An empirical examination of data reuser trust in a digital repository

Authors : 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.

URL : Asso for Info Science Tech – 2024 – Yakel – An empirical examination of data reuser trust in a digital repository


Evidence for Trusted Digital Repository Reviews: An Analysis of Perspectives

Author : Jonathan David Crabtree

Building trust in our research infrastructure is important for the future of the academy. Trust in research data repositories is critical as they provide the evidence for past discoveries as well as the input for future discoveries.

Archives and repositories are examining their options for trustworthy review, audit, and certification as a means to build trust within their content creator and user communities. One option these institutions have is to increase and demonstrate their trustworthiness is to apply for the CoreTrustSeal.

Applicants for the CoreTrustSeal are becoming more numerous and diverse, ranging general purpose repositories, preservation infrastructure providers, and domain repositories. This demand for certification and the subjective nature of decisions around levels of CORETrustSeal compliance drives this dissertation.

It is a study of the review process and its veracity and consistency in determining the trustworthiness of applicant repositories. Several assumptions underlie this work. First, audits and reviews must be based on evidence supplied by the repository under scrutiny; second, and not all reviewers will approach a piece of evidence in the same fashion or give it the same weight. Third, the value and veracity of required evidence may be subject to reviewers’ diverse perspectives and diverse repository community norms.

This research used a thematic qualitative analysis approach to identify similarities and differences in CoreTrustSeal reviewers’ responses during semi-structured interviews in order to better understand potential subjective differences among respondents. The participants’ non-probabilistic sample represented a balance in perspectives across three anticipated categories: administrator, archivist, and technologist.

Themes converged around several key concepts. Nearly all participants felt they were performing a peer review process and working to help the repository community and the research enterprise.

Reviewers were questioned about the various CoreTrustSeal application requirements and which ones they felt were the most important. No clear evidence emerged to indicate that variations in perspectives affected the subjective review of application evidence. The same categories of evidence were often selected and identified as being critical across all three categories (i.e., administrator, archivist, and technologist).

Many valuable suggestions from participants were recorded and can be implemented to ensure the consistency and sustainability of this trusted repository review process.

These suggestions and concepts were also very evenly distributed across the three perspectives. The balance in perspectives is potentially due to participants’ experience levels and their years of experience in various positions, holding many responsibilities, within the organizations they represented.