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Ticket of the month

Hello all,

Our technical support and membership teams - @abartell, @annat, @asoto, @eatoni, @kluschek, @pdavis, @sallyjennings, @Shayn, and myself - meet nearly every working day during my morning to discuss complex issues raised in support queries sent to us at support@crossref.org and here in the community forum. During these 30-minute sessions, we share important lessons learned, compare notes, discuss your issues in detail, and decide on a plan of action for the support issues raised that day. On average, we’ll collectively discuss four or five challenging issues each day.

For example, in October 2021, we discussed 73 issues over 18 support standup meetings. We learn a lot about our members and your practices and our products and services during these meetings. I leave those meetings more confident in my abilities to serve our members. I believe the rest of the team feels similarly. From these meetings, we share information about many of the more challenging or thought-provoking questions with our colleagues, but we all thought: why not share these with you, our members?

So, here I am: debuting the support ticket of the month in the community forum. We hope you’ll get as much out of this as we do. And, feel free to ask questions and get involved with the discussion about this issue or any other issues within the community forum. Thanks for reading!

-Isaac

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October 2021 - ticket of the month

Topic: OJS and Metadata Manager submissions during Crossref releases

During October 2021, we had several planned and unplanned maintenance releases. Those planned releases typically occur on Tuesdays between 1400 and 1600 UTC. During these releases, we deploy bug fixes and/or new features of our products/services. Practically speaking, if you are submitting metadata to us between a release (again, typically on Tuesdays between 1400 and 1600 UTC), you may notice that it takes a little longer for us to register your DOIs. That’s because we pause submission processing during our releases. We store submissions made to doi.crossref.org or our web deposit form [there’s one caveat to these submissions, which I’ll get to shortly] while they come in and then process them after the release has been completed.

So, during a typical month, there may be four or five Tuesdays were submission processing is noticeably slower than other times in the month. October 2021 was different. We had several starts and stops to submission processing in October - many unplanned bits of maintenance on the submission queue that required us to pause processing. You may have seen those notices on our status page: Crossref Status - Slower processing in the admin tool (doi.crossref.org) today

The short of it: submission processing was slower than we would have liked from roughly 4 to 21 October. We had ongoing issues with the threads that process your submissions locking up. It took us some time to identify and fix that problem. Those locked threads needed to be unlocked, so we had to stop and restart the submission queue more than our usual four to five times over the course of the month.

Well, many of you noticed that (and sent our support team messages about it), whether you were registering your content using HTTPS POST, our web deposit form, OJS, or the soon-to-be-sunset Metadata Manager, helper tool.

For the members using XML submission to doi.crossref.org or the web deposit form, your submissions were delayed. We stored them and processed them like we always do.

But, those OJS and Metadata Manager users received different errors. Like this one:

OJS and Metadata Manager were designed for synchronous depositing, so we could accept, process, and return the results of your submission in real time. We’re not able to accept, process, and return results of submissions if the queue is paused because we’re not processing submissions.

As I said, we had many questions about that in October, so we decided to make it the ticket of the month, and explain the issue in more detail.

While we haven’t quite solved this yet, our technical team is aware of the limitations and working on a solution.

My very best,
Isaac

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