AO3 News

Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Translation Staff and Communications Chair Track Staff. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Wiki Committee Staff - Closing 30 June 2014 UTC
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteer - Closing 30 June 2014 UTC

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

Wiki Committee Staff The Wiki Committee supervises Fanlore: we provide direction, write policies and help documents, promote the wiki, organise and support Gardeners, communicate with users, and keep the site running. We handle requests for support and complaints from users and do our best to help the Fanlore community grow.

If you like Fanlore and are interested in helping the site improve, you could consider joining the Wiki committee. Applications are due 30 June 2014 UTC

Tag Wrangling Volunteers Tag Wrangling Volunteers are responsible for keeping the hundreds of thousands of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! Based on internal guidelines, we choose which form a tag takes in the filters and auto-complete, and we link tags together to make the works and bookmarks on the archive easier to browse and search (so that users can find exactly what they’re looking for, whether that’s Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff).

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. See the application for which fandoms are in need. Applications are due 30 June UTC


Chat with Support (in multiple languages!)

Published: 2014-06-22 15:29:27 -0400

Banner by caitie with 'otw chat' at its center and emoticons and other symbols in word bubbles surrounding it.

AO3 Support staffers are the people who receive your tickets through the Support and Feedback form and try to respond as soon as possible to register your feature suggestion, pass your bug report on to our coders, or do their best to help you out with a problem. However, when it comes to explaining how to do things or why something doesn't seem to be working right, the formal back-and-forth emails of a Support request aren't always ideal.

So Support will be holding an Open Chat session in our public chat room. They'll be available on Sunday, June 29, 13:00 UTC to June 30, 01:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?). Volunteers will be available to answer inquiries in Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. If you can't make it to this chat, keep an eye out for the next as Support will be doing other chats later this year.

If you're having a problem using the Archive, want help trying something new, or would like an explanation of one of our features, please drop in and talk to us in person!

Some guidelines from Support, just to keep things running smoothly

We don't have a fancy presentation or material prepared--there are plenty of FAQs, tutorials, and admin posts for that. The point of live chat is to talk with you, not at you. We're happy for you to drop in and say "hi", but it's even better if you drop in and say, "Hi, what's up with my work that won't show as complete even though it is?!"

As Support, our function is to help users with bugs and issues, and pass reports on to our Coders and Systems team, who actually keep the place running. This means that policy questions are way over our pay grade. (Just kidding--none of us get paid!) So, if you have questions or comments about AO3 or OTW policies, good or bad, Support Chat isn't the right place for them. If you do want to talk to someone about policy issues (meta on the Archive, philosophical issues with the tagging system, category change, etc.) we can direct you to the appropriate admin post or contact address so you can leave feedback directly for the people dealing with the area of your concern.

Additionally, if a question looks like it might violate a user's privacy to answer (if it needs an email address or other personal information, for example) we may not be willing to work with it in chat. In those cases, we'll redirect a user to the Support Form so we can communicate via email.

So, now that that's out of the way, what kind of things are we going to talk about?

Live chat is best for questions of a "How do I...?" or "Why does it...?" nature.

For example, you might have been wondering:

  • I'd like to run a challenge, but I'm not sure how to do what I want.
  • For that matter, where did my work submitted to an anonymous challenge go?!
  • I want to post using formatting the Rich Text Editor won't give me. How do I do it using a work skin?
  • I want to add a lot of my older works to the AO3 -- what would be the easiest way to do that?

We'd be happy to help you with any of these questions, and anything else you're having trouble doing or would like to try doing with the Archive.


OTW Video with 16 times the goodness!

Published: 2014-06-21 15:30:56 -0400

Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

The OTW released a video in April that provides an overview of our work and gives non-fans an introduction to fannish works. Our translation volunteers have now produced captions for the video in the following languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

To enable subtitles in your language of choice on the video below, click on the "CC" button next to the volume and HD options.

All these subtitles are also available on the video we have hosted on YouTube. Just click on the rectangular Captions/CC button in the lower right hand corner of the video and select the language.

If you wish to download a copy of the video with your preferred subtitles, use the links below:

Special thanks to all the volunteer translators who worked on this project!

Our Translation team would also love to have this video narrated in as many languages as possible! Can you help? If you're fluent in a language (or more!) other than English and are willing to help record the voiceover track, please contact us. We'd be thrilled to work with you!


