[rfc-i] Using LaTeX & BibTeX to cite RFCs

Henning Schulzrinne hgs at cs.columbia.edu
Fri Aug 28 05:34:43 PDT 2009

Just a side note: I have never seen a citation in an IEEE or ACM  
publication that uses ISSN for anything, so this would be a bit odd. I  
would suggest taking a look at ACM and IEEE networking publications to  
see what's customary. The appropriate citation format may differ for  
different types of publications. For example, in a networking  
conference, one can assume that readers have heard of RFCs and will  
only need minimal information, similar to format [2] in the PDF link  
below. (I personally use IETF, as that's most likely to be recognized,  
and, if googled, likely to point towards a generally useful direction.)

In a sociology journal, this will likely be insufficient, and it might  
be best to provide a URL, maybe the ISSN (if this is customary), a  
spelled out version of the IETF, as in

Carpenter, B. "Architectural Principles", RFC 1958, published by the  
Internet Society on behalf of the Internet Engineering Task Force  
(IETF), June 1996 (http://www.rfc-editor.org/...).


On Aug 27, 2009, at 10:48 PM, Martin J. Dürst wrote:

> On 2009/08/28 10:42, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>> Martin,
>> We don't have the 'stream of origin' info for older RFCs, and we  
>> don't
>> even have a status for many of them. I don't think we want to see
>> 'Legacy, Unknown' in the citations, even if you see them in the  
>> index.
> Definitely not. Just no status would be okay.
>> As far as this info does exist, it could certainly be embedded in the
>> full BibTeX citation, but I don't think most journal editors would  
>> want
>> it in the final citation.
>> The publisher, over many years, has been the RFC Editor. For general
>> citations, if we need to indicate a publisher, I'd go for that,
>> associated with the ISSN.
> For the publisher, yes. But status may be more important than  
> publisher.
>>    Brian
>> On 2009-08-28 12:57, Martin J. Dürst wrote:
>>> As for the institution, I think that depends on how the RFC became  
>>> an
>>> RFC. Using an institution of IETF for RFC 31 seems odd as the IETF
>>> wasn't around then (IETF 1 was 1986). RFCs from the IRTF should say
>>> IRTF. RFCs from the IETF should say IETF. What would be more helpful
>>> would be to also have the status (Standard, Draft, Proposed,
>>> Experimental, Informational).
>>> Regards,    Martin.
>>> On 2009/08/28 4:16, RJ Atkinson wrote:
>>>> I see some variations in the published literature in how RFCs
>>>> are cited.  I've put together a 1 page PDF that illustrates
>>>> some of the differences.  As PDF attachments can be large,
>>>> I'm using a URL for access to the PDF:
>>>>     <http://www.petri-meat.com/rja/example.pdf>
>>>> I'm wondering if there is a preferred practice in these areas.
>>>> If there isn't, ought there be a preferred practice ?
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Ran
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> -- 
> #-# Martin J. Dürst, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
> #-# http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp   mailto:duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
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