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We seek a new understanding of what happens when data becomes everyday infrastructure. From a practice perspective, we examine data practices of provision and use. We suggest that data becomes infrastructure when its provision is consolidated in a network open to a community of use. Its maintenance is likely to entail a significant amount of work. While it may grow and be extended, data infrastructure can also wither in its provision and use. A new conceptual framework is offered, suggesting that a data infrastructure is held together by its associated data practices, provision and use, and three pillars of support, pertaining to the infrastructure’s reliabilities, economies, and values. When these pillars are strong, the infrastructure’s future is relatively secure, but when they are weak, its future is uncertain and problematic. Research to shed more light on data infrastructure is suggested.



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