[rfc-i] DOIs and RFCs

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Tue Feb 11 15:12:38 PST 2014

On 2/11/2014 3:06 PM, Nico Williams wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:56 PM, Joe Touch <touch at isi.edu> wrote:
>> I similarly don't think its useful to include DOIs as part of citations.
> I think including as many stable identifiers for a referenced document
> as possible might have some value.  For RFC series documents, of
> course, there'd be no need.  But for external references there may be
> value in this.

There are two identifiers for each DOI object:

	the DOI itself

	the URL the DOI redirects to

The former is useful only when the latter varies AND the former is 
updated accordingly. This may be the intent of DOIs, but the older they 
are the more likely they're broken more than they work in my experience.

> As to assigning DOIs to RFCs, for the time being I'm agnostic on that
> issue.  I suppose total cost (for retroactive DOI assignments; not
> stated, but assuming the stated marginal cost it seems like "a lot for
> a volunteer organization") and marginal cost (apparently $1/RFC, which
> may well be reasonable) need to be considered first.

The cost seems small enough that I'm happy to ignore it.

My concern is handing out more than one ID for a document. As the saying 
goes, "a person with one watch always knows what time it is; a person 
with two is never sure".

I don't mind if we create DOIs for RFCs, but IMO we should only give out 
the rfc-editor URL, in which case there's little point in the overhead 
(organizational or financial) of using DOIs at all.


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