Both raw and synthesised research data is increasingly being recognised as a valuable asset and a valid research output. Journals are starting to require that data be made available to support the research conclusions and the sharing of research data is being required as a condition of research funding. In the humanities and social sciences the analysis of web content (both contemporary and historical) is sometimes a fundamental aspect of research projects. For some studies the live web is the focus and access to historical web archives is not required. However, even in these cases, the researcher needs the content to be harvested into an archive that is sustainable and accessible over time so that their research conclusions can be verified in the future. The web is an ephemeral publishing environment and what is here to day can be gone tomorrow (or changed, or moved).
This presentation explores what tools and/or services are available to researchers to build and/or access web archives required for their research in a way that is sustainable over time. It will look at the challenges posed by new technologies, the rise of social media, and dynamic web content. It will also summarise the historical web archives being accumulated by the National Library of Australia (Australian content) and the Internet Archive and the citation services they provide for referencing a web page persistently.