The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3
RFC 2026

Document Type RFC - Best Current Practice (October 1996; Errata)
Obsoletes RFC 1602, RFC 1871
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                         S. Bradner
Request for Comments: 2026                            Harvard University
BCP: 9                                                      October 1996
Obsoletes: 1602
Category: Best Current Practice

              The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the
   Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   This memo documents the process used by the Internet community for
   the standardization of protocols and procedures.  It defines the
   stages in the standardization process, the requirements for moving a
   document between stages and the types of documents used during this
   process.  It also addresses the intellectual property rights and
   copyright issues associated with the standards process.

Table of Contents

   1.  INTRODUCTION....................................................2
     1.1  Internet Standards...........................................3
     1.2  The Internet Standards Process...............................3
     1.3  Organization of This Document................................5
   2.  INTERNET STANDARDS-RELATED PUBLICATIONS.........................5
     2.1  Requests for Comments (RFCs).................................5
     2.2  Internet-Drafts..............................................7
   3.  INTERNET STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS................................8
     3.1  Technical Specification (TS).................................8
     3.2  Applicability Statement (AS).................................8
     3.3  Requirement Levels...........................................9
   4.  THE INTERNET STANDARDS TRACK...................................10
     4.1  Standards Track Maturity Levels.............................11
       4.1.1  Proposed Standard.......................................11
       4.1.2  Draft Standard..........................................12
       4.1.3  Internet Standard.......................................13
     4.2  Non-Standards Track Maturity Levels.........................13
       4.2.1  Experimental............................................13
       4.2.2  Informational...........................................14
       4.2.3  Procedures for Experimental and Informational RFCs......14
       4.2.4  Historic................................................15

Bradner                  Best Current Practice                  [Page 1]
RFC 2026               Internet Standards Process           October 1996

   5.  Best Current Practice (BCP) RFCs...............................15
     5.1  BCP Review Process..........................................16
   6.  THE INTERNET STANDARDS PROCESS.................................17
     6.1  Standards Actions...........................................17
       6.1.1  Initiation of Action....................................17
       6.1.2  IESG Review and Approval................................17
       6.1.3  Publication.............................................18
     6.2  Advancing in the Standards Track............................19
     6.3  Revising a Standard.........................................20
     6.4  Retiring a Standard.........................................20
     6.5  Conflict Resolution and Appeals.............................21
       6.5.1 Working Group Disputes...................................21
       6.5.2 Process Failures.........................................22
       6.5.3 Questions of Applicable Procedure........................22
       6.5.4 Appeals Procedure........................................23
   7.  EXTERNAL STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS..........................23
     7.1  Use of External Specifications..............................24
       7.1.1  Incorporation of an Open Standard.......................24
       7.1.2  Incorporation of a Other Specifications.................24
       7.1.3  Assumption..............................................25
   8. NOTICES AND RECORD KEEPING......................................25
   9. VARYING THE PROCESS.............................................26
     9.1 The Variance Procedure.......................................26
     9.2 Exclusions...................................................27
   10.  INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS..................................27
     10.1.  General Policy............................................27
     10.2   Confidentiality Obligations...............................28
     10.3.  Rights and Permissions....................................28
       10.3.1. All Contributions......................................28
       10.3.2. Standards Track Documents..............................29
       10.3.3  Determination of Reasonable and
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