ISO/IEC JTC 1 N 4761
Author: IT Implementation adhoc

JTC 1 Policy on
Electronic Document Distribution
Using the World Wide Web

File Formats | Direcory Naming | File Naming | Document Register | File Retention Policy | Direct Electronic Distribution | Access Control

This is a web-based document intended to be navigated with a web browser such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer. Some links to documents external to this one may not be operational during the interum period of switchover between paper/diskette/e-mail document distribution and web-based document distribution. This will be corrected as the JTC 1 web pages come on line toward the end of 1997.
This note is not part of this document.

1 Scope
Users and implementers of this policy should be aware of the philosophy change between diskette-based distribution and web-based distribution. Previously (with diskette distribution) users received documents with no action on their part. With web-based distribution, users are notified that new documents are available and they must then actively access or download them on their own initiative.

This document shall be used in conjunction with the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives (current edition) and in a manner that is consistent with the policies and procedures of the ISO Central Secretariat and the IEC Central Office. National laws and current ISO/IEC policies regarding copyright and intellectual property rights shall be respected.

This document should be used in conjunction with Tips and Techniques for JTC 1 Web Pages which provides important implementation guidelines for web authors and administrators.

Users of diskette and e-mail distribution mechanisms should refer to JTC 1 Policy on Electronic Document Distribution using diskettes and e-mail.

Related Documentation for Electronic Document Distribution:

2 Medium
JTC 1 and SC documents shall be made available using the facilities of the World Wide Web (Web). The preferred distribution mechanism is via http protocol software (commonly referred to as web browsers). For the purposes of efficiency, ftp capability may be provided as an additional distribution mechanism at the discretion of the individual Secretariats.

3 Virus Checking
It is the responsibility of the webmaster and the Secretariat to use well maintained anti-virus software to verify that files are virus-free. End users also share the responsibility for an overall virus-free environment and are strongly encouraged to utilize up-to-date anti-virus software capable of scanning and verifying documents accessed via the Web.

It is the responsibility of any party, including the end user, to alert the Secretariat if it detects a virus in a distributed document. This will at least assist in minimizing the spread of the infestation.

4 Document Preparation and Distribution
It is recommended that an Executive Summary accompany all standards. Such a summary will especially be of value for the machine readable standards.

4.1 Document Formats
The choice of the document format shall be a function of the type of document being distributed (i.e., revisable or non-revisable text). The following document formats are acceptable:

Annex E lists recommended formats for many different types of documents.Where there is a requirement for a non-revisable form of the document, e.g. circulation of FDIS text, PDF is the recommended format.

It is recognized that in certain cases, standards documents may be prepared which utilize other formats to provide content which is both human and machine readable. Specific JTC1 approval to use such formats, in a normative manner, should be sought by the appropriate SC and such approval, if granted, does not remove the need to provide a copy for distribution of the human readable content in one of the formats above.

By itself, the use of one of the above file formats will not necessarily enable electronic documents to be successfully processed by a recipient. Guidance on avoiding problems and maximising the possibility of successful processing by the recipient of a document is contained in the Electronic Document Tips and Techniques Guide for e-mail and diskettes. The Web Tips and Techniques guide should also be consulted for information on minimizing problems associated with the selection of fonts and the use of international versions of software and languages.

For those documents whose final intended use is to be printed, Annex A defines the common areas for both North American paper (8 1/2" x 11") and A4 paper.

4.2 Graphics and other Non-Textual Data
Graphics embedded in web-based revisable documents should be either GIF or JPEG formats. If a more robust graphics package is required the final graphic must be editable by the graphics application of the accepted word processing packages. In any case, the use of the PDF document format will allow for readibility of the integrated document regardless of complexity.

For continuity and readability, graphics should be located at the appropriate location in the document, however they may be appended to the back of the document as alternative.

It is acknowledged that some documents, such as those prepared in Table and Tree Combined Notation (TTCN) are of value only when they are in machine readable format. As the document formats listed in Section 4.1 will provide no useable version of the standard, those formats can be considered inappropriate in such situations.

4.3 Document Structure
Non-standards documents should be in single column format which is more readable via electronic media.

Standards documents should conform to either of the following (as appropriate) concerning the rules for the presentation of ISs:

Committees shall make use of the ISO/IEC forms supplied by the JTC 1 Secretariat and which are obtainable from JTC 1 Web and ftp sites.

Project editors are encouraged to make use of the templates provided by the ISO Central Secretariat, the IEC Central Office or the ITU-T Technical Standards Bureau as appropriate.

Annex G is the overall Web Server Policy covering web page structure, web server content and web server maintenance.

