Damn you Pubmed.org!

Somebody please tell me why the national library of medicine gave up their pubmed.com and pubmed.org domains? It used to be you could just type "pubmed.org" and get pubmed. Now, some cyber squatter has put some worthless spam search on the site. Before I realized it wasn't a site redesign my search got me redirected to a celebrity gossip site, then experimenting with the same search I got a site selling anti-aging cream.

Really? How much does it cost to keep a domain a year? And for that matter, what cyber squatter thinks redirecting scientists at celebrity gossip sites is a great business strategy.

Is the budget really that tight at the NIH? They can't fork over a couple hundred bucks a year to maintain some convenient domain names? I guess all that money being spent on security and a 10 foot iron gate around a science campus has them searching the couch cushions for pocket change. It's certainly not going into grants given we're seeing the lowest rate of funding for R01 applications in decades.

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All fine here too...

Had that problem yesterday. Don't have it today.

Yes I think the site was temporarily hacked or something now. I showed it to a bunch of people yesterday and it was universally sending us to this junk site. We figured they had lost the domain. Now the problem appears to be corrected.

Huzzah for pubmed.org!

Nope pubmed.com still redirects to anotehr page for me - with a message in the top right that reads "pubmed.com expired on 02/05/2012 and is pending renewal or deletion"

Pubmed.org still works for me tho.

By Michelle Campbell (not verified) on 14 Feb 2012 #permalink

In my experience, when you see re-directs like Mark describes, it is the computer that got redirected that is infected. The most common destinations are junk search sites and porn sites. At least you got a junk search...

By man_of_misery (not verified) on 14 Feb 2012 #permalink

This was a real problem with their domain registration, not an issue with the personal computers browsing to the site, and not a hack.

Looking at the whois records for pubmed.com it seems that the registration did expire on the 5th, and the registration was renewed on the 13th.

That's a really... pathetic inattention by the NIH person responsible for maintaining the domain. They ignored whatever internal records they (should have) had. They ignored the 1-month in advance warning they got from the registrar. They ignored the last-minute warnings they got from the registrar. And it took them a long time to react after the domain stopped resolving. Really really sad.

And now they renewed the domain until 2021, so they apparently also seriously overreacted to the "oh crap" realization when eventually they did notice a problem.

As for the costs, with normal registrars it would be about 8$ to renew a domain for a year (even doable for 5$). But for some reason this domain is registered through Network Solutions, who take 35$ per year (or 18$ per year when doing something stupid like registering it for 10 years in advance).

Sad. But at least they're better at medicine than they are at IT.