Release states are used to help manage the life cycle of an object from creation to release. You can use the release states to manage your workflow and effectively create a handover of an object from one group to another. Release states also determine which actions can be performed on objects. For example, a topic with release state of "SME Review" can be configured so only subject matter experts can edit the topic and change the release state for handover.
The release states you define should suit your organization's document control process, and will probably be slightly different from those used by other organizations (even if only in name). The actions you can control with release states are the same as those for folder actions.
The following release states can be used as a guideline: