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With Little Fanfare, dLIST Goes Down

I've been meaning to blog about this for a while. DLIST, the Digital Library of Information Science and Technology, maintained by the University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science, has been down for at least three months. Any URL formerly part of DLIST gets automatically redirected to an announcement page that reads as follows:

Aging hardware and conversion issues following a system crash have taken their toll on DLIST, the University of Arizona's Digitial Library of Information Science and Technology. We are currently exploring choices and alternatives both to short term recovery and long term sustainability. The resources and metadata are fully recovered, and we hope to put them back online in a new repository soon.

If you or your institution would like to assist with the DLIST project, please contact us at Thanks for your support!

While I feel for the difficulties they've had in maintaining it, I have to admit that it's a bit frustrating for me from the standpoint of someone who submitted material to DLIST. I suppose I had some expectation that the site would be maintained more than it was, but I also know that repositories are a lot of work. This is particularly true of open access repositories like DLIST and Mana'o, the OA repository for anthropologists that shut down last August. I guess I also had a higher social expectation for uptime since DLIST is (was?) maintained by a library school.

The particularly troubling thing to me is that the project seems to be in some sort of limbo. DLIST's maintainers didn't reach out to anyone who deposited their work there "” at least, I never ever received anything alerting that my resources were lost but now are found. In terms of discovery, it's also troubling to see that something a little dodgy might be going on with the citation metadata and Google Scholar:

Strange behavior in Google Search for DLIST

So what is to be done? I'd love to help, but I'd also just like to know I can get my stuff back. I'd love to see what was in DLIST get folded into E-LIS, which also happens to be running ePrints. But most of all, I'd like the maintainers to acknowledge the downtime to the contributors. Like others, I stumbled upon this by sheer accident.



  • 💬 John at March 11, 2010, 21:31 UTC:

    Tha answer may lie in our "social expectation." What are our social expectations and can they sustain OAs? Although I am not familiar with the situation other than what I read, it seems that both DLIST and Mana'o OA were impacted by the social reality of time and money. I believe that information wants to be free...but at what cost?

  • 💬 Jeremy Frumkin at March 12, 2010, 01:13 UTC:

    So, a quick status update on DLIST - it's in the process of being brought back up, though it will likely be a couple of weeks. Once it is back up, it will be maintained as part of the University of Arizona Libraries' overall repository and digital preservation efforts, which should minimize this sort of downtime in the future. (On the technical side, it will be migrated from an EPrints 3.x installation to our DSpace instance here at the UA).

  • 💬 M.A. Matienzo at March 12, 2010, 02:16 UTC:

    Jeremy, thanks for the update! I appreciate the info.