AO3 News

Feedback for Comics Categories

Published: 2013-10-22 17:45:29 -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 AO3 Category Change workgroup comes seeking your opinion again!

After analyzing the past round of feedback, we want to address what we believe was the most contentious point: how to organize the Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art subcategories.

We are now proposing this scheme:

  • Animated Films
  • Anime & Manga
  • English-language Comics and Graphic Novels
  • English-language Animated Series and Cartoons
  • Webcomics & Animated Webseries

In our broad categorization system, a top category that holds all animation and comics is logical, especially since we have a Live Action top category as well. However, having a subcategory that holds all comics and animation, regardless of nationality, is against common fannish practice, and having some internal divisions should be helpful for browsing.

The general pattern of the feedback we have received indicates anime and manga fans generally believe there is a strong link between manga and anime and that they should not be separated. But there is not such a strong link between comics and animation, since while adaptations exist, fans usually consider them separate incarnations. While Anime & Manga cannot be separated, Comics and Animation should be. This, alongside common fannish practice, is one of the reasons we have decided to split Anime & Manga off into its own subcategory.

However, without a name that does not clearly state that anime & manga are not included, both the 'Animated Series' and 'Comics & Graphic Novels' subcategories were confusing (for example, one might wonder why anime series weren’t in ‘Animated Series’). English-language Comics, Graphic Novels and Cartoons are the majority of fandoms in this category - aside from Anime & Manga - so we have decided to create those subcategories and to make the language division explicit in the subcategory name.

Comics and animated series that do not fit in the subcategories will be in the top category. Other subcategories – such as Manhwa and Bande Dessinée – might be created in the future, if there are enough fandoms to warrant it.

We want your feedback on this matter. Please leave a comment on this post or contact us through the Category Change Workgroup contact form.


The "Search Within Results" Field and You: The Round-Up

Published: 2013-10-22 15:11:28 -0400

This concludes our little series in advanced searching and browsing! As always, all the tricks and little hacks mentioned here are very much optional. Simply clicking your way through the Archive tags and playing around with the existing filter options will already give you what you're looking for in the vast majority of cases.

For those wanting to build more complicated searches, here's all information in handy list format:

A friendly note to fanwork creators:

As we've said before, you are free to use whatever tags you wish on the Archive. However! Descriptive tags, common concepts that people might want to search and filter for, and a work blurb that is easy to scan when scrolling down a list of works - these will help other users find (and then read, watch, look at, or listen to) your stuff.

For inspiration, you can search through all existing tags by character name, keyword, or phrase. Tick the "Canonical" ticky to only see tags that will show up in the filters! Examples:

Clicking on a tag (e.g. Ichabod Crane/Abbie Mills) will show you how it relates to other tags on the Archive.

Happy tagging!


Open Doors Chat Reminder

Published: 2013-10-18 11:20:46 -0400

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

Last week we announced that we will be welcoming the German Speaking Slashers United archive to the AO3!

This is a reminder that the Open Doors Committee is holding the first of two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses): 19 October 2013 at 10:00:00 UTC.

Anyone who has questions about the process is welcome to join the Open Doors team at those chats, and we’ll do our best to answer you. You can access OTW's public discussion chatroom using this link.


September 2013 Newsletter, Volume 73

Published: 2013-10-11 14:25:52 -0400

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


Several workgroups have been focused on improving aspects of the Archive of Our Own. To that end, Category Change offered a proposal affecting the way fandoms are organized on the site, and asked for feedback from users. The comment period closed on October 1, and the workgroup will now begin evaluating the proposal in light of user comments.

The Content Policy workgroup underwent a similar process a few months ago regarding the addition of fannish non-fiction content to the AO3. The Board has now approved the Terms of Service revision but asked for changes to the FAQ. The ToS revision will be going to the coders for posting shortly while representatives from Support, Abuse, and Tag Wrangling review the FAQ.


Development & Membership has kicked off the OTW's membership drive, and is hard at work answering questions and processing contributions!

Journal came out bang on time with issue 14 which marked their 5-year anniversary. Kudos to the production team members and all volunteers to the committee, past and present!

Speaking of anniversaries, the OTW celebrated its sixth year on September 5, and Communications posted a spotlight on the OTW's Internationalization & Outreach committee.

Legal’s had another busy month, responding to queries from both inside and outside the org. Outside the org, they’ve helped a few fans with legal questions and requests for assistance, and helped Support and Abuse respond to fan queries with legal implications. Inside the org, they’ve responded to queries from VolCom, DevMem, and the Board, and worked with Communications to draft posts about U.S. legal and legislative news relating to fandom and fanworks.

