The RFC series (ISSN 2070-1721) was originated in 1969 by Steve Crocker of UCLA, to organize the working notes of the new ARPAnet research program. For 28 years, this RFC series was managed and edited by the Internet pioneer Jon Postel. For the history of the series, see “30 Years of RFCs“, “40 Years of RFCs“, and “Fifty Years of RFCs“.
RFC Editor operations were funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the US government until 1998. From 1998-2018, the RFC Editor was funded by a contract with the Internet Society, to continue to edit, publish, and catalog RFCs. The RFC Editor was a project at the USC Information Sciences Institute in Marina del Rey, California, through 2009. Currently, the RFC Production Center and Publisher functions are provided by Association Management Solutions, LLC (AMS) under contract with the IETF Administration LLC (IETF LLC).
The “RFC Editor” comprises the set of functions that serve the Internet technical community in editing, publishing, and archiving RFCs. RFC 9280, “RFC Editor Model (Version 3)”, defines the following:
The RFC Series Working Group (RSWG) is an open working group that generates policy proposals for the RFC Series. All interested parties are welcome to participate in policy development. Adopted policies are published as RFCs on the Editorial Stream. To participate in the discussion, join the mailing list.
The RFC Series Approval Board (RSAB) is an appointed body that approves proposals generated by the RFC Series Working Group (RSWG) for publication in the Editorial Stream. They provide “checks and balances” for the output of the RSWG as well as consider the long-term health of their stream and the RFC Series. The RSAB includes the following:
- representatives from each stream
- the RFC Series Consulting Editor (RSCE), an expert in technical publishing
- the IETF LLC Director (ex officio)
- the RPC Director (ex officio)
The RFC Series Consulting Editor (RSCE) is a senior technical publishing professional that provides expert advice to the RFC Production Center (RPC) and RSAB on how to implement established policies on an ongoing and operational basis. This includes raising support or concerns for proposed policy updates and initiating proposed policy changes within the RSWG.
The RFC Production Center (RPC) is a team of professional editors that prepares and publishes the output of the Editorial, IAB, IETF, IRTF, and ISE Streams. Once Internet-Drafts are approved by the various streams, the editors format and edit the documents, and then work with the authors to produce publication-ready RFCs per defined policies and guidelines.
- the Independent Submissions Editor (ISE) and
- the Independent Submissions Editorial Board, which provides review for the ISE.
For more information, see the list of RFCs that govern the RFC Editor function.
The RFC Editor regularly attends IETF meetings – see Office Hours.