RQTF Research Process
Drafted for the Joint Meeting on Research Processes in W3CWai
Wednesday 25 January 2023
The Research Questions Task Force (RQTF) is a task force of the Accessible
Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group. This document is a brief, initial summary of the process followed by
RQTF when commencing work
on a given topic requiring research in published literature. Some of this work
(but by no means all of it) may eventually be published
as an APA Note according to W3C Process. RQTF's process steps listed here will be informed by, and
conformed to the emerging W3C/WAI publication process.
Please note two patterns in the itemized steps below:
- A literature search may be performed several times as we gain an
understanding of the topic under consideration.
- We systematically seek to engage an ever widening compass of peer
review when developing a document for publication.
RQTF's Research Steps
- A topic is raised in an RQTF meeting or on our archived list. As
discussion progresses, a consensus may formed that the topic is important to
explore further and more formally in accordance with the RQTF Work Statement
and the APA Charter.
- RQTF participants commence a literature search on the topic. The search
is initially broad and includes peer-reviewed publications such as
conference papers, journal articles and credible news sources. The
sources and databases may vary based on the academic institution but are
cross-checked internally to ensure they are credible sources.
- The results of the broad search are then published to a publically
viewable wiki in RQTF space.
- The broad literature is then reviewed. Literature that is not focused enough or off-topic is removed, while
key words and published authors in the relevant area are identified.
- RQTF discussions determine if the research area has enough
merit to continue its development.
- If the development is to continue, more targeted reiterative
searches are then performed to develop a more focused literature
review. As the papers are reviewed, literature summaries are added
to the wiki and discussions occur on the RQTF mailing list to
continue the refinement of the list of sources.
- Once the initial list of refences and summaries are exhausted by the group, invitations are provided to
other working groups to review and provide an opportunity to also feed in research, key words and other
information to assist in identifying more papers in the process. Additional papers are reviewed and
reference notes made.
- Prominent authors of peer-reviewed papers and other relevant
literature are contacted where possible to further support
contributions. Interviews may be conducted and other leads are
- Once the review process is exhausted and some time has been
allowed for additional information to be provided by other
groups, development begins on developing the work such as a
- Once the RQTF participants have all worked on a collaborative wiki, the wiki
is then moved to GitHub to provide editorial and version control oversight.
- W3C groups are invited to contribute to the early draft as the work
- Once the draft has reached an appropriate level of maturity, a First
Public Working Draft (FPWD) publication is proposed to APA in order to obtain
review and comments from the wider community.
- Comments and issues are individually logged in GitHub and work
recommended on addressing the feedback.
- Second, third, and possibly further public working drafts are
developed, continuing to encourage feedback to improve the
- Once all issues are addressed, the final Call for Consensus is
circulated by APA. If approved, the work is published as an APA Note together with
appropriate publication announcements to standard channels.