Technology acceptance of digital historical record database systems among historians
As information technology (IT) becomes increasingly prevalent in our society, academic research, too, makes increasingly extensive use of it. IT has influenced the work of historians in various ways. Especially the digitization of old historical records and the inception of born-digital records have changed the research practices of historians considerably. These digital records are uploaded into various information systems for public use, by historians among other users. This development has been studied mainly from the point of view of the digitization of old historical records, and primarily by historians and archival organizations. On the other hand, this topic remains largely unstudied from the point of view of information systems. Given that historians generally report negative user experiences with these systems, the need for IS-focused research on this topic is evident. This study approached this topic from the point of view of technology acceptance, using Fred Davis' Technology Acceptance Model as the background theory. The research problem this study addressed was "What makes a digital historical record database system useful and easy to use for historians?" This problem was approached by first conducting two literature reviews. After this an interview protocol was created and used to interview historians. The goal of these qualitative, semi-structured interviews was to determine what factors influence historians' perceived ease of use (PEOU) and perceived usefulness (PU) of these systems. By analyzing the data collected through the interviews, fifteen factors influencing historians' PEOU and PU of these systems were determined. These factors were used to create a version of TAM tailored to specifically explain technology acceptance in this context. This study presents both theoretical and practical contributions with its qualitative TAM-based approach and system-focused view. ...
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