Testing a Multidimensional and Hierarchical Quality
Assessment Model for Digital Libraries
I C I Bucharest
(National Institute for R & D in Informatics)
8-10 Averescu Blvd.
011455 Bucharest 1, Romania
Abstract: This paper proposes and tests a multidimensional and hierarchical model for quality evaluation of digital libraries (LibEval). A convenience sample of 252 undergraduate and graduate students was used. Data was collected in October 2010 by means of a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. Results from a confirmatory factor analysis utilizing structural equation modelling techniques confirm the existence of a second-order factor construct (Quality of Digital Library) and five first-order dimensions, namely: interface quality, system quality, information quality, service quality, and contextual factors. The results from this study show empirically that the five dimensions are distinct manifestations of the quality of digital libraries. The user perceives and evaluates the quality of a digital library globally and in each dimension. The LibEval instrument can be utilized to assess the quality of digital libraries from the general user’s perspective.
Keywords: digital library, quality model, multidimensional and hierarchical model, model testing, CFA, SEM.
CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Alexandru BALOG, Testing a Multidimensional and Hierarchical Quality Assessment Model for Digital Libraries, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 20 (3), pp. 233-246, 2011.
The term “digital library” (DL) covers different applications and has been used interchangeably for digitized collections, e-journal platforms, network databases, library websites. As Chowdhury  pointed out, “a modern digital library is a space – a centre of intellectual activities – with content, available in different forms and formats in a distributed network environment, as well as tools and facilities for user-centric access, use, interactions, collaborations and sharing”.
One major area of library and information science research is the evaluation of digital library. In line with the growing number of operational DLs, there is also growing interest among researchers to investigate the quality of DLs , , , , , . In the context of Romania, no studies were found addressing this topic. The overall quality of DLs is insufficiently studied and reported , and DL quality and evaluation is a very underrepresented research area in the digital library literature . While previous studies have provided useful and interesting information regarding the topic, this study proposes and tests a multidimensional and hierarchical model which can be used to assess the quality of digital libraries. The model is based on Zhang model  and DeLone & McLean IS success model .
This paper is organized as follows. In Section 2 we briefly review the related work and studies on DL quality. In Section 3 we present the proposed research model, which is followed by the description of the research methods used and statistical results in Section 4 and 5, respectively. A summary and conclusions are presented in Section 6.
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