Jane E. Klobas and David Morrison The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Western Australia email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Internet, intranets, and other communication networks provide people with access to many sources of information from their desktop computers. Use of these networked information resources (NIRS) is discretionary: potential users can choose whether or not to use them in their search for information. NIR designers and developers emphasise the usability and information quality characteristics of their resources, in the belief that a resource that has these qualities will be successful -- at least in the sense that it will be used ( Ciolek and Goltz 1996, 1999).
Although we emphasise usability and information quality in design, there is little research support for the effect of these characteristics on use. Perceived information quality has been shown to influence information resource use only in limited circumstances ( Allen 1997, Auster and Choo 1993). Perceived ease of use appears to have little or no influence on information technology use ( Gefen and Keil, 1998). Intuitively, it is hard to accept the validity of such observations. It is easier to believe that an NIR that provides inaccurate and out of date information will not be used for any length of time, and that people are not likely to persist with use of an NIR with a navigation interface through which it is difficult to find the sought information.
This paper describes a model of discretionary networked information resource use which demonstrates how NIR quality may be associated with networked information resource use. In doing so, it provides some explanation of the counter-intuitive results of research on the role of perceived information quality