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Publication Policies



This document explains the processes W3C uses internally to prepare and carry out a transition of a document on the Recommendation Track. This document complements the version of "How to Organize a Recommendation Track Transition". Please refer to the latest version of "How to Organize a Recommendation Track Transition" with this URI: <>.

This document does not address:

  1. Requirements for documents themselves; see Technical Report Publication Policy ("pubrules") for this information.
  2. What required information must be public; this is covered in section 7.2 of the Process Document and in the governing patent policy.
  3. Possible next steps after each transition; see the description of the Recommendation Track Process.
  4. The Comm Team's policy regarding in-place modification of W3C Technical Reports.

Exceptions to these processes MAY be authorized by @w3c/transitions.

The key words MUST, MUST NOT, REQUIRED, SHALL, SHALL NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, RECOMMENDED, MAY, and OPTIONAL are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.


The Webmaster publishes documents.
Transition approvals are given by @w3c/transitions, under the delegation from Technical issues Lead Team.
Group Chair responsibilities may be carried out by either the Chair or Team Contact.
Document Contact
The Document Contact is either the Team Contact, the Chair, or the document editor of the Working Group or Interest Group requesting publication. If there is no Working Group nor Interest Group, the Maintainer Contact becomes the Document Contact. Consult the W3C Project Management Lead if you're not sure who is the relevant Document Contact.
Maintainer Contact
The Maintainer Contact is a designated individual tasked with requesting Team's approval in order to publish a Recommendation without a Working Group. Consult the W3C Project Management Lead if you're not sure who is the relevant Maintainer Contact. (Note: as of January 2018, the maintainer contact is plh)

See also the W3C Editor's Home Page and Guidebook documentation of roles of W3C participants, including the Chair's role and the Team Contact's role.

Interactions with the W3C Communications Team

At various stages during the Recommendation Track process, the W3C Communications Team assists Working Groups as follows:

Please contact the Communications Team at (cc'ing the group's Team Contact) if you have any general questions regarding the publications process.

History of "How to Organize a Transition"

20240112: Moved to Github. For future history, see the github log.

20180416: Fixed broken fragments, updated links, general quality assurance and updates.

20170301: Revised for transitions documentation for Process 2017.

20161101: Updated for reorganization 2016

20160804: Transitions 2005 and 2014 superseded by 2015.

20151123: Revised for transitions documentation for Process 2015.

20140801: Revised for transitions documentation for Process 2014.

20060131: Revised for release with pubrules. Released 31 January 2006 but created in August 2005.

20031201: Version sent for review with 24 Dec 2003 Process Document.

20030501: Version published with June 2003 Process Document.

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