Role of information professionals in helping patrons assess trust?

ASIST 2006
General Discussion

  • Educate and give information about security and privacy problems to patrons;
  • Learn more about trust ourselves;
  • try to understand patrons perspective, cultural and otherwise;
  • People need to be wary of sources — check facts, even of sources you think are trusted;
  • In creating information systems, ensure information is secure;
  • “Librarian’s like to search and everyone else likes to find”. As librarians we are inclined to find the most accruate, timely information. However, depending on information need, a thorough, exhaustive search is not always necessary. This method may wind up pushing people away (e.g. Wikipedia for quick and dirty information about a topic;response: most patrons can find the quick and dirty information, so if they come to information professionals, it is our responsibility tin enculcate idea that accuracy is important
    response: leads to a marketing opportunity for us to teach patrons the value of quality informationresponse:Credibility is decreased if don’t give patrons the correct answer from the start
    response: is it our responsibility to find the best information or train patrons to find and assess information (i.e. self-reliance and responsiblity). We have to stop picking on/dismiss Google and give patrons tools to find good informationresponse: key is to instill awareness of assessing a quality information source
  • Is information good information or the best information?
    Example: when buying a car, consult Consumer Reports but another person will only want to be sure front seat is comfortable.
    response: speaks to information needs and fundamentals of a reference interview
    response: patrons may avoid a librarian who spends too much time finding the *perfect* piece of informationresponse: Democracy of trust is exemplified with Google’s popularity. The more people use a source, the more it is trusted

Does trust differ with international professionals?

What is trust?

  • Freedom of information
  • Information should be free flowing in the world
  • In developing countries, people trust the people that they know. Not used to searching for information in formal information sources. Tend to ask people that we know, even with the knowledge that they may not be the expert or an authority.
    response: as a librarian, tend to think about trust in terms of information sources we consult, but not as often if the information sources are trustworthy to the patronresponse: Brown found that scientists would consult colleagues rather than search for information in journals or databases.

Government censorship

Should a government be allowed to (try to) censor information that its citizens receive? Are there circumstances under which this practice should be considered explicitly acceptable or explicitly unacceptable?

Government surveillance

Is it acceptable for a government to monitor channels of digital information, including personal information, that pass within its borders? If a government has a legitimate interest in doing so, how may it build trust among its citizens that it is not unnecessarily monitoring their communications or collecting their personal information? When should a government have its powers in this regard limited?

In the case of the current wiretapping operatings in the U.S. (outlined in this article by Dan Mitchell in The New York Times), to what extent should people around the world be concerned that the U.S. Government may be monitoring their Internet communications?

(The NY times requires a login to read their articles online. Creating a login and password for the NY Times is free and may be done here).

e-commerce and data mining

Should online retailers or search engines be deterred from mining usage data from their websites, or from monitoring trends in how Internet users are using the Internet as a whole? Are there benefits to allowing an online retailers or search engine to mine data? If so, how far should these sites be allowed to go in terms of collecting personal data? When should they be required to stop?

Here are some articles relating to this discussion:

Wakefield, R., and Whitten, D. 2006. Examining User Perceptions of Third Party Organization Credibility and Trust in an E-retailer.Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, v. 18: 2.

Clark T. H. and Ho G. L. Electronic intermediaries: trust building and market differentiation, in 32nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences, IEEE, 1999, Hawaii.

Which aspects of trust are most significant?

Even a casual review of the literature on trust reveals a cacophony of issues on the subject. From the list below, which one to three issues would you consider most significant
– to you as an information professional
– to you as a consumer of information
when evaluating a website? Why?

– The privacy policy maintained by a website that asks for personal information
– The presence of a logo from a third party organization certifying a site is trustworthy, such as Verisign
– The interests of an electronic retailer in mining data on the information behavior of visitors to its own website
– The interests of an electronic retailer in monitoring data on the information behavior of Internet users in general
– The influence of the blogosphere on a public’s willingness to trust a piece of information
– The environment rich with personal data created by social networking sites such as MySpace, Xanga, Friendster, or LinkedIn
– How perceptions of trust change from culture to culture

Here are some articles relating to this question:

Shanker, L. 2006. In Google we TrustFirst Monday, v. 11: 4.

Wakefield, R., and Whitten, D. 2006. Examining User Perceptions of Third Party Organization Credibility and Trust in an E-retailer.Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, v. 18: 2.

Holland C. P. and Lockett A. G. Business trust and the formation of virtual organizations, in 31st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, IEEE, 1998, Hawaii.

Gefen, D., Rose, G.M., Warkentin, M., Pavlou, P.A. 2005. Cultural Diversity and Trust in IT Adoption: A Comparison of Potential e-Voters in the USA and South Africa. Journal of Global Information Management, v. 13: 1.

How do we measure trust?

How can a person’s trust in information best be measured?

Here is an article to help guide discussion:

Manchala D. W. Trust metrics, models and protocols for electronic commerce transactions, in 18th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, IEEE, 1998.