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About This Document

As of 4 August 2016, this document has been superseded by a newer version.

This resource describes the internal W3C Technical Report publication processes. A companion document provides more information about roles involved in these processes and interactions with the W3C Communications Team. A comparison of requirements across all document types is available.

Steps for Transition to Candidate Recommendation

Once the Process Document requirements for the transition to Candidate Recommendation have been satisfied (see section 7.4.3 under "Entrance Criteria"), W3C follows the steps described below to complete the transition. These steps are grouped by theme. They are not strictly ordered; in practice, some steps are completed in parallel. For instance, groups often manage the transition request/meeting steps in parallel with the publication request steps.

Note: If your specification involves an Internet Media Type, before the transition to Candidate Recommendation, see also How to Register an Internet Media Type for a W3C Specification for information about alerting the W3C liaisons to the IETF so that they may request formal review and approval by the IESG.

Note: If your specification defines an XPointer Scheme, before the transition to Candidate Recommendation, please register the scheme in the the W3C XPointer Scheme Registry.

Transition request
Publication and Transition Planning
Mailing List Preparation
Publication and Transition Announcement

Note: The Working Group MAY publish a revision of a Candidate Recommendation with minor changes before the next transition.

Transition request

The message subject line and body SHOULD identify this as a "transition request"; see above for where to send the request. A Candidate Recommendation transition request MUST include:

  1. Document title, URIs, and estimated publication date.
  2. The document Abstract and Status sections, either by reference (e.g., the URI to the document) or direct inclusion.

Furthermore, the transition request provides evidence that the group has satisfied the transition requirements. The questions and observations in the subsections below provide examples of what SHOULD be in the transition request to help the Director assess whether the group has satisfied the transition requirements. The transition request SHOULD be organized so that it serves as the basis for the agenda of the meeting with the Director.

Record of the decision to request the transition

Report of important changes to the document

Evidence that the document satisfies group's requirements

Evidence that dependencies with other groups met (or not)

Evidence that the document has received wide review (e.g., as shown in an issues list)

Evidence that issues have been formally addressed


Implementation information

Patent disclosures

Transition Meeting with the Director

For a Candidate Recommendation transition, the convention is to hold a transition meeting attended by:

Note: Per announcement to the Chairs, beginning in February 2007, the Comm Team and QA do not generally attend transition meetings.

The Team Contact is responsible for the execution of the following (under the supervision of the Domain Leader):

  1. Scheduling the meeting. To allow chairs of WGs with dependencies and other commenters time to review the treatment of last call comments in the disposition of comments document, the transition request MUST be sent a minimum of seven days prior to the transition meeting.
  2. Reserving a teleconference bridge.
  3. Choosing a scribe prior to the meeting.
  4. Ensuring that the meeting record is distributed to the participants. The meeting record (typically a link to an IRC log) must include the decision, and should highlight all recommendations. The meeting record should be sent to all participants attendees, and MUST be cc'ed to

Sample agenda

  1. Is everyone here?
  2. Confirmation of Chair, Scribe
  3. Are any changes required to the agenda?
Review of the transition request
In particular, review those items highlighted as requiring the Director's attention.
The Director assesses whether the W3C Process has been followed and whether there is sufficient consensus to support the transition request. In most cases the decision to make the transition is made during the teleconference. However the decision could take up to two weeks if any difficult issues arise during the meeting. The Director may delegate the W3C decision; see Team processes for TR publications.
Next steps
  1. If the decision is negative: how do we repair the problem? what happens next? who does what? Note: If documents have been copied to /TR space, please remove them.
  2. If the decision is positive: how do we announce this decision? when? what is the plan and schedule for any communications opportunities, including Member testimonials? any action items from this meeting?

Some reasons for declining a transition request

Publication Request

A publication request is an assertion from the Document Contact that the document satisfies the pubrules requirements. The subject line and body SHOULD identify this as a "publication request"; see above for where to send the request. A publication request MUST include the following information.

  1. Document title and URI(s). Document URI requirements are described in Publication Rules.
  2. One or two sentences of description of the specification (for communication purposes on the "current status" pages). The sentence may be taken from the abstract. As an example, see status section for specifications related to mobile web authoring. These status pages, as their name suggests, let the community know about relationships among close specifications, what to use and not to use, how things fit together, etc. Contact the Comm Team with questions at Note: The Webmaster may also ask the Document Contact for assistance in categorizing the specification in an existing (or new) group on the TR page.
  3. A proposed publication schedule.
  4. Record of approval of the transition request.

Scheduling Publication

The Document Contact negotiates a publication date with the Webmaster. Each publication request SHOULD propose a publication date. If the request does not include a proposed publication date, the Webmaster MAY consider the title page date as the proposed publication date.

As of 2 March 2010 (cf. the announcement to chairs) the Webmaster publishes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Regarding advance notice:

If the Webmaster finds errors during the publication process, he will endeavor to publish on the desired date, but he MAY also postpone publication to the next available publication date in order to resolve issues. In general, it will not be necessary to change the title page date of a document that is published a couple of days later than planned. If it becomes apparent that a publication date will be well after a title page date, the Webmaster SHOULD ask the Document Contact to resubmit a revised document with a more current title page date.

When scheduling publication, please note that publishing "blackouts" occur at the end of the calendar year and around certain W3C events such as AC meetings and All-Group meetings. The Communications Team announces these publishing moratoria with approximately six months notice. The announcements are linked from the Chairs' Guidebook.


In order to ensure publication standards, upon receiving a publication request the Webmaster SHALL make a best effort to verify that the document satisfies the pubrules requirements except for the accessibility requirements of section 1.6. The Webmaster SHALL publish the document (cf. the Webmaster's guide) if the following conditions have been met:

  1. The publication request is complete, and
  2. The document satisfies the pubrules requirements verified by the Webmaster.

Otherwise the Webmaster SHALL NOT publish. In this case, the Webmaster SHALL provide details to the person who sent the request about which requirements have not been satisfied.

The Webmaster SHALL NOT publish the document until the date on the title page or later. The Webmaster publishes the document by updating the appropriate technical report index and updating the latest version link, and then announcing publication as described above.

Transition Announcement

A Candidate Recommendation transition announcement MUST include the following information:

  1. That this is a Candidate Recommendation transition announcement.
  2. Document title, URIs.
  3. Instructions for providing feedback.
  4. A reference to the group's transition request.
  5. Minimal duration before next transition request.
  6. Links to evidence that requirements for the transition have been satisfied (i.e., the same information that was in the transition request).
  7. Report of any Formal Objections.
  8. Whether this publication is the result of returning a document to a working group for further work as a Candidate Recommendation.
  9. Document abstract and status.

Please use the Team-only transition announcement template as a starting point.

Page owned and process managed by Philippe Le Hégaret and Ralph Swick on behalf of the W3C Director.
Coralie Mercier, editor
This document has been constructed by merging information from several "How to" documents created by Dan Connolly, Al Gilman, and others. A filter is applied to the document source to provide transition-specific views.
Last modified: $Date: 2016/08/04 14:37:59 $ by $Author: ijacobs $