4.4 Document Server Navigation Structure / Document Distribution
Each SC should define their navigational structure for document distribution. Only SC documents should be posted to the SC level web pages. All parent JTC 1 documents should be located on the JTC 1 web pages but can be referenced (e.g. linked to) by the SCs as needed. The home page URL (Universal Resource Locator) is Links to all SC home pages should be via the JTC 1 home page and vice versa.

4.4.1 Directory Naming Schema
Knowledge of directory structure is not needed for navigation of the Web and its implementation is left to the discretion of the individual secretariats. The Web Tips and Techniques document contains additional information which may aid the secretariat.

4.4.2 File Naming Schema
Files should be named according to the following criteria:

  1. Each file name shall have no more than eight characters mnemonic.
  2. If a document replaces an earlier document a new number shall be assigned
    (i.e., "n 346 Revised" is not permitted.)
  3. Documents shall be named using the format YYnXXXXa.sss where:

Annex B of this document provides examples of valid file names.

4.4.3 Document Register Log
On the web site, a master document register log will be maintained in descending order (most recent document first), allowing for character string search of the register. This file will satisfy the requirement of a document register to be issued as per the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives.

To enable easier downloading of the register for local use, the register will also be organized in 50 document increments. The document register will contain those elements of the cover sheet deemed to be useful for document identification as defined below. The hyperlinked register will, when selected, provide a copy of the document to those with authorized access.

The secretariat shall ensure that the document register contains the following information. Cover sheets to documents shall contain a formatted version of this information per the JTC 1 Revised Electronic Document Templates Guide.

  1. Committee designator ("j1" for JTC 1; "07" for SC 7)
  2. Numeric Document number (without the "n" prefix)
  3. Backward pointer (i.e., "Replaces N 346")
  4. Document type
  5. Date document placed on server ("CCYY-MM-DD")
  6. Document title
  7. Due date (if applicable)
  8. Approximate number of pages in document
  9. Source
  10. Project number
  11. Status (brief description)
  12. Action identifier
  13. Approximate file size in kB (or MB)
  14. Language used (as defined in ISO 639-2)
  15. Optional field (used for additional references, alternate sequence designators, etc.)
  16. Document access level (See Annex D)

4.4.4 Announcement of Document Availability
Notice of newly posted documents to the web shall be announced via an e-mail message to the designated electronic distribution list as described in Section 6.1 of this document. The e-mail message shall contain the following:

  1. Committee
  2. Date of posting
  3. Sequential issue serial number (i.e., Issue 001)
  4. Document numbers found on the issue
    (e.g., "N 17, 19, 21"; "N 25-30"; or "Documents in the range of N 100-150")
  5. Applicable segment of the document Register Log as defined above.

The Secretariat should work toward posting all new documents together in a "batched mailer" such that a group of documents can be downloaded together. Meeting agendas should be hyperlinked and all posted documents placed in a single folder for download prior to the meeting.

4.4.5 Use of Log File Data
The applicable segment of the Document Register Log included in the announcement shall be suitable for use by the National Body document tracking databases and shall be a tab-delimited file containing the same fields identified in Section 4.4.3.

Final details of file formats including field sizes and record separators will be contained in the operation documents. ( Revision of JTC 1 N 4572, N 4573 and N 4575)

Secretariats shall use this information, formatted according to JTC 1 Revised Electronic Document Templates Guide, to create applicable coversheets.

4.5 Web Site Document Retention and Archiving
Documents shall be retained on the Web Site for two years or two Plenary cycles, whichever is greater. After this, documents may be removed from the Web but shall be available from the secretariat in a format of its choice. Alternatively the out of date documents may be retained in a compressed form.

5. Compression Utilities
Compression may be used if so agreed by the recipients of the file distribution. Compression should be considered if a file or block of files is more than 500K bytes. When compression is used, it shall be compatible with PKZIPTM. Refer to Web Tips and Techniques for how to address directory structures if applicable.

6. Direct Electronic Distribution

6.1 E-mail Lists
Each Secretariat shall establish a list of electronic mail (e-mail) addresses that replicates the committee's formal distribution list as defined in ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directive Section 8.3, together with appropriate committee officers. Any member that does not have an e-mail address may be listed with a facsimile number.

In some instances, and only upon written confirmation of the member, responsibility for receipt and distribution of documents may be delegated to the member's Head of Delegation or other identified expert.

Secretariats may establish a separate distribution list including additional addresses (i.e., individual experts, etc.) for exchange of less formal documents. Registered experts on such mailing lists still require their national body agreement to gain regular access to formal documents.

