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Publication Policies



Status of this Document

This document, for W3C groups, reflects some discussion within the Team about how groups can avoid confusion between their internal publications and formal W3C Technical Reports.


Many Working Groups publish drafts for internal group review between publications on the TR page. In the interest of clarity of the W3C process, we request that Working Groups take care that documents are labeled with their true status. Sometimes labels like "W3C Working Draft" are copied from documents that are truly a product of the W3C Working Draft process to documents that are not, or at least not yet.

The guidelines below are intended to reduce confusion between group-internal drafts (some of which are Member-only, while others are public) and published documents that have been through additional W3C processes. Documents that follow these guidelines have no formal standing within W3C.

Requirements for Group-Internal Drafts

Guidelines for Group-Internal Drafts

  1. Use this style sheet:
  2. Use an appropriate label for the document, as in:
     <h1>Architecture of the World Wide Web, 
               Volume One</h1>
     <h2>Editor's Draft 15 December 2004</h2>
  3. When the document is "Member-confidential", indicate this in an obvious place at the top of the document. Please also include a reminder in the status section.
  4. Set expectations about the stability and level of confidentiality of the document in the status section, for example:
    We welcome feedback on this informal collection of resources, which is subject to change without notice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can our group publish this type of document elsewhere than

In general, no (but see Issue #110). Please avoid giving the impression that these drafts have formal status within W3C or another body. Please do not label them "W3C Working Draft" in these documents.

If you are just attaching a copy of an in-progress draft in email in preparation for a group teleconference, keep in mind that the attachment is archived and may be found by readers who don't have that context. Please erase any indication that this is a W3C Working Draft.

Feedback is to @w3c/tilt and is welcome on GitHub