Internet Standards

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) addresses the development and maintenance of Internet architecture and operation. The technical work is done by working groups which issue working documents called Internet-Drafts. The IETF “publishes” documents called Request for Comments (RFC) on their website. Many RFCs are then promulgated by the Internet Society as international standards.

Serials-related IETF Working Groups

Uniform Resource Identifiers

The URI Working Group was chartered in 1992 to discuss and develop standards for naming, describing and addressing system-independent Internet resources. The URI was disbanded in July 1995 by IETF with the recommendation to divide its tasks among proposed future working groups: Uniform Resource Names (URN) and Uniform Resource Characteristics (URC). URN Working Group was officially chartered in 1995.

Uniform Resource Names

The URN Working Group was formally established in July 1996 by IETF following the dissolution of the previous Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) Working Group in July 1995. By the end of 1996, the Group agreed on a number of key issues including that the URN syntax should allow utilizing existing naming schemes such as ISBN, ISSN, and SICI. The Working Group issued RFC 2288, “Using Existing Bibliographic Identifiers as Uniform Resource Names,” discussing this issue.

Uniform Resource Locator Registration Procedures

URLREG Working Group is developing standards and guidelines for registering new URL schemes and for the creation of new URL schemes. This working group produced the following two Requests for Comment.

Electronic Data Interchange-Internet Integration

EDIINT Working Group is developing standards to enable the secure exchange of EDI transactions via the Internet. The group has issued the following Internet-drafts and Request for Comment.

Serials-related RFCs

RFC 1767: "MIME Encapsulation of EDI Objects"

The proposed Internet standard for transmission of EDI messages within the MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) protocol—i.e., using e-mail to send EDI transactions.

RFC 1738: "Uniform Resource Locators (URL)"

Issued by the URI Working Group of IETF in December 1994, this RFC is a proposed Internet standard. It defines URL as an Internet standards tract protocol for tracking the location of a resource on the Internet. URL is the only URI standard which is currently implemented, and through which the World Wide Web operates.

RFC 2368: "The Mailto URL Scheme"

Issued in July 1998, defines the format of URL for designating electronic mail addresses, thus replacing the "mailto" syntax from RFC 1738.

RFC 2396: "Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax"

Issued in August 1998, defines the generic syntax of both absolute and relative forms of URI, replacing the generic definition in RFC 1738 and in RFC 1808, "Relative Uniform Resource Locators."

RFC 1737: "Functional Requirements for Uniform Resource Names"

An informational document dated December 1994. It defines URNs and outlines the minimum functional requirements for Uniform Resource Names (URNs). The URN is composed of Uniform Resource Characteristics (URCs), and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). The function of a URN is intended to provide a "globally unique, persistent identifier used for recognition, for access to characteristics of the resource or for access to the resource itself."

RFC2288 "Using Existing Bibliographic Identifiers as Uniform Resource Names"

Informational document dated February 1998, discussing how the three major bibliographic identifiers (ISBN, ISSN, and SICI) can be supported in the URN framework and proposed syntax.

Another source of information on standards related to networking of serial and other resources is Standardized Handling of Digital Resources, issued by Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, Networked Resources and Metadata Committee, Standards Subcommittee.

Serials-related Document Format Standards for Electronic Publishing

  • Standard Generalized Markup Language
    SGML is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard (ISO8879:1986) for document description or structure. It describes how to specify a document markup language or tag set.
  • Extensible Markup Language
     XML is a new language for advanced Web applications proposed by a working group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It is developed as a simplified form of SGML, yet an extended form of HTML.
  • Simplified SGML for Serial Headers 
    Developed in 1996 by Publishing Technology and New Media Group on behalf of Book Industry Communications. SSSH has much in common with Modular Application for JOURnals (MAJOUR), yet it reduces the number of required elements and adds new elements for the article identifications (SICI and PII).
  • Document Style Semantic and Specification Language
    DSSSL is an International Standard (ISO/IEC 10179:1996) for the processing of SGML documents. It describes how a structured SGML document might be presented or transformed visually.
  • Hypertext Markup Language
     HTML is a subset of SGML. It is the standard for publishing hypertext documents on the World Wide Web. It defines the organization and presentation of electronic text within and across a page. HTML 4.0 is the latest version recommended by the World Wide Web 3 Consortium.
  • Portable Document Format
    PDF is being used for electronic journal publishing for distribution, viewing, and printing via World Wide Web.
  • Electronic Manuscript Preparation and Markup
    ANSI/NISO/ISO 12083-1995 (R2002). This standard specifies Document Type Definitions for books, serials, articles and mathematics.