* WGs marked with an * asterisk has had at least one new draft made available during the last 5 days

Document Shepherding

The WG Chair or Secretary has to take responsibility for pushing a document along - firstly through to the point where the WG has consensus, and then through the IESG review, and finally through the RFC Editor (and IANA) processing. The document won't shepherd itself; the Area Director has to worry about many other documents; and authors sometimes vanish. So it is the WG Chair or Secretary who is the primary shepherd.

A more detailed description of the document shepherding process is described in RFC 4858.
More information about IESG view of document shepherding is available on the IESG wiki page.
An analysis of shepherding documents through the lifecycle of the document is in ExtendedDocumentShepherding.

Document Shepherd Writeup Template

There are two standard templates for the Document Shepherd Write-Up and you should one of those, as agreed upon between you and your AD. The newer "essay-style" version moves it from a long series of questions to a more free-form thing, in four sections. The idea is to make it easier to give the IESG the information it needs, without having to answer questions that might not be relevant to the document, and without having to say anything at all about aspects about which the document is simply normal. There remains a separate checklist for the shepherd's use.

The original "list of questions" template is there as well. Again, use the version that you and your AD agree on.

Things to Remember About Shepherding


The purpose of the shepherd writeup is to make sure that the document has been properly reviewed and to provide information to the IESG for use in IESG Evaluation.

The document shepherd writeup is not subject to working group consensus. Quite the opposite, it's the place for the shepherd to communicate with the ADs, and SHOULD include information that the shepherd thinks is important, even or especially if the WG isn't in agreement.

Document Shepherding is not Just About the Writeup

Please read RFC 4858 and ExtendedDocumentShepherding, and note that the document shepherd's job is not over when the writeup is sent to the AD. The shepherd is responsible for helping move the document through the process: through AD Review, Last Call, IESG Evaluation, and even AUTH48 in the RFC Editor process.

Intended Status

We sometimes are clear in the milestones about the intended status of document, sometimes not. The WG may decide to change the intended status based on consensus (should be discussed with your AD). Therefore there may be some confusion about the intended status. To avoid problems with this and also make it clear in the WG process what is happening it's strongly recommended that the WG chairs do the following.

  • Check that WG documents have the right intended status header. This is occasionally in error.
  • When performing a WG last call, write explicitly in the WG last call message what the intended status is.
  • When doing the shepherd writeup, be explicit about which document the writeup is about, and what the target status is.