[rfc-i] DOIs and RFCs

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Wed Feb 12 08:06:54 PST 2014


On 2/12/14 7:53 AM, Joe Touch wrote:
> FWIW, this is a fine goal, but my experience is that universities each
> have their own culture for what they accept as a publication.
>
> I just had a long conversation here at USC with someone who felt that
> RFCs weren't equivalent to journal publications, because journal pubs
> were scientific contributions and RFCs were 'just engineering
> specifications'.
>
> (I pulled a 'respected' journal and showed how most standards-track
> RFCs were both as complex as much 'just engineering')
>
> So while DOIs may help a very few, the more productive thing we could
> do if this were the goal would be to call (or republish) these as
> 'Transactions on Internet Protocols' or papers in the "Journal of
> Internet Standards".
Something I would add for consideration:

In looking at this from a publisher perspective, assigning DOIs to
publications is considered a best practice for the scientific and
technical community.  For example, here is what the the International
Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers says about the
use of DOIs:

" An important standard, always supported and promoted by STM, is the
DOI -  Digital Object Identifier (see www.doi.org/
<http://www.doi.org/>) a crucial element in the reference linking
between STM publishers worldwide, via the Crossref organisation
(seewww.crossref.org/ <http://www.crossref.org/> )" --
<http://www.stm-assoc.org/standards/>

I understand that not all readers and authors will find DOIs useful. 
But I would like to see the RFC Editor support things that are
considered best practice in the publishing industry where reasonable,
and DOIs seem a good step in making us look like other publishers in the
science and technology space.

-Heather Flanagan
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