As part of our legal advocacy mission, they have also been collaborating with other organizations on preparing (still confidential) friend-of-the-court briefs in support of pending cases relating to fandom and fanworks. When that work becomes public, we’ll post more about it. As part of this advocacy work, they issued a call for stories relating to DMCA take-downs of fanworks, and how fans have dealt with 'right of publicity' questions. The deadline for sending them this information is October 11, so if you can help, please contact them.

Open Doors welcomed two new staffers, with whose fanpower they’re helping the mod of The Good Omens Library manually import the archive’s stories into the AO3. They are also preparing to help two other archives advertise and manually import their works.

Systems has moved the virtual server hosting the MySQL backup servers and a number of test machines onto new hardware, and has been developing their training plan.


Accessibility, Design and Technology successfully deployed Release 0.9.9 to the AO3, and is currently working on the next release, slated for the start of October. A few more deploys should occur before the end of the year, all relatively small to keep the work load manageable.

AD&T staffer Scott has been working on FAQ backend improvements, and is now adding translation capabilities in cooperation with the Translation committee. They have also launched the first of two new series of posts. AO3 Mailbag discussed why apps will not be coming to the site anytime soon, while two posts offered users ways to filter out certain tags, or generate a list of works that are either one rating or another.

While unseen to AO3 visitors, a huge effort has resulted in the AD&T internal wikispace having nearly half of its 350 pages archived, making it easier for the committee to organize and update pertinent documentation and training materials. They have just begun recruiting coders who have experience in Ruby on Rails, JavaScript/jQuery, MySQL databases, elasticsearch, Redis, Resque, Memcached, or Squid, among others.

Abuse has seen nearly triple the ticket numbers this year compared to last year's totals (2012: ~400 / 2013: ~1150). As a result, Abuse is getting ready to recruit! If you’re interested in serving on the Abuse committee, keep an eye out for their post in a few weeks.

Tag Wrangling staff have been organizing their own final recruitment of the year, focusing on finding wranglers for a few specific fandoms. Meanwhile, its other 200 volunteers work tirelessly to keep the new incoming tags in line across all our fandoms (over 13,000 now with new ones every day!)

Last but never least, Support has added two more people to keep up with the ever-increasing tide of user assistance requests. They received 397 unique tickets in August, a slight decrease from July, but on par with the year-to-date average.


The Board has been hard at work on Project Document All the Things. Each draft will go through several rounds of review: one by the Board, one by VolCom and Legal, and a final round in which all staffers and volunteers may offer feedback. In addition, several documents also have a round of review by chairs before the final org-wide review period. So far one document, the position description for directors, has progressed to the chairs stage of feedback, and many other documents are scheduled to move on to the VolCom/Legal stage during the first week of October.

Strategic Planning has finished surveying the Support Committee staff, Survey Workgroup volunteers and Grant Workgroup volunteers. They have prepared surveys for all other workgroups, both active and inactive, and hope to finish deploying those surveys in the upcoming month. Their reports on Wiki Committee/Fanlore and Systems are currently under review by the respective committees. They have also written the initial draft of a report for Survey Workgroup and plan to begin drafting the report for Support.


Volunteers & Recruiting processed 6 roles for recruitment and answered over 60 inquiries from chairs, staff, and volunteers which, along with documentation work, kept them quite busy!

As always, we welcome our new volunteers and thank our departing ones for their time and contributions.

New Committee Chairs: Matty Lynne (Abuse)
New Committee Staff: Bonnie Eisenman (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Caitlin M. (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Dorothy Stachowiak (Open Doors), Megan Cummings (Open Doors), Ina (Communications), Stephanie Chrystal (Communications), Allie C. (Support) and 1 Support staffer.
Departing Committee Chairs: Sherry Nehmer (Abuse)
Departing Committee Staff: Cat Meier (Abuse), Jay Bee (Systems), 1 AD&T Staffer, 1 Translation staffer, 2 Support staffers, 1 Communications staffer, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer, 1 Tag Wrangling Staffer.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 3
Departing Tester Volunteers: Jay Bee

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.


October Membership Drive: Thank you for your support!

Published: 2013-10-10 12:00:06 -0400

Banner by caitied with a red infinity sign with arrows and the title 'The Possibilities are Endless'

The OTW's October membership drive has officially ended, and we'd like to thank everyone who came out to support it! Thanks to your enthusiasm and generosity, we had a very successful week! Between October 1-7, we received 1,810 individual donations totaling US$44,594.05, making this one of our most successful drives ever. Donations are still coming in: as of this writing, we've raised more than US$48,000 since October 1, and the OTW's membership has increased to more than 4,200 people.

