Guidelines to Authors of Internet-Drafts

The Internet-Drafts directories are available to provide authors with the ability to distribute and solicit comments on documents they may eventually submit to the IESG for publication as an RFC. Submissions to the directories should be sent to

Internet-Drafts are not an archival document series. These documents should not be cited or quoted in any formal document. Unrevised documents placed in the Internet-Drafts directories have a maximum life of six months. After that time, they must be updated, or they will be deleted. After a document becomes an RFC, it will be replaced in the Internet-Drafts Directories with an announcement to that effect.

Internet-Drafts are generally in the format of an RFC, although they are expected to be rough drafts. This format is specified fully in RFC 1543. In brief, an Internet-Draft must be submitted in ASCII text, limited to 72 characters per line and 58 lines per page, followed by a formfeed character. Overstriking to achieve underlining is not acceptable.

PostScript is acceptable, but only when submitted with a matching ASCII version (even if figures must be deleted). PostScript should be formatted for use on 8.5x11 inch paper. If A4 paper is used, an image area less than 10 inches high should be used to avoid printing extra pages when printed on 8.5x11 paper.

There are differences between the RFC and Internet-Draft format. The Internet-Drafts are NOT RFCs and are NOT a numbered document series. The words "INTERNET-DRAFT" should appear in the upper left hand corner of the first page. The document should NOT refer to itself as an RFC or a draft RFC.

The Internet-Draft should neither state nor imply that it has any standards status; to do so conflicts with the role of the RFC Editor and the IESG. The title of the document should not infer a status. Avoid the use of the terms Standard, Proposed, Draft, Experimental, Historic, Required, Recommended, Elective, or Restricted in the title of the Internet-Draft. All Internet-Drafts should include a section on the first page containing the following verbatim statement:

To view the entire list of current Internet-Drafts, please check the "1id-abstracts.txt" listing contained in the Internet-Drafts Shadow Directories on: (Africa), or (Europe), (Pacific Rim), (US East Coast), or (US West Coast).

The document should have an abstract section, containing a two-to-three paragraph description suitable for referencing, archiving, and announcing the document. This abstract will be used in the 1id-abstracts.txt index, and in the announcement of the Internet-Draft. The abstract should follow the "Status of this Memo" section. In addition, the Internet-Draft should contain a section giving name and contact information (postal mail, voice/fax number and/or e-mail) for the authors.

All Internet-Drafts should contain the full filename (beginning with draft- and including the version number) in the text of the document. The filename information should, at a minimum, appear on the first page (possibly with the title).

For those authors submitting updates to existing Internet-Drafts, the choice of the file name is easily determined (up the version by 1). For new documents, either suggest one or send a message to "" with the document title, noting if it is a product of a working group (and the name of the group), and an abstract. The file name to be assigned will be included in a response. Simply add the filename text to the document (ASCII and PostScript versions) and submit the Internet-Draft.

Note that if a filename is suggested, but not used, the document will have to be resubmitted with the actual file name.

A document expiration date must appear on the first and last page of the Internet-Draft. The expiration date is six months following the submission of the document as an Internet-Draft. Authors can calculate the six-month period by adding five days to the date when the final version is completed to cover processing time.

If the Internet-Draft is lengthy, please include, on the second page, a table of contents to make the document easier to reference.