The Digitized Archival Document Trustworthiness Scale
Designated communities are central to validation of preservation. If a designated community is able to understand and use information found within a digital repository, the assumption is that the information has been properly preserved. As judging the trustworthiness of information requires at least some level of understanding of that information, this paper presents results of a study aimed at developing a tool for measuring designated community members’ perceptions of trustworthiness for preserved information found within a digital repository. The study focuses on genealogists at the Washington State Digital Archives who routinely interact with digitized genealogical records, including digitized marriage, death, and birth records. Results of the study include construction of an original Digitized Archival Document Trustworthiness Scale (DADTS). DADTS is a ready-made tool for digital curators to use to measure the trustworthiness perceptions of their designated community members. Implications of this study include the feasibility of engaging members of a designated community in the construction of a scale for measuring trustworthiness perception, thereby providing deeper insight into the understandability and usability of preserved information by that designated community.
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