ISSN for RFC Series under Consideration

Ray Pelletier <> Wed, 21 May 2008 17:51 UTC

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Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 13:52:09 -0400
From: Ray Pelletier <>
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Subject: ISSN for RFC Series under Consideration
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The IETF Trust is considering applying to the U.S. Library of Congress 
to obtain an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) for the RFC 
Series and would like community input to inform its decision.  The Trust 
may take up this matter on June 11th.  

An ISSN is applied to serials - print or non-print publications issued 
in parts.  A serial is  expected to continue indefinitely. Serials 
include magazines, newspapers, annuals, journals, proceedings, 
transactions of societies, and monographic series. Other SDOs, such as 
the IEEE, have obtained ISSNs for their publications.  A single ISSN 
uniquely identifies a title regardless of language or country in which 
published, without the burden of a complex bibliographic description. 
The ISSN itself has no significance other than the unique identification 
of a serial.

The Trust believes there are advantages to indentifying the RFC Series 
with an ISSN.  Among them,
1. Make reference to the series compact and globally unique;
2. Make the series, and individual RFCs, easier to reference in some 
3. Results in accurate citing of serials by scholars, researchers, 
abstracters, and librarians;
4. ISSN registrations are maintained in an international data base and 
are made available in the ISSN Register online

According to the Library of Congress,, for serials 
available only in online versions, the ISSN should appear on the title 
screen or home page and/or in the masthead or other areas where 
information about publisher, frequency, subscribing, copyright, etc. is 

There is no cost associated with obtaining ISSNs.

Ray Pelletier

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