[rfc-i] DOIs and RFCs

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Wed Feb 12 07:47:45 PST 2014



On 2/11/2014 9:06 PM, Henning Schulzrinne wrote:
> I’m currently working in an environment mostly consisting of
> lawyers, but who need to cite RFCs (among many other document types,
> from scientific papers to court proceedings). RFC URLs are all over
> the map - presumably whatever somebody goggled. You get
> www.rfc-editor.org (rarely), tools.ietf.org, and probably three or
> four more variations.

Adding another convention to this mix makes it more variable, not less.

(that also begs the question of what the DOI would resolve to - the 
rfc-editor content or the tools.ietf content)

> Having a simple, short convention that can
> still be resolved ten years from now would be quite useful to provide
> in our style guide, and conforms with other technical citations. (For
> a related reason, I’m trying to get internal documents a DOI or
> similar convention.)

We cannot control whether DOIs will be around in 10 years. We can 
control our own URLs.

A DOI is a two-level mechanism - DOI sites resolve to other URLs; DOIs 
do not refer directly to content managed within the DOI system. That's 
two opportunities for a DNS pollution attack, two opportunities to get 
things wrong.

> Nobody is forced to use the convention, so I’m a bit surprised by
> the opposition. Maybe it helps to recognize that there are different
> communities, with different preferences, citation cultures and
 > conventions.

One ring to bind them all, like IP.

If we provide an ID for each preference, we make it even less likely 
that these different cultures will end up seeing the same thing, in the 
same place.

Joe


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