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    New and Legacy RefWorks - RCA - October 27, 2022


    This document serves as a Root Cause Analysis for the downtime of Refworks experienced by RefWorks customers on October 27, 2022.

    The goal of this document is to share our findings regarding the event, specify the root cause analysis, outline actions to be taken to solve the downtime event and identify preventive measures we are taking to avoid similar cases in future.

    Event Timeline

    The Refworks website and writing tool add-ons exhibited data accessibility issues. This affected all RefWorks customers during the following hours:

    October 27 2022, from 08:20 AM until October 27 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST).

    During the event, the RefWorks functionality was unavailable.



    Root Cause Analysis

    RefWorks engineers investigated this event to determine the root cause analysis with the following result:

    A maintenance index script running on the data base caused overloading of the DB which eventually resulted in a service disruption.

    Once identified, the process was stopped, the issue was fixed and the database was recovered.

    Technical Action Items and Preventive Measures

    Ex Libris has taken the following action and preventive measures to avoid such an occurrence in future:

    • Before running an index on the data base, RefWorks developers will increase the resources size, so it won’t affect customers.

    • The script will be run on the background and will use less resources

    Customer Communication

    ExLibris is committed to providing customers with prompt and ongoing updates during Cloud events. Ongoing and prompt updates on service interruptions appear in the system status portal at this address:

    These updates are automatically sent as emails to registered customers.


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