Trust in digital information



Trust in information is developing into a vitally important topic as the Internet becomes increasingly ubiquitous within society. Although many discussions of trust in this environment focus on issues like security, technical reliability, or e-commerce, few address the problem of trust in the information obtained from the Internet. The authors assert that there is a strong need for theoretical and empirical research on trust within the field of information science. As an initial step, the present study develops a model of trust in digital information by integrating the research on trust from the behavioral and social sciences with the research on information quality and human– computer interaction. The model positions trust as a key mediating variable between information quality and information usage, with important consequences for both the producers and consumers of digital information. The authors close by outlining important directions for future research on trust in information science and technology.