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Chasing Frankenstein’s monster: information literacy in the black box society

Annemaree Lloyd (University College London, London, UK)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 3 September 2019

Issue publication date: 19 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to introduce and examine algorithmic culture and consider the implications of algorithms for information literacy practice. The questions for information literacy scholars and educators are how can one understand the impact of algorithms on agency and performativity, and how can one address and plan for it in their educational and instructional practices?


In this study, algorithmic culture and implications for information literacy are conceptualised from a sociocultural perspective.


To understand the multiplicity and entanglement of algorithmic culture in everyday lives requires information literacy practice that encourages deeper examination of the relationship among the epistemic views, practical usages and performative consequences of algorithmic culture. Without trying to conflate the role of the information sciences, this approach opens new avenues of research, teaching and more focused attention on information literacy as a sustainable practice.


The concept of algorithmic culture is introduced and explored in relation to information literacy and its literacies.



Lloyd, A. (2019), "Chasing Frankenstein’s monster: information literacy in the black box society", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 75 No. 6, pp. 1475-1485.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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