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

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Sat Jan 14 12:07:33 PST 2012

Hello all -

To summarize the discussion to date, and to adda a comment or two of my own:

* There has been enough requests for clarification on the subject of
authors, editors, and contributing authors that a clarification of
process is required (thus this doc).

* The option of removing affiliation from the main page, thus leaving
room for more authors, is interesting but would require a much larger
discussion.  There would be significant costs to such an action, to be
balanced against the important benefit of properly acknowledging all
authors as appropriate.  I am particularly concerned about the cost of
AUTH48 overhead, as more individuals involved could mean more time
getting the necessary sign-off to an RFC-to-be.  The cost of having
employers potentially lose part of their motivation to fund employees to
work on RFC also needs to be considered.  No consensus here yet.

* The concept of Contributing Author also does not seem to have solid
consensus.  On the one hand, being able to offer special acknowledgement
to individuals who put in their valuable time in to an RFC is a good
thing, but the potential complications around copyright and overall
process is a problem.  This needs to be explored further, and I will
bring the copyright component of the problem up with the IETF Trust this

I think the question of valid email address is a separate and, as Bob
Hinden said, unsolvable problem.  We can request that authors keep us in
mind as they change addresses, but we cannot require it.  What teeth
would we use in such a requirement?

I have made a few more changes to the document, and will make more after
I have information from the IETF Trust on any potential copyright issues
in play if the changes described in this doc are implemented.  Thank you
all for the discussion so far!

-Heather Flanagan, RSE

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