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rfc:rfc115

Network Working Group R. Watson Request for Comments: 115 J. North NIC 5822 Stanford Research Institute (ARC)

                                                        16 April 1971
   SOME NETWORK INFORMATION CENTER POLICIES ON HANDLING DOCUMENTS

INTRODUCTION

 The Network Information Center (NIC) seeks to facilitate the flow of
 information between sites on the Network and to and from other
 stations whose work makes them valuable as participants in the
 Network dialog.  The NIC is concerned both with the techniques for
 the flow and with optimizing the content of the information itself.
 Some aspects of the work of the NIC in support of information flow
 are described here, and some suggestions made to Network participants
 of ways they can help this work.
 All information handled by the NIC is available to any Network
 participant.  All information generated by the NIC is unclassified
 and is without distribution limitation except as dictated by staff
 and budget size.  Any information sent by an originating party to the
 NIC for recording or distribution is presumed to be unclassified and
 without distribution limitations as well.  Any statement carried by a
 document thus submitted which seems to imply a limitation on
 distribution, quotation, or citation is presumed not to apply to its
 handling by the Network Information Center.

NIC NUMBER

 One important function of the Network Information Center is to make
 records of the existence of RFC's, formal NIC-related manuals and
 reports, Network memos, other Network informational items, and other
 informational items of interest to Network participants, and to index
 these records so that such items can be recalled when needed.
 To tag the informational items a serial number is assigned by NIC.
 The serial number has no intrinsic meaning, not even necessarily an
 indication of sequence of issue.  It is a unique identifier and can
 be used to refer to the item in further communications, to facilitate
 indexing, and to allow numeric filing of documents.

Watson & North [Page 1] RFC 115 Policies on Handling Documents 16 April 1971

 Use of the NIC number has advantages in online dialog which are not
 yet demonstrable around the Network, but the cooperation of Network
 participants in applying one when a document is originated is
 important.

THE NIC CATALOG

 Items of information relevant to the Network appear in many forms,
 including technical reports, RFC's, brief network memos, journal
 articles, and letters.  Reference to these is simplified by
 assignment of a NIC number to each.  To record the item to which the
 NIC number refers, a description of each item, using a set of
 standard data elements, i.e, author, title, etc., is coded and
 entered as an online system (NLS) statement into a machine file.
 An example of a statement with typical coded data elements:
       (A5480) *a1 James E. White #2 org *b2 University of California
       at Santa Barbara #3 Computer Research Laboratory #5 Santa
       Barbara, California *c1 An NCP for the ARPA Network #6 142p.
       *d1 21 December 1970 *f1 r *f2 o *rl UCSB CRL 12 *31 ARPA #6 AF
       19628-70-0-0314 *w2 3-11-71 *y1 Describes program designed and
       implemented at Santa Barbara node of ARPA Network, written in
       assembly language and implemented on 360/75.  Discusses
       interface with hardware, software, and operator. *y3 Host-
       Interface protocol; Host-IMP protocol; User-NCP protocol;
       Host-Host protocol; Host-IMP messages, IMP-Host messages *z1
       all *z2 NIC *z3 new *
 The group of files at ARC containing these statements of data about
 NIC items and other informational items is the Master Catalog.  The
 term NIC Catalog refers to the machine file created by collecting the
 statements coded *z2 NIC in the Master Catalog.
 The data element *z1 indicates which Stations hold a copy of an item;
 not all items related to NIC are sent to Stations, and in the future
 it is expected that Stations will submit many documents to NIC for
 cataloging which are not held by other Stations.