6.2 Encoding Utilities
Athis time, there is no expectation that encoding utilities will be needed for this medium.

6.3 Electronic Balloting
The JTC 1 Secretariat will investigate procedures for electronic responses to letter ballots. The process should take advantage of hyperlinking the letter ballot log to the letter ballots themselves. National bodies should be able to respond directly via the web to submit their letter ballot response. The Secretariat is empowered to make use of IT technology for automatic letter ballot tabulation.

7 Access Control to JTC 1 documents

7.1 Open and restricted documents
ISO, IEC and JTC1 policies require that while some information be publicly available, other information must be kept private to defined recipients. Document availability is defined in Annex D

7.2 Access control
Privacy arrangements (using password and/or ID protection) shall be incorporated into Web sites where appropriate to meet these policies. Since it is envisaged that Web sites will also have an associated ftp server for experienced users, the same password/ID combinations should work no matter which method is used.

7.3 Password control
Document protection must include regular password changes, notified to designated recipients in a secure manner. Changes should be made once or twice per plenary session and at other times if a security breach occurs.

When passwords are about to be changed, an e-mail message containing the new password shall be sent to the distribution list as defined in 6.1. The e-mail notification should be sent sufficiently far in advance of the change so that authorized participants at the national body level will have received notice of the change by the time it is effective. Alternatively, if the responsible secretariat has the capability, an overlap of passwords during the change may be implemented.

Annex A
Text Area for
A4 and North American Paper Sizes

Paper A4 North American
Size 210 mm wide
297 mm high
216 mm wide, (8 1/2" wide)
279 mm high , (11" high)
MAXIMUM common text area for each paper size 183mm wide
262 mm high
7.08" wide
10.24" high
Minimum Margins for placing a common text area Top 10 mm
Bottom 28 mm
Left 20 mm
Right 10 mm
Top 10 mm
Bottom 10 mm
Left 20 mm
Right 17 mm

Annex B
Examples of Valid File Names

Annex C

8859-1 Character Set

Annex D
Document Access Classification List

Document Classification/Type

Action Identifier

Acceptable Forms of Distribution

Official Publications
Procedural Documentation FYI P, Open
ISO TC Communique FYI P, Open
Published International Standard FYI Defined by ISO/IEC
Published Amendment FYI Defined by ISO/IEC
Published Technical Report FYI Defined by ISO/IEC
Published Technical Corrigendum FYI Defined by ISO/IEC
Project-related Documents
Proposed NP

(proposal under review by WG or SC)

COM or LB P, Open*
Text for NP ballot

(text submitted to JTC 1 for ballot)

LB P, Open*
Working Draft Text (for information or comment) FYI or COM P, Open*
Working Draft Amendment Text (for information or comment) FYI or COM P, Open*
Working Draft Technical Report Text (for information or comment) FYI or COM P, Open*
Text for CD ballot or comment LB or COM P, Open*
Text for PDAM ballot or comment LB or COM P,Open*
Text for PDTR ballot or comment LB or COM P, Open*
Text for PDISP ballot or comment LB or COM P, Open*
Defect Report COM P, Open*
Text for DIS ballot ITTF P, Def
Text for DAM ballot ITTF P, Def
Text for DTR ballot LB P, Def
Text for DISP ballot ITTF P, Def
Text for DCOR ballot LB P, Def
Revised DIS text for NB review or ITU-T action FYI P, Def
Revised DAM text for NB review or ITU-T action FYI P, Def
Revised DTR text for NB review or ITU-T action FYI P, Def
Revised DCOR text for NB review or ITU-T action FYI P, Def
Final Text Submitted for IS Publication ITTF P, Def
Final Text Submitted for AMD Publication ITTF P, Def
Final Text Submitted for TR Publication ITTF P, Def
Final Text Submitted for ISP Publication ITTF P, Def
Final Text Submitted for COR Publication ITTF P, Def
Summary of Voting/Table of Replies FYI or ACT P, Def
Disposition of Comments FYI or COM P, Def
Instructions to editor ACT P, Def
Notice of Publication FYI P, Open
National Body Contribution FYI, COM, or ACT P, Def
OfficerÕs Contribution

(Contribution from Chair, Convener, Rapporteur, etc.)

