Data care and its politics: designing for local collective data management as a neglected thing

  • Karen S. Baker
  • Helena Karasti


In this paper, we think with Puig de la Bellacasa's 'matters of care' about how to support data care and its politics. We use the notion to reflect on participatory design activities in two recent case studies of local collective data management in ecological research. We ask "How to design for data care?" and "How to account for the politics of data care in design?" Articulation of data care together with ethically and politically significant data issues in design, reveals in these cases the invisible labors of care by local data advocates and a 'partnering designer'. With digital data work in the sciences increasing and data infrastructures for research under development at a variety of large scales, the local level is often considered merely a recipient of services rather than an active participant in design of data practices and infrastructures. We identify local collective data management as a 'neglected thing' in infrastructure planning and speculate on how things could be different in the data landscape.

Full text at ACM

SESSION: Complicated things