Watson & North [Page 2] RFC 115 Policies on Handling Documents 16 April 1971

NIC CATALOG LISTINGS AND INDEXES

 Programs have been written at ARC to collect, sort, analyze and
 format the statements and the data elements in the statements to
 produce catalogs and indexes such as those in the Current Catalog of
 the NIC Collection, NIC (5145,).
 The Current Catalog of the NIC Collection is a functional document,
 as explained in Branch 3 below.  It has as its contents, at any time,
 the current issue of a bibliography of items from the NIC Catalog,
 called a NIC Catalog Listing, and author and keyword indexes.
 Examples of entries in the Catalog Listing and in indexes are shown,
 using the statement above:
    Catalog Listing by Author:
       An NCP for the ARPA Network
            James E. White (University of       5480 White
            California at Santa Barbara)
            21 December 1970
            Describes program designed and
            implemented at node of ARPA Network,
            written in assembly language and
            implemented on 360/75.
            Discusses interface with hardware,
            software, and operator.
     Catalog Listing by NIC number:
        An NCP for the ARPA Network             5480
             James E. White (University of
             California at Santa Barbara)
             21 December 1970
             Describes program designed and implemented
             at node of ARPA Network, written in
             assembly language and implemented on
             360/75. Discusses interface with
             hardware, software, and operator.

Watson & North [Page 3] RFC 115 Policies on Handling Documents 16 April 1971

       Author Index:
          Subject: Education Status, memo to  5456  Westlund
          An NCP for the ARPA Network         5480  White
          NWG/RFC 78 (NCP Status Report       5199  White
       Titleworld Index:
          Natural Communication with Computers  5639  Natural
          An NCP for the ARPA Network           5480  Network
          Proposal for a Network Interchange    4752  Network
 A NIC Catalog Listing will indicate those items held in the Station
 Collections either by a separate listing or by a notation with each
 reference.  A number catalog or index serves as a shelf list of
 documents held by a Station.  The indexes are not limited to the
 Station Collections but lead to the entire Catalog.

DATA ELEMENTS

 The data elements for information items include the author, title,
 addressee, date, other numbers, keywords, and abstract.  When these
 elements do not exist in the item, they are supplied by a NIC
 cataloger if possible.  In online communication around the Network,
 "online dialog", several of these elements of data will be recorded
 automatically.  Lacking online recording, it is important that
 originators of reports, memos, and other such items be diligent in
 including these data in their transmissions.
    For memos, essential data elements which the originator
    should supply are:.
       author(s)
       address(es) of author(s)
       addressee(s)
       address(es) of addressee(s)
       date of origination
       subject of memo
       A preassigned NIC number is desirable. A number for
       assignment can presently be obtained by calling NIC, and
       soon will be obtainable online.
       The addressees of a memo can of course be a group, such
       as the Network Working Group, or the Glitch Cleaning
       Committee, in which case the NIC needs a list or
       reference to a list of the people in the group.

Watson & North [Page 4] RFC 115 Policies on Handling Documents 16 April 1971

    For reports and other formal documents, essential data
    elements are:
       author(s)
       addresses of author(s)
       title
       date
       abstract
       keywords
       A short abstract, 150 to 200 words, giving some of the
       substance of the document is of importance in the NIC
       record and even for the person about to read the
       document. Obviously, a well-written author abstract is
       preferable to one produced by the NIC staff.
       Keywords supplied by the author, preferably those from a
       standard thesaurus, will be used in machine retrieval.
       When such author-assigned keywords are lacking, the NIC
       will supply some. Recommended sources for keywords are:
          Categories identified by Peggy Karp, Categorization
          and Guide to NWG/RFC's.  NIC 5819.
          American National Standard Vocabulary for Information
          Processing, ANSI X3.12-1970.  NIC 5827.
          Department of Defense, Thesaurus of Engineering and
          Scientific Terms, 1967, AD 672 000.  NIC 5829.
          NASA Thesaurus, December 1967. NASA SP-7030.  NIC
          5828.
   When a document being issued supercedes an earlier
   document, this information is particularly important, and
   should be supplied by the author.

SUBCOLLECTIONS

 Groups of documents, such as the NWG/RFC's and the replies to Sher's
 survey, as well as the Station Collections, are cataloged by NIC as
 subcollections.  That is, they are retrievable as a subset of the NIC
 Catalog, which in turn is a subset of a Master Catalog at ARC.  The
 capability of making subcollections is provided for Network
 participants.

Watson & North [Page 5] RFC 115 Policies on Handling Documents 16 April 1971

    To create a subcollection in the NIC records, a Network
    participant will be able to indicate to NIC the records he wishes
    to have so grouped, and this information will be entered in the
    Master Catalog statement for the document, for later retrieval.

