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      Certification information on trustworthy digital repository websites: A content analysis

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      PLoS ONE

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          In 1996, an international group of representatives from national archives and libraries, universities, industry, publishing offices, and other government and private sector organizations first articulated the need for certified Trustworthy Digital Repositories (TDRs). Henceforth, multiple standards for TDRs have developed worldwide and their reviewers provide third party audit of digital repositories. Even though hundreds of repositories are currently certified, we do not know if audit and certification of TDRs actually matters. For example, we do not know if digital repositories are actually better at preserving digital information after certification than they were before. Additionally, we do not know if TDRs preserve digital information better than their counterparts, although TDR standards definitely promulgate this assumption. One way of assessing whether audit and certification of TDRs matters is to study its impact on TDRs’ stakeholders (e.g., funders, data producers, data consumers). As an initial critical step forward, this study examines what certification-related information repositories actually include on their websites since repository websites provide a means of disseminating information. Using findings from a content analysis of 91 TDR-certified repository websites, this research examines: 1) written statements about TDR status, 2) the presence of TDR seals and their location, 3) whether the seals hyperlink to additional certification information, 4) the extent to which the certification process is explained, and 5) whether audit reports are shared. Nearly three-fourths of the repository websites provide TDR status statements and put seals in one or more places; nearly 60% post audit reports and link seals to additional certification information; and over one-third explain the certification process. Directions for future research and practical application of the results are discussed.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Comprehension and Perceived Believability of Seals of Approval Information in Advertising

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            Web Content Analysis: Expanding the Paradigm

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              The Role of Third-Party Seals in Building Trust Online

               D Cook,  W Luo,  Cook (2003)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                9 December 2020
                2020
                : 15
                : 12
                Affiliations
                Department of Information and Library Science, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America
                University of Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-20-26581
                10.1371/journal.pone.0242525
                7725354
                33296371
                © 2020 Devan Ray Donaldson

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 7, Pages: 14
                Product
                Funding
                The author was selected to receive support from the Indiana University Open Access Article Publishing Fund to publish this research.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Facilities
                Information Centers
                Archives
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Facilities
                Information Centers
                Libraries
                Computer and Information Sciences
                Software Engineering
                Computer Software
                Engineering and Technology
                Software Engineering
                Computer Software
                Social Sciences
                Economics
                Finance
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Sustainability Science
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Consortia
                Social Sciences
                Political Science
                Governments
                Social Sciences
                Economics
                Industrial Organization
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting information files.

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