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Publishing and accessing RFCs

Internet-Drafts that have successfully completed the IETF review process are submitted to the RFC Editor for publication.

The RFC Editor is responsible for the operational implementation of the RFC Series. This includes editorial management, production, and publication of RFCs. These tasks require the organized activity of several experts. The term “RFC Editor” includes the RFC Series Editor, the RFC Production Center, and the RFC Publisher.

The RFC Production Center (RPC) works with authors and others to ensure documents are clear and follow the RFC Style Manual. Once an RFC is ready for publication, authors undertake a final review for errors, editorial and otherwise. Upon approval by all authors, the RPC publishes the RFC, including assigning its unique RFC number.

Published RFCs never change. Yet, despite careful review and proofreading, errors do sometimes go undetected. To address these cases, the RFC Editor issues errata. Technical Errata address errors in the technical content, and follow guidelines established by the Internet Engineering Steering Group. Editorial Errata address spelling, grammar, punctuation, or syntax errors that do not affect the technical meaning.

The RFC Editor website contains a wealth of information about their history and editing process. RFC 9280 defines the RFC Editor model in detail.

Accessing and using RFCs

RFCs are available free of charge to anyone via the Internet. A variety of options to access and search them are available via:

You may also retrieve a text version of an RFC by typing in a web browser, where NNNN is the RFC number. 

A post on the IETF Blog has tips for reading an RFC.