To the 966 donors who took the plunge and became members of the OTW for the very first time during this drive, we welcome you with open arms and thank you from the bottom of our hearts! And to our returning members, thank you for your ongoing support, which has made the OTW's work possible for six years and counting.

A huge thanks goes to the staffers and volunteers who ran the drive by writing and beta reading, posting and tweeting, responding to donor inquiries, designing graphics, sending e-mail blasts, monitoring donation receipts, and myriad other tasks. Thank you for making the drive possible.

And finally, we'd like to give a shoutout to the many fans who supported us by reblogging and talking about the drive and the OTW on social media. We're especially pleased by the warm reception of the drive on Tumblr, since our presence there is relatively new -- the OTW opened its official account in May 2012 and we have not only experienced rapid growth, but also love and support for the OTW and its projects. Thank you.

Although this drive is over, it's never too late to become an OTW member. We gratefully accept donations throughout the year. And there are plenty of other ways to show your support, from telling Legal about your experiences with takedowns to contributing a piece of fandom history to Fanlore to volunteering for an open position that fits your qualifications and interests. Fans' participation is what keeps the OTW and all its projects going. Thank you for being a part of it!

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.


Release Notes for Release 0.9.10

Published: 2013-10-09 20:33:03 -0400

Welcome to Release 0.9.10. Ariana, Elz, Enigel, James_, Lal, Sarken, Scott and tuff_ghost contributed code to this release, which was tested by our awesome testing team: aralias, BelleGee, Camilla M., Emilie, hele, James_, Lady Oscar, Leigh Berry, Lucy Pearson, mumble, Reppu, Runt, sarken.

As some of you may have noticed, we had some site issues earlier that required one of our servers to be rebooted. Thanks to the efforts of our hard-working Systems team, those issues have now been resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience! As always, you can get the latest information on the state of the Archive by going to our AO3_Status Twitter Feed.

This is another small release focusing on bug fixes and some niggly bits, before we move on to new features and enhancements in next few deploys.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Release Details

Bug fixes

  • Collections & Challenges
    • Ticking 'Semi-anonymous prompt' on a prompt submission form and then submitting an incorrectly filled out form was causing the ticky to become unchecked, potentially leading to non-anonymous prompt submissions (if you just fixed the prompt and submitted it again without looking at the ticky). This has now been fixed.
    • When trying to add a work to a collection, the autocomplete displayed only the collection's title (e.g. "Podfics"), causing confusion. Autocomplete now displays both title and name (e.g. "teenwolf_podfics") for clarity's sake.
    • The browser page titles for the Open Challenges, Open Gift Exchanges, and Open Prompt Memes pages were using abbreviations, e.g. GE or PM. They now spell out the challenge type in question.
    • The text on the buttons leading to some collection pages (Open Challenges, Top-Level Collections) used an extraneous 'See' (as in, "See Open Challenges"). This has been corrected.
    • There were some exposed HTML tags in the list of suggestions for creating a new collection; they are now gone.
  • Tags & Wrangling
    • An error 500 was incorrectly showing when attempting to change the category of a bookmark tag; this has been fixed.
    • The help text for Relationship tags in the posting form suggested the use of pairing smush names, such as Snarry. Now it doesn't.
  • Works
    • There was previously no built-in support for right-to-left languages on the posting form. We have now enabled: <div dir="rtl"> and <p dir="rtl"> and have also added an RTL button to the Rich Text Editor.
    • While editing an existing Work or Chapter draft, there was no immediately obvious way to re-save the work or chapter as a draft. We have now added a 'Save Without Posting' button to the editing form, so it's not necessary to Preview before re-saving as a draft.
    • The wrong blurb icon was set when both "No Archive Warnings Apply" and "Choose Not to Use" options were chosen by the work creator. Now the orange "?!" is set, signifying the choice not to warn.
    • The "adult content" warning will now show the work's blurb information on the same page as the warning, so you know which work was actually giving you the Proceed/Go Back screen.
    • On the posting form, the "Rich Text" and "HTML" buttons are now separated with a clear indication of which one is selected.
    • The help popup for HTML on the posting form spoke of work skins in the future tense. It now correctly refers to them as existing.
    • We corrected a typo in the posting form help popup for backdating.
    • We also corrected a typo in the 'Work Search' help popup.
  • Sharing
    • Sharing a Bookmark on Tumblr was producing a broken link. The link now correctly points to the work or series that was bookmarked.
    • There was no button to share a Bookmark on Twitter. The button is now there.
    • When clicking 'Share' on a Work the help text did not mention the use of the Tumblr button, which it now does.
  • Misc
    • A previous code deploy accidentally removed the users' time zone and page title preference from the Preferences page. It has now been returned.
    • We fixed an issue where certain CSS values in a user's work skin could escape the limits of the work text, potentially affecting the whole page.
    • Several issues in this release lacked automated tests. They have now been added.