FYI or COM P, Def
Liaison Organization Contribution FYI, COM, or ACT P, Def
Outgoing Liaison Statement FYI or ACT P, Def
Request for Periodic Review ACT P, Def
Administrative Documents
Document Register FYI P, Open
Management Report FYI P, Open
Secretariat Report FYI or ACT P, Open
Programme of Work FYI or ACT P, Open
Program Extension Document ACT P, Open
Standing Document FYI P, Open
Meeting Announcement FYI or ACT P, Open
Meeting Agenda FYI P, Open
Call for delegates ACT P, Open
Logistical information for meeting FYI P, Open
Meeting Report FYI P, Open
Resolutions FYI P, Open
Call for officer ACT P, Def
Vote on officer nomination LB P, Def
Notification of appointment of officer FYI P, Open
Information from SC Secretariat FYI, COM, or ACT P, Def
Information from JTC1 Secretariat FYI or COM P, Def
Information from ISO Central Secretariat FYI or COM varies
Information from IEC Central Office FYI or COM varies
Information from ITTF FYI or COM varies
Press Release FYI P, Open
National Body Activity Report FYI P, Def
Request for comments COM P, Def
Other document varies varies

Action Identifiers

Identifier Action Examples
LB TC or SC letter ballot
  • NP/CD/PDAM/PDTR for ballot
COM For comment
  • WD/CD for comment
  • Strategic Plan
  • New procedural document
ACT Action required by identified group
  • Summary of Voting for consideration at Editing Meeting
  • National Body Contribution
  • Incoming Liaison Statement for consideration at WG meeting
ITTF ITTF action expected
  • Revised CD/PDAM to ITTF for DIS/DAM registration
  • Revised DIS/DAM/DTR/DCOR to ITTF for publication
FYI For information
  • Document Register
  • Disposition of Comments
  • Meeting Report

Acceptable Forms of Document Distribution

Abbreviation Definition
P Paper (only for those without Web access)
Def Defined-access FTP or WWW site

(access limited to participants in the ISO system*)

Open Open-access FTP or WWW site

(no restrictions or passwords required)

Open* Open-access FTP or WWW site during the one year trial approved by ISO Council in January 1997

* The ISO standardisation process encourages the widest possible dissemination of the working documents needed for preparing standards free of charge within the ISO system to ensure that all interested parties have the opportunity to contribute to the development of a standard. In this context, the ISO system should be understood to mean the member bodies of ISO, specifically those who have elected to be P-members of a particular ISO committee (although O-members and non-members are entitled to receive documentation on request), liaison organisations, the delegates accredited by ISO members and liaison organisation to participate in committee meetings, experts appointed to ISO working groups, members of national committees corresponding to an ISO committee and their sponsoring organisations (e.g. trade associations, government departments, etc.). ISO/TC/SC working documents are not intended for free distribution outside the ISO system as defined above. It may be noted that the POCOSA agreement allows the member bodies to sell TC/SC working documents to those outside the system.

Annex E

Table of Recommended Formats

As there are different acceptable document formats, the following table of recommended document formats is based on the intended use of the final document.

Intended Use of Final Document Document Format
Simple Administrative Document







Simple Technical







ISO/IEC Standard in preparation







Joint ISO/IEC and ITU-T Standard/Recommendation in Preparation







Document intended for Web page browsing







Complex * document in revisable form







Complex document in non-revisable form







Document needing template as defined in this document








  • HR Highly recommended
  • P Possible/Plausible
  • IA If template available
  • NR Not recommended
  • - No guidance

  • Annex F

    Glossary of terms

    Note: This was taken from the ISO Guidelines on access and distribution of documents in electronic format - some of these terms may not apply to this document. This note is not part of this document.

    This is not a formal list of terms and definitions as found in most standards, but where appropriate, suitable definitions from existing vocabularies are cited.

    ASCII coding for a small subset of characters consisting of the numbers 0-9, upper and lower case letters a-z without diacritical marks, and simple punctuation normally used for creating simple text files equivalent to IEC 606

    browser computer program used to locate and display documents on the World Wide Web

    CD-ROM abbreviation for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory, an optical disk capable of storing large amounts of data (typically 630 MB), which are recorded by the supplier and cannot be modified

    diskette or floppy disk small magnetic disk used for storage of data

    DNS abbreviation for Domain Name Service, an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses, facilitating access for the end-user, as domain names tend to be based on acronyms, whilst IP addresses are purely numerical

    ftp abbreviation for File Transfer Protocol, the protocol used on the Internet for exchanging files

    FAQs abbreviation for Frequently Asked Questions, a document, often designed as a hypertext document, that answers questions on a technical topic

    home page main page of a web site, typically serving as an index or table of contents to other documents or services provided at the site

    hypertext database system in which various types of object (such as text, pictures, sound, video, programs) can be creatively linked to each other

    hard disk magnetic disk used to store computer data, with capacities ranging typically from tens of megabytes to over 2 gigabytes

    hardware physical equipment, as opposed to programs, procedures, rules and associated documentation

