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Credential systems play an important role in the trust building process between members of online communities like eBay, Slashdot, Epinions, etc. We assumed credentials to be either reputation- or policy-based to be presented to mediate trust between a trustor and trustee. Numerous credential systems have already been proposed and/or adopted for different environments and contexts, incorporating diverse presenting, endorsing, and evaluating processes. This diversity makes it a difficult task for analyzers and designers to compare these systems with one another. In this work, we propose a framework based on which various credential systems in online communities could be evaluated and compared following the unified structure and comprehensive dimensions it proposes. The primary goal of this proposal is to provide stepping stones for the better design of credential systems via a better understanding of the social implications of the discovered relationships and design trade-offs.
Date of Conference: 26-27 Sept. 2009