[rfc-i] Spelling out abbreviations in RFC titles

Paul Hoffman / VPNC paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Sat Sep 4 08:53:06 PDT 2004

Greetings again. One of the RFC Editor's policies is to spell out 
abbreviations in titles, except in the case where the abbreviation is 
well-known. The latter part of that rule seems vexing, even to the 
RFC Editor. Today, two RFCs entered the author-checking queue:

Network Working Group                                          D. Zinman
Request for Comments: 3872                                     D. Walker
Category: Standards Track                                       J. Jiang
                                                           September 2004
                       Management Information Base
                   for Telephony Routing over IP (TRIP)

Network Working Group                                          J. Pastor
Request for Comments: 3873                                  M. Belinchon
Category:Standards Track                                        Ericsson
                                                           September 2004
               Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP)
                    Management Information Base (MIB)

Note that in the first one, MIB is spelled out but not abbreviated, 
but in the second in is both. The titles of other RFCs from a few 
months ago (such as RFCs 3806 and 3808) just have MIB, without 
spelling out the abbreviation, giving us all three permutations.

Spelling out the names of protocols being discussed in the specific 
RFC makes sense if it can be done gracefully, but spelling out common 
terms used in standards may not. It would be useful to have a 
definitive list of common abbreviations that will always be spelled 
out, and ones that will never be spelled out, and to have the list 
easily findable of the RFC Editor site. The list should include, at 


--Paul Hoffman, Director
--VPN Consortium

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list