surveys from quantitative social scientists who published research based on the holdings of one data repository, findings show three factors are positively related to data reuser trust—integrity, identification, and structural assurance.

In turn, trust and performance expectancy are positively related to data reusers' intentions to return to the repository for more data. As one of the first studies of its kind, it shows the conceptualization of trusted digital repositories needs to go beyond high-level definitions and simple application of the OAIS standard. Trust needs to encompass the complex trust relationship between designated communities of users that the repositories are being built to serve.

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JASIST - Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology

JASIST Journal Cover

Publisher Recommended Citation

Yakel, E., Faniel, I. M., & Robert, L. P. Jr (2024). An empirical examination of data reuser trust in a digital repository. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24933