[rfc-i] On Authors, Contributors, Editors, and overload.

SM sm at resistor.net
Tue Sep 20 10:30:19 PDT 2011

Hi Olaf,
At 02:47 20-09-2011, Olaf Kolkman (Acting RFC Series Editor) wrote:
>There has been a lot of confusion about Authors, Editors and 
>Contributors lately. Up to the point where some documents stalled.


>Below you find the refinement/clarification of existent policies in 
>line with recent decisions. I have tried to keep the changes to the 
>existing policies to a minimum, all in the spirit of the role of the 
>Acting RFC Series Editor.


>* Contributing Authors
>   An RFC may include a Contributing Authors section, listing those
>   contributors who deserve significant credit for the document
>   contents.

The current policy states that:

   "When the RFC Editor refers to "contributors", we mean people, other than
    the authors, who also contributed significantly to the RFC. They should
    be listed in a Contributors section of the body of the document."

That covers "significant credit for the document contents".

Let me put it bluntly; the authors benefit from the name-dropping.  I 
don't see anything wrong with that as they are putting in the time 
and effort to write the RFC.  Some documents are lengthy; some of 
them discuss about a complex topic.  Everybody cannot be listed as an 
author or else we end up with a long list of names.  Although AUTH48 
can turn in a logistical issue for the RFC Editor as the approval of 
several people is required, the cost may be worth it for the authors.

The existing policy says that there is likely to be a discussion if 
the set exceeds five authors.  RFC 6335, for example, lists five 
authors.  There are two persons mentioned in the Contributors section 
and and one person is mentioned in the Acknowledgements Section.  If 
the policy said seven authors, the RFC might have had seven names listed.


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