Hier klicken für die deutsche Fassung

GSSU logo of the letters on a white background with the two S letters as bent male figures

In this post:

Background explanation

Bettina, the GSSU (German Speaking Slashers United) moderator, created the archive in 2000 to complement the Querstrich mailing list. While this mailing list still exists, the German-speaking fannish contingent it serves has migrated to other channels like LiveJournal/Dreamwidth, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Due to this and low posting activity in the last few years, Bettina announced in 2012 that she would be closing the archive. Realising this was a difficult decision for her, and wanting to help preserve an important part of German-Speaking Fandom's history, Open Doors readily agreed to preserve the works on the Archive of Our Own.

In its new home, GSSU will be a separate, searchable collection with its own identity for all of the fan fiction housed on the original archive. We will begin importing works from the GSSU to the AO3 collection in November 2013.

What does this mean for creators who have work on GSSU?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your GSSU works there yourself (or would like to do so!), please contact Open Doors or gssuarchivist at gmail dot com with your GSSU pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your stories. (We can also e-mail you instructions for bulk-adding stories to the new collection on the AO3:

2. If you don’t have an AO3 account but would like one to import your stories yourself, please contact Open Doors or gssuarchivist at gmail dot com with your GSSU pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (We can e-mail further instructions for importing stories and adding them to the new collection on the AO3:

3. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors or gssuarchivist at gmail dot com with your GSSU pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (If you would not mind them being preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know that too; we can orphan your works instead of leaving them behind to be deleted.)

All works imported on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with their name in the summary of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work.

All imported works will initially be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. (Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose.) After 3 months, unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your works on GSSU, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the stories elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the GSSU archivist to confirm your claims.)

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ page, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we'll respond as soon as we can.

We're also planning to hold two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses): 19 October 2013 at 10:00:00 UTC, and 26 October 2013 at 16:00:00 UTC (click the links to see when the chats are held in your timezone). You can access OTW's public discussion chatroom using this link.

Anyone who has questions about the process is welcome to join the Open Doors team at those chats, and we’ll do our best to answer you. We'd also love it if fans could stop by to reminisce and help us preserve the story of GSSU and the history of German-Speaking Fandom on Fanlore--no wiki editing skills needed! Of course, if you would like to edit on your own, your contributions would be very welcome. <3 (New to wiki editing? No worries, just visit this page.)

We're delighted to help preserve this slice of German-speaking fandom history, and proudly welcome the German Speaking Slashers United archive to the AO3!

- The Open Doors team


The following post was written by Lesann, a staffer in our Development & Membership Committee

Twice a year, during drive time, OTW does its best to remind supporters and (hopefully) future supporters of what the organization is working on, how it is cutting edge and important. In order to do this, staffers in OTW interview the heads of different OTW projects. This time, I had the privilege of speaking with the editors of Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), the OTW's academic journal.

In one of our emails back and forth, content editor Kristina Busse said, "we really just do our work to bring out 3 full journals with 5-10 full peer reviewed essays, 5-10 symposium pieces, and a couple of book reviews on average each." It struck me, upon reading this tongue-in-cheek comment just how much volunteer work that means for herself and the entire journal team.

Three full journal issues a year, with five to ten peer reviewed essays each, would be no small feat even in an academically supported environment, where a university press is supporting the process and there is a built-in community of available peer-reviewers. What the team for TWC manages, is to overcome the lack of established academic infrastructure and consistently provide a respected journal of superlative quality. That is huge.

Like the OTW's other projects, TWC is free to everyone. There is no requirement of subscription, payment, or any type of contribution to consume the journal pieces, and perhaps even transform aspects of them. Like all OTW volunteers, everyone who works for the journal contributes their time and skills for free: from the editorial staff and production staff to the academic peer reviewers, who assure the journal’s reputation within the field.

An academic journal that is free to any and all readers is a rare thing. To give some idea of how valuable a resource TWC is, a similar academic journal on fan studies charges individual subscribers $105 USD a year, a typical price for a 12-month subscription to a peer-reviewed journal in the field. Libraries also benefit by having TWC as a part of their holdings (but not an additional cost in their journal budget).

Even with all the hours of donated time, there are some financial costs associated with producing TWC. In an earlier post we mentioned the Web hosting costs for the server that houses the journal. Because TWC is online only, it also requires a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for each of its articles. Editor Karen Hellekson describes DOIs as "insurance against switching infrastructures." A DOI, as explained by the MIT library site, "identifies an individual article (like a serial number) such that a permanent URL can be created." In other words, should TWC ever need to move