Release 0.9.15 (Part 5): Change Log

Published: 2014-06-17 16:00:07 -0400


  • Coders: hill, sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Enigel, james_, Naomi
  • Testers: Ariana, Camilla M., Enigel, james_, Lady Oscar


  • Front End Fixes
    • We had some CSS code stashed away in a sandbox file, waiting to be properly sorted. All our CSS definitions are now in the appropriate stylesheets.
    • Made a change so that tables in works will have visible light-on-dark text by default when using the Reversi Site Skin.
    • Gave work and bookmark indexes and list boxes consistent classes everywhere on the site.
    • Standardized use of the actions navigation subtype class so that it refers only to major navigational links to allow them to be more easily given the same style when using Site Skins.
  • Works & Bookmarks
    • The pagination on a user's Drafts page now uses the same button/arrow design as pagination elsewhere, such as on Works pages. (Please note that drafts should not be used long-term to store works in progress - always keep a backup!)
    • Trying to follow a link to a deleted series from the blurb of a deleted work (not the likeliest of scenarios) would sometimes lead to an unhelpful and unstyled error; it now generates a proper redirect and message.
    • Co-authored works would lead to gift/related work/prompt fill notifications with exposed HTML code. All emails now have fixed HTML versions.
    • When viewing or editing a bookmark, there was a "Back to Bookmarks" button at the bottom, which was inconsistent with our site navigation. The button now says "My Bookmarks" or "Bookmarks by [user]", depending on the situation, and is consistently placed.
    • In the inbox, comments from logged-in users had lost their timestamps (oops). We brought them back and also corrected misleading information in our Preferences help text while we were at it: Your own comments will never show up in your Archive Inbox, but we can email you a copy if you untick the "Turn off copies of your own comments" option in your Preferences.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


Release 0.9.15 (Part 4): Change Log

Published: 2014-06-11 13:15:55 -0400


  • Coders: Enigel, sarken
  • Code reviewers: Enigel, james_
  • Testers: Ariana, briar, james_, Lady Oscar


  • On wrangling pages, the "Unwrangled" column previously showed the number of uses of new tags on works. It now shows the actual number of new tags themselves.
  • The AO3 favicon now has a white outline around the logo and a transparent background, so it will show up without a white square behind it on dark backgrounds.
  • Previously, long headings on pages with icons (user dashboards, tag pages, etc.) could overlap with the icon, hiding the first few letters of the heading. This has been fixed.
  • Corrected the HTML code used for the nested sub-tag lists on tag pages.
  • Changed the odd/even styling on the Stats page (alternating light and dark item backgrounds) to use CSS3 magic.
  • Challenge assignment pages had redundant titles for the "Requests by" and "Offers by" sections. These have been removed.
  • When editing a site skin, the "Advanced" section will now be open by default if the skin has advanced properties set, and hidden otherwise.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


Release 0.9.15 (Part 3): Change Log

Published: 2014-06-08 16:37:32 -0400


  • Coders: james_, Lady Oscar, sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Enigel, james_, sarken
  • Testers: Ariana, Lady Oscar, Runt, sarken, Scott


  • Previously, using the "Comments" button at the top of a work caused the entire page to reload unnecessarily. Now the comments will open below the work content without an extra trip to the database.
  • When using "Edit Works" to edit multiple works, draft works are now identified by the text "(Draft)" after the work title.
  • In the work posting/editing form, the help popups for the Ratings and Archive Warnings now contain a link to the appropriate section of the Terms of Service for users seeking more information.
  • Adding a link to a work using the Rich Text Editor used to give the option to have that link open in a new window. However, the code to do so would be removed by the Archive's HTML sanitizer for accessibility reasons. The option has now been removed to avoid confusion.
  • Choosing the "Edit" button in a bookmark blurb previously loaded the bookmark editing form as a new page. Now the form opens inline on the same page.
  • In a Prompt Meme Challenge the Unposted Claims page allows Challenge moderators to see prompts that have been claimed but not yet filled. Previously, the "Description" section of a prompt wasn't displayed; now it is.
  • If a Gift Exchange had no Request or Offer Instructions specified, a blank box was left on the Sign-up form. This has been removed.
  • AO3's DMCA Policy is now linked directly from the Archive footer.
  • In the "Log In" box at the top of the page, the links for "Forgot password?" and "Get Invite" had lost the space between them. Now they're properly separated again.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


Release 0.9.15 (Part 2): Change Log

Published: 2014-06-05 14:54:38 -0400

This deploy includes code contributions by Cecilia, Elz, Enigel, james_, and sarken, and was tested by afterandalasia, Ariana, hhertzof, james_, Lady Oscar, mumble, and sarken.


