Mailing List Message #114955
From: Cliff Lynch <>
Sender: <>
Subject: Workshop on Analyzing Internet Engineering Task Force Data
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2021 21:40:00 -0400
The Internet Activities Board and the Internet Engineering Task Force are convening a very interesting and unusual workshop (invitation copied below) exploring what might be done analyzing the extraordinarily well documented and open record of standards-making and related developments for the internet over the past decades. I thought that this invitation might be of interest to some CNI-announce readers who perhaps might not have seen it.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI


Show me the numbers: Workshop on Analyzing IETF Data (AID), 2021

Web Page:

The IETF as an international Standards Developing Organization hosts
diverse data on the history, development, and current activities in the
development and standardization of Internet protocols and its
institutions. A large portion of this data is publicly available, yet
this data is arguably underutilized as a tool to inform the work in the
IETF and research on topics like Internet governance and trends in ICT

This workshop aims to enable engineers and researchers alike to mine the
IETF's data sources in order to explore trends through the analysis of
IETF data, such as email archives
<>, I-Ds
<>, RFCs
<>, and the datatracker
<>. This work can be used to derive
insights into the inner workings of the process of standardization,
participation, and governance[1]. This workshop aims to bring together
people who have already analyzed IETF data, those who are interested in
the analysis of IETF data, and those who are interested in the results
of such analysis as input for improvement of the IETF's work.

We invite the research community, IETF participants, and others with an
interest in the data collected by the IETF, its protocols, and
participants, to submit a contribution to the workshop. Furthermore, we
also welcome participants who are interested in the analysis that could
be performed based on this data as well as those contributing
considerations regarding future collection and handling of IETF data.

Possible avenues for explorations include, but are not limited to:

  A. What are patterns for participation in the IETF (what are
     predictors for a long and productive tenure, when do people stop
     participating, what is needed to successfully produce RFCs)?
  B. How is the IETF community developing (i.e., affiliations,
     publications, language, nationality, leadership positions)?
  C. How do affiliations develop in the IETF (i.e., does a change in
     affiliation translate into a change in behavior, is there a
     relation between affiliation and leadership positions and/or
     centrality, what is the affiliation distribution per area and/or
  D. What social dynamics (gender, nationality, income, occupation, and
     other social dynamics) are not captured by IETF data and what data
     and research approaches are needed to develop further insights in
     the social dynamics of standardization?
  E. How productive and effective is the IETF, with respect to
     documents, pages, words, letters and in comparison the overall
     activities e.g. on mailing lists?
  F. How well is the outcome of the IETF used, e.g,. based on references
     to RFCs in research papers, product manuals, or other sources?
  G. What data would be relevant to collect that is not collected yet or
     what should be considered with respect to handling of personal data
     during the data collection and research.
  H. How effective is the IETF's consensus-based decision making
     process? Is there evidence that documents receive broad and
     effective reviews? Are experts with relevant expertise engaging
     with developing standards in a timely manner?

Participation and Submission

People interested in participation are requested to submit short
position papers (500-1000 words). The paper can cover one or multiple of
the following points, but this list should not be considered exhaustive:

  1. Research questions and interests in IETF data; indication which
     question should be answered, the data needed to do so, and how
     these insights could be used to improve processes and operations;
  2. Description of the IETF data they aim to analyze or the information
     they would like to see made available to inform their work (such as
     mailing list archives, or participation data obtained through the
     datatracker) and their methods for doing so (see footnote 1);
  3. Potential and preliminary findings; and how those insights could
     either benefit leadership, WG chairs, and authors/participants,
     and/or society and industry at large;
  4. Potential or preliminary findings and how those add novel insights
     to ongoing academic debates.

Proposals for data analysis should also contain a brief consideration of
any related ethics and privacy issues. The basic principles of ethical
research are outlined in the Belmont Report2 (covering e.g., respect for
persons, beneficence, and justice) and/or institutional ethics

The workshop will be invitation-only. The organizers will decide whom to
invite based on the submissions received. Therefore, please indicate
your interest by submitting a research proposal by September 29, 2021 to

The Program Committee members are Niels ten Oever (chair, University of
Amsterdam), Colin Perkins (chair, IRTF, University of Glasgow), Corinne
Cath (chair, Oxford Internet Institute), Mirja Kühlewind (IAB,
Ericsson), Zhenbin Li (IAB, Huawei), Wes Hardaker (IAB, USC/ISI).

All inputs submitted and considered relevant will be published on the
workshop web page. Sessions will be organized according to content, and
not every accepted submission or invited attendee will have an
opportunity to present as the intent is to foster discussion and not
simply to have a sequence of presentations.

Position papers from those unable to attend in person are encouraged. A
workshop report will be published afterwards.


   • Submissions Due: 29 September 2021
   • Invitations Issued by: 15 October 2021
   • Workshop Date: November 29 – December 3 2021
   • Location: Online and at the University of Amsterdam (COVID-19

The workshop will consist of three parts:

  1. opening workshop (Monday)
  2. hackathon (Tuesday – Thursday morning)
  3. closing event (Thursday afternoon)

Feel free to contact the program committee with any further questions
(including questions related to available data or expected outcomes):

[1] Examples of such approaches are:,,,


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