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The world of science has long been a source of new models, ideas, and technologies in the practice of distributed group collaboration. Recent national-scale investments in 'e-science' or 'cyberinfrastructure, ' continue this trend, promising to extend scientific collaboration through space (geographic and disciplinary) but also time: building new monitoring systems while opening up existing long-term records to new forms of sharing and analysis. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and ethno methodological analysis, this study explores the tensions between continuity and change in long-term ecological monitoring and collaborative research. We observe the work of producing shareable data amidst the ever-present contingencies of day-to-day practice, which must respond to two separate temporal accountabilities: coherence in the short-term and integrity in the long-term. Changing environments, broken instruments, organizational shifts, and turnover in personnel threaten the integrity of the data record, but they also serve as crucial resources for accommodating contingency and change. We argue that the success of current cyber infrastructure investments - and many other forms of collaborative system development - will depend on just such delicate and local accommodations between continuity and change.