FUNCTIONAL DOCUMENTS

 Several documents generated in Network activities are subject to
 occasional revision and updating.  The NIC Catalog, the Directory of
 Network Participants, and the Directory of Network Resources are
 examples.  These and external documents such as the BBN manuals are
 referred to by NIC as "functional documents".
    More generally, a functional document is a document whose title
    and function remain constant, but whose contents can change.  A
    functional document contains a single or several documents which
    can be added to, deleted, or replaced entirely or selectively.
    Thus the functional document, which has a NIC number, can be
    referenced in other documents with some assurance that it will be
    in existence, even though the subdocuments with their distinctive
    NIC numbers may be in flux.  In the Catalog, the number of a
    functional document in which a specific document may be contained
    is listed, and the current contents of each functional document is
    indicated.
    In preparing a document which is expected to be revised, Network
    participants are urged to use a looseleaf format.
 The Network Information Center intends to support the distribution
 and recording of contents of functional documents.  Procedures have
 been established, as described below, for fitting the changes to such
 documents into the NIC system, and for reproducing and distributing
 them to individuals or stations with instructions for their
 integration into the existing documents.

PROCEDURES FOR REVISION MATERIAL

 Original manuals and other functional document materials are
 reproduced and distributed by NIC just as other Network publications.
 For all documents obtained through NIC, NIC will attempt to receive
 and make distribution of updates.
 NIC also wants to make the processes of inserting the revisions and
 of recording the changes as easy and foolproof as possible.  The user
 should not only be given the current materials, but should be able to
 determine the version he holds, and to be able to refer to updates
 uniquely.  The following is copied from the procedure instructions

Watson & North [Page 6] RFC 115 Policies on Handling Documents 16 April 1971

 NIC has written for its own use.  These procedures are also
 recommended to Network participants for their use in preparing
 revision material to be sent to NIC.
 Update conventions
    Substantial revision of a bound document, or of more than a few
    pages of a loose leaf document:
       A new document will be published, with a new NIC number,
       and will bear a notation under the number on the title
       page and/or cover, e.g.,
          NIC 5772
          supercedes NIC 5621
       Few pages inserted or revised in a looseleaf or
       corner-stapled document:
          Each new or revised page will bear the original document
          number, with a notice of revision, e.g.,
             NIC 5742
             3-10-71
          Inserted pages will be numbered to fit into the existing
          document, e.g., pages 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, may be inserted
          between pages 5 and 6.
          Deleted pages will be replaced by a single page
          indicating the deletion, e.g.,
             Pages 7-12 deleted, 3-25-71
       A new table of contents and/or title page will be issued
       bearing the revision notice. In addition, at the time of
       each revision a page or pages will be prepared and
       issued which indicates all additions, deletions, and
       revisions which bring the document up to date.
    Revisions will be made only by substitution, addition or deletion
    of a full page or more.  NIC will not revise its own publications
    by lists of errata, and strongly recommends against their use by
    others in the Network.  However, when NIC receives such lists of
    errata, it will reproduce and distribute them with suggestions to
    Station Agents for recording and inserting them.

Watson & North [Page 7] RFC 115 Policies on Handling Documents 16 April 1971

 Distribution and transmittal procedures
    The transmittal letter accompanying a set of revision material and
    the revision material itself constitute a separate document, a
    copy of which is filed at NIC, where a new copy can be provided at
    any time.
    The transmittal letter will indicate the appropriate information;
    document number of the revision material, date, document number of
    the publication being updated, its date, and, when practicable,
    information on the changes made in the text.
 Revision notation in the printed Catalogs and their indexes
    Catalog entry
       Supercession
          The data element containing "superceded by NIC xxxx"
          will be formatted to appear at the beginning of the
          citation of the superceded document.
          The data element containing "supercedes NIC xxxx"
          will be formatted to appear following the abstract in
          the citation.
       Partial revision
          The data element containing the note of revision will
          be formatted to appear following the abstract.
    Entries in author, titleworld, or other indexes
       Supercession
          The data element covering supercession will be the
          only text in the entry for the superceded document.
          Supercession will not be indicated in the entry for
          the superceding document
       Partial revision
          Partial revision will not be indicated in the index
          entry
     [ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ]
        [ into the online RFC archives by Jay Kominek 2/99 ]

Watson & North [Page 8]

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