“You should be writing” is the mantra for academics everywhere. But what to do when you committed to writing over the weekend and your reference manager crashes? Freak out, of course! As of 2017-01-28 06:37 GMT, the Mendeley server that syncs references has been returning errors. Here’s what we know about it:
04:15 GMT – A Mendeley user posts to the support forum: “Service is currently overloaded…” There were no additional user responses to this post.
06:37 GMT – The first support ticket for a “500 Server Error” is posted. A hundred other Mendeley users respond, largely echoing the same problems.
18:42 GMT – Yet another support request is posted. At this point, there are six support requests and upwards of 250 other users chiming in with similar issues (see image).
Meanwhile, on Twitter, the help requests for @MendeleySupport started piling up with questions about ERROR 500.
Unfortunately, as I learned from sending an email support request, the Mendeley support team only works on weekdays between 9:30am and 5:30pm (London time). Not so helpful at the moment!
What we do/don’t know:
There is an issue with the Mendeley sync server. It is affecting all operating systems (Win, Mac, Android, etc.) and also affecting the Mendeley API. This appears to be a systemic server-side issue. A “500” error is a generic response code that could mean practically anything. What it means to users is that we can’t sync or update reference libraries.
The Mendeley technology support team does not typically work weekends. If something like this happens on a Saturday morning, users might be out of luck until Monday (9:30am, London time). It would be great if they could implement weekend stand-by support just in case of issues like these. I know that I’m not the only academic who is trying to work on a manuscript this weekend…
— Jason Colditz (@ColditzJB) January 29, 2017
Thanks, William Gunn, for jumping on this! You and your team have been doing great work on Mendeley and this is by far my favorite reference software. I’m sorry that you had deal with this on a Saturday night (London time). You should have a Pittsburgh office for the weekends! 😉