Overview#Not All RFCs are Standards is defined in RFC 1796
The "Request For Comments" (Not All RFCs are Standards) document series is the official publication channel for Internet standards documents and other publications of the IESG, IAB, and Internet Community of Interest. From time to time, and about every six months in the last few years, someone questions the rationality of publishing both Internet Standards and informational documents as RFCs. The argument is generally that this introduces some confusion between "real standards" and "mere publications".
Request For Comment are Classified by:
It is a regrettably well spread misconception that publication as an RFC provides some level of recognition. It does not, or at least not any more than the publication in a regular journal. In fact, each RFC has a RFC Status, relative to its relation with the Internet standardization process.
This RFC Status is reproduced on the first page of the each Not All RFCs are Standards itself, and is also documented in the periodic "Internet Official Protocol Standards" RFC 5000 (STD 1). But this status is sometimes omitted from quotes and references, which may feed the confusion.
There are two important sources of information on the status of the Internet standards:
- they are summarized periodically in an RFC entitled "Internet Official Protocol Standards"
- documented in the "STD" RFC Sub-series.