    HTML abbreviation for Hypertext Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web and is similar to SGML, although not strictly a subset

    Internet global, decentralized communications network connecting millions of computers, providing exchange of data, news and opinions

    Internet service provider (ISP) a company providing access to the Internet, usually including a complete package of software

    IP address an identifier for a computer or a device on a TCP/IP network, consisting of a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by points

    link reference to another document permitting, in the case of the World Wide Web, direct access to the document referenced

    media <communications> physical means of linking computers and similar devices together so that they can communicate (for example, cable, optical fibre)

    media <storage> form and technology used to communicate information; for example, multimedia combines text, sound, pictures and video, all of which are different types of media

    media objects on which data can be stored

    memory internal storage area in the computer, usually used to designate physical memory, the actual computer chips capable of storing data

    modem device enabling a computer to transmit data over telephone lines (acronym for modulator-demodulator)

    PDF abbreviation for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe which captures formatting information from a variety of applications and makes it possible to transmit and display documents in an identical way, independent of the platform

    ISO/IEC JTC 1 Web Server Policy

    1. Web Page Structure: The minimal structure of web based pages for JTC 1 and its SCs (jointly referred to simply as committee.) It is not intended to dictate structure or content at the WG level.
    2. Web Server Content: The minimal structure/content of JTC 1 and SC web servers
    3. Web Server Maintainance: Policy concerning the maintenance of those web pages

    It is expected that National Bodies and Committees will utilize this document as they begin their web-server implementation. Additional information is available in Tips and Techniques for JTC1 Web Pages.

    I. Web Page Structure

    Every JTC 1/SC web page shall contain the following structural elements:
    (These elements may appear in any order, however it is highly recommended that the committee retain the same style for all pages within the committee's purview.)

    1. Title Block (should have a common "look-and-feel" within the committee)
      1. Title of committee with the ISO/IEC logo.
      2. The page author and date created or last modified (preferably generated automatically)
      3. A version number
      4. Optional use of a common background image may also be employed.
      5. Optional committee logo if desired
    2. Body - contains information specific to the committee. The use of forward navigational pointers is highly recommended
    3. Web Master information - who to contact for errors, suggestions, etc.
    4. Consistent Set of Back Pointers (for example the Parent Committee main page, Committee web-page design guidelines, primary site information, etc. )

    II. Web Server Content

    Each web server (JTC 1 and SC) shall provide the following, manditory information in the form of web pages which conform to the common look and feel of the Web Page Structure appropriate to the committee.

    1. Description of the Organization Structure of the committee
    2. Committee Membership (List of P, O, L members and the contact information for liaisons and rapporteurs)
    3. Committee Meeting schedule
    4. Next meeting information
      1. Agenda
      2. Venue
    5. Program of Work
    6. A single document register for all committee documents
    7. Personnel information on officers and members

    Although optional, each secretariat is strongly encouraged to add the following information as appropriate.

    1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page
    2. Ballot information
      1. Due dates
      2. Document number of balloted text
      3. Document number of Summary of Voting
    3. Procedures (which may simply point to the parent committee's procedures)
    4. News and Press releases
    5. Links to committee relevant Publications and Standards

    Web Server Maintenance

    1. Open Access vs Defined Access Documents
      The committee shall distinguish between open access vs defined access documents per Annex D

    2. Password Protection
      The server administrator shall provide appropriate limited access to non-members by use of group level passwords with appropriate notification to users. Non-members attempting to access protected pages shall be automatically replied to with a message stating the criteria for access.

    3. Data Integrity
      1. Site shall be backed up automatically
      2. All Documents shall contain authorship and timestamp information as defined in the Web Page Structure Title Block
      3. There shall be a single source for all documents (no duplication)
      4. Site shall provide automatic virus checking - clean files before update or retransmission and notify sender of infected file

    4. Document Registration, Retention and Archival
      1. Hierarchy
        Structured with a register list every 50th document
      2. Access
        - Each register shall show all Document numbers, title, date, due date
        - Register entries shall be hot-linked to the actual documents
        - Provisions shall be provided to download documents as a package (e.g for documents with enclosures, annexes, drawings, embedded data, etc.)
        - Provision shall be made for providing paper printouts of documents to those with no web access.
      3. On-line Retention
        Documents shall be retained for a minimum of two years or two complete plenary cycles, whichever is greater.
      4. Archival
        After the retention period, documents may be removed from on-line availability and shall be available from the secretariat in a format at the discretion of the secretariat.