Publication process

Background

Formal document development requires a considered, consistent and streamlined methodology for review and approval.

The following procedures are aligned with (but not equivalent to) the procedures required of an ANSI SDO. 

Terms

The term “interest group” is used herein to refer to any organisational sub-unit of the PDF Association, including Technical, Liaison or Marketing Working Groups, ad hoc groups, or others that create documents for public distribution.

Comments

Comments on this process are welcome at any time. It is expected that this process will be modified in various ways to accommodate real-world experience. The Board encourages members to post comments or ask questions.

Technical methods

At early stages document authors may use their own preferred means of authoring and collaborating on text for PDF Association documents. Commenters may use the method convenient to them, including (minimally) the PDF Association’s stand-alone commenting model.

Minimally, a PDF version of each document (including bookmarks and tags) is required for all steps after Step 1.

Following completion of the text the result shall be submitted into the PDF production process as a revisable DOC or DOCX file.

Final “reference” published PDF files shall be in conformity with at least PDF/A-2u and PDF/UA-1, and / or PDF/X, or other specifications, as appropriate.

Approval process

Documents intended as PDF Association technical publications will undergo the following procedure:

Step 1 - Initiation

An interest group may decide to distribute a release candidate (RC) document to the IG membership for comment via a roll call vote of its members present at a given meeting. 

Step 2 – Member comment period

Following step 1 the RC is then sent to the full PDF Association membership providing two weeks for response, with comments forwarded to interest group members.

Comments are submitted openly; those commenting must provide name, company and email address.

The interest group members review, discuss, and/or resolve the comments on the RC and provide a revised RC.

Step 3 – Interest group approval

Following step 2, the interest group may approve its document using internal processes and after consideration of members' comments. Once the interest group is ready to proceed to a formal vote the group's chair sends the revised RC to staff to issue a two-week ballot.

Interest group members may vote:

  • YES
  • YES with comments
  • NO with comments
  • Abstain (with or without comments)

Each member has a single vote.

Ballots are not secret; those voting must provide name, company and email address.

Agreement to publish is determined by two-thirds of the votes received. The interest group will make every effort to resolve negative votes to achieve consensus.

If the interest group deems it necessary, the document will be revised and recirculated for ballot. 

Step 4 – Partner member review

Following step 3, PDF Association Partner members are sent an online ballot and requested to respond within two weeks. Partner members may vote:

  • YES
  • YES with comments
  • NO with comments (i.e., comments are required for a “no” vote)
  • Abstain (with or without comments)

Each Partner member has a single vote. 

Ballots are not secret; those voting must provide name, company and email address. 

Agreement to publish is determined by two-thirds of the votes received. The interest group will make every effort to resolve negative votes to achieve consensus. 

Step 5 – Publication

The Board of Directors (B0D) will assess the approval process, ballot results, including participation rate, number and nature of objections, and other factors at the next available Board of Directors meeting after previous approval steps are completed. 

If approved for publication by the Board of Directors, PDF Association staff will deliver the final text for PDF production. The resulting file will be made available for editorial review by the interest group prior to publication on pdfa.org. PDF Association publications are published under a CC-BY 4.0 license.

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