The RFC publication process includes the stages described below.
All RFCs are first published as Internet-Drafts (I-Ds). All RFCs have been I-Ds, but not all I-Ds become RFCs.
A well-formed RFC starts with a well-formed Internet-Draft. Please see the Internet-Drafts page on the IETF site for policy and submision guidelines, as it is authoritative regarding Internet-Drafts. In addition, we recommend the following for authors.
Documents are submitted by four streams:
The RFC Editor maintains a list of documents in the editorial process. Since documents are processed in roughly FIFO order, this list is called the publication queue.
Each document in the queue is assigned to a state that tracks its progress. The state diagram shows the overall publication process. The top of this diagram, in yellow, shows the independent submission review process. The bottom, in green is the actual publication process.
Whenever a document enters the editorial queue, changes its state in the queue, or leaves the queue, an automatic email message summarizing the state change is sent to the authors. This message is for information only; it does not replace existing messages to authors, such as AUTH48 messages.
Here are some important notes on the process.
Once an RFC has been edited and is ready for publication, the author(s) are given "48 hours" (in practice, this often stretches over weeks) to look over their document for errors, editorial and otherwise. We DO NOT make changes to RFCs once they have been published, so please look over your document carefully. Upon approval by all authors, the RFC will be published.
The AUTH48 notification message sent to authors asks that they review the entire document, paying particular attention to:
See the general AUTH48 process described here.
If an author is no longer available, there are several options (as listed in the FAQ). Indefinite delays are not allowed, but when there is a choice, the RFC Editor would in general prefer to publish it right than to publish it early.
See the AUTH48 FAQ for more information.
When an RFC is published, an announcement is sent to ietf-announce and rfc-dist mailing lists. The canonical URI is of the form: http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfcXXXX.txt. The most recently published RFCs are listed here.
This page was last updated on 12 March 2015.