General Area Review Team (Gen-ART)

The General Area Review Team (Gen-ART) provides generalist reviews for the General Area director (currently the IETF Chair), providing an additional set of eyes for documents as they are being considered for publication.

The current membership list is maintained at http://trac.tools.ietf.org/area/gen/trac/wiki/GenArtReviewers. If you are interested in volunteering for the team, please contact the General Area Director (AD), listed on the membership page.

The General AD is assisted in management of the Gen-ART by a secretary. The Gen-ART Secretary is also listed on the membership page, and the Gen-ART secretary tracks documents submitted for publication and assigns them to reviewers, collects the reviews, and posts the reviews.

The GEN-ART reviews are performed for one of three reasons. Most Gen-ART reviews are now assigned at IETF Last Call (answer #1). If a document is revised after IETF Last Call, or is processed so quickly that no Gen-ART reviewer has been assigned, it's reviewed after being placed on the IESG Telechat agenda (answer #2). Some ADs also request an Early Review before IETF Last Call - typically once the document is considered fairly mature and stable within the working group (answer #3).

Gen-ART reviewers are supposed to provide generalist reviews to Gen-ART (when reviewers are experts in a particular field, they should provide expert review to the working group, prior to IETF Last Call), so reviewers may recuse themselves. The same Gen-ART reviewer will be assigned for IETF Last Call reviews and IESG telechat reviews of a single specification, if the reviewer is available to provide both reviews. There is a mechanism to select the Gen-ART reviewer, but it is more about leveling the review workload than selecting a reviewer based on topic area.

The reviews are sent to the Gen-ART mailing list, which includes the General AD. Ordinarily, copies are sent to shepherding ADs, document shepherds, working group chairs, and authors, but the archives are publicly viewable, at
http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/gen-art/current/index.html.

Gen-ART review comments should be treated as any other IETF last Call comment. The comments become blocking only if the IESG review process makes them so. That is, one of the Area Directors, agrees with the comments and incorporates them in their IESG ballot as"DISCUSS" comments. Gen-ART does not have a formal role in the standards approval process; they are simply providing input to the General AD.

What if the Gen-ART reviewer is just flat wrong? The General AD understands that these are reviews by generalists, not experts in every IETF protocol, security, and MIBs. So, if you disagree with comments, please say so. The Gen-ART reviewers and the General AD want to hear feedback. They want to learn more about your area and the document being reviewed if you provide comments.