  • Updated the Terms of Service and ToS FAQ to reflect the changes presented here: Comment period open for FAQ and ToS.
  • In accordance with the new ToS, added a DMCA policy page.
  • Some works were getting hit by bots, inflating the hit count in the process. We have made a change that discards hit from bots and only counts users accessing a work.
  • We already increased the font size on mobile devices as a quick fix last month; a code change in this deploy makes the bigger font permanent. (To set a custom font size on your mobile device(s), please use an Archive skin as explained in this tutorial on Tumblr. You can always get an invite if you don't have an account yet.)
  • In challenges without any required tags in the sign-up form (e.g. single-fandom fic exchanges with optional character tags), the matching process would stall without any error messages. This has been fixed.
  • There were some slight display issues with error and success messages in our new mass-wrangling interface. These have been fixed.
  • For works with notes, but without a recipient, related work, or associated collection, the Notes section would include an unnecessary (if invisible) bit of HTML. Now it doesn't.
  • In our automated tests, we had checks for Yuletide imports and imports from As works from the former have now been imported into the Archive (and old links redirect to here), and doesn't allow our import tool to access their site, these tests weren't necessary anymore and were removed.
  • In AO3 News posts, titles with ampersands or > or < signs in them wouldn't display correctly. These special characters now get properly escaped.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


May 2014 Newsletter, Volume 80

Published: 2014-06-05 13:03:20 -0400

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.


In May, Legal continued their advocacy work with a couple of larger scale projects. First, they filed a Notice of Protest with the U.S. Trademark Office against a registrant seeking trademark rights in the term “FANDOM.” They also continued our participation in the USPTO/NTIA “Green Paper” process regarding U.S. copyright law, this time participating in a multi-stakeholder meeting regarding standardization of DMCA “notice and takedown” procedures. Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt presented at that meeting, and the OTW has a seat on the Working Group that emerged from it.

Journal is quickly pushing ahead on their schedule. Issue No. 16 will be out soon on June 15, and they are hard at work on No. 17, which will come out in September. They are also already beginning work on two special issues for early 2015 and on issue No. 20.


Accessibility, Design and Technology continued to work on code deploys, steadily chipping away at their backlog of bug fixes. Their first May release included a batch-wrangling tool for tag wranglers. This made for an exciting month for Tag Wrangling, as they are now able to do mass-wrangling from individual fandom pages. This makes wrangling much easier and faster, especially for large mega-fandoms. Tag Wrangling has also been collaborating with AD&T on a project to reduce server loads, and they helped Support resolve several tickets.

The new tag wrangling trainees have been doing a great job! Recruitment will open again in June, and Tag Wrangling will be targeting specific fandoms. If you missed out last time and want to join them, or just want more information, keep an eye on AO3 or OTW News as well as the Volunteer page for updates.

AD&T also worked with Open Doors on the Yuletide import. Open Doors has largely been handling claims, redirects, and other inquiries from the Yuletide import (which has generated almost 300 tickets so far). The outreach from the Yuletide import has also generated other archive import help requests, which they will be working on.

Abuse received almost 200 tickets in May. They've been training 13 new recruits who should be ready to start working on tickets in another couple of weeks. They now have about 20 staffers, which marks a real growth from 2013.

Support has scheduled another Open Chat for June 29. In order to hopefully reach more of our worldwide audience, they'll be throwing open the chat room at 13:00 UTC, and will be around for about 12 hours. We'll have links and more information posted closer to the date!


Board is currently working hard on various projects, including putting together a retreat for October 2014 (and working with Legal and Volunteers & Recruiting on a conference anti-harassment policy to go along with it). Beginning June 7 (18:00 UTC), Board plans to hold the open session of their meetings in the Public Discussion chatroom. Those minutes will continue to be available on the OTW website.

Communications published the OTW's Annual Report for 2013 after a period of internal review.

Translation’s language teams have been hard at work on all our projects. Two new language teams, Russian and Catalan, have started working. The teams have now translated the final Category Change announcement, which presented how fandom browsing will work on Archive of Our Own in the future, following deep changes in the way current ‘media categories’ are organized.

Translation's co-chairs, Hele and Priscilla, have also joined AO3 Documentation as additional workgroup leads. The AO3 Docs FAQ redesign project is moving along.

Content Policy had an AO3 Terms of Service/FAQ update and new DMCA policy approved for inclusion, and AD&T has posted it to the Archive.


Volunteers & Recruiting welcomed two new staffers to their own committee in May, as well as continuing to process new recruits into and out of the OTW. As always, we thank those departing for their contributions.

New Committee Chairs: moonmagicks (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
New Workgroup Leads: hele braunstein (AO3 Docs), Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Docs)
New Committee Staff: Anya (Volunteers & Recruiting), Sarah Sisk (Abuse), NadiaB (Abuse), Trey C (Abuse), PoppyPickford (Abuse) and 1 Legal staffer, 9 Abuse staffers, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer
New Workgroup Members: Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Docs)

Departing Committee Chairs: Emilie Karr (Tag Wrangling)
Departing Committee Staff: Jenny Scott-Thompson (Financial), Jaunita Landéesse (Wiki), Priscilla Del Cima (Internationalization & Outreach)
Departing Tester Volunteers: Jenny Scott-Thompson
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: AlixMason, Luzula, Tonko and 6 others


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