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    New and Legacy RefWorks - RCA - March 11, 2021


    This document serves as a Root Cause Analysis for the downtime of Refworks experienced by RefWorks customers on March 11, 2021.

    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:

    March 11, 2021 from 03:50 AM until 04:15 AM US Pacific time.

    During the event, the following services had data issues:

    •  (new) RefWorks – some features were unavailable
    •  Write-n-Cite
    •  RefWorks Citation Manager
    •  RefWorks for Google Docs

    Root Cause Analysis

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

    There was a failure in some of the API machines that required manual restart of the servers.


    Technical Action Items and Preventive Measures

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

    • Fixed the bug that caused the issue and updated the code to avoid such a failure
    • Added more alerts to see if servers are out of service

    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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