[rfc-i] Style Guide and Abstract guidance

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Fri Sep 8 08:57:28 PDT 2017


Hello all,

After some discussion with the IESG, I'm proposing a substantive change
to the guidance around Abstracts. The goal is to make the Abstract more
clear in setting the context of the document. I'd like community
feedback before I update the draft. Thoughts?

CURRENT:
4.3.  Abstract Section

   Every RFC must have an Abstract that provides a concise and
   comprehensive overview of the purpose and contents of the entire
   document, to give a technically knowledgeable reader a general
   overview of the function of the document.

   Composing a useful Abstract generally requires thought and care.
   Usually, an Abstract should begin with a phrase like "This memo ..."
   or "This document ..."  A satisfactory Abstract can often be
   constructed in part from material within the Introduction section,
   but an effective Abstract may be shorter, less detailed, and perhaps
   broader in scope than the Introduction.  Simply copying and pasting
   the first few paragraphs of the Introduction is allowed, but it may
   result in an Abstract that is both incomplete and redundant.  Note
   also that an Abstract is not a substitute for an Introduction; the
   RFC should be self-contained as if there were no Abstract.

   Similarly, the Abstract should be complete in itself.  It will appear
   in isolation in publication announcements and in the online index of
   RFCs.  Therefore, the Abstract must not contain citations.


PROPOSED:
4.3.  Abstract Section

   Every RFC must have an Abstract that provides a concise and
   comprehensive overview of the purpose and contents of the entire
   document, to give a technically knowledgeable reader a general
   overview of the function of the document and some context with
   regards to its relationship (in particular, whether it updates or
   obsoletes) any other RFCs.  In addition to its function in the RFC
   itself, the Abstract section text will appear in publication
   announcements and in the online index of RFCs.

   Composing a useful Abstract generally requires thought and care.
   Usually, an Abstract should begin with a phrase like "This memo ..."
   or "This document ..."  A satisfactory Abstract can often be
   constructed in part from material within the Introduction section,
   but an effective Abstract may be shorter, less detailed, and perhaps
   broader in scope than the Introduction.  Simply copying and pasting
   the first few paragraphs of the Introduction is allowed, but it may
   result in an Abstract that is overly long, incomplete, and redundant.

   An Abstract is not a substitute for an Introduction; the
   RFC should be self-contained as if there were no Abstract.
   Similarly, the Abstract should be complete in itself.  Given that the
   Abstract will appear independently in announcements
   and indices, mentions of other RFCs within the Abstract should
   include both an RFC number and  title.  If a short description
   is clearer than the literal title, it may be included in addition
   or instead.  Any documents that are Updated or Obsoleted by the RFC
   must be mentioned in the Abstract.  These may be presented in a
   list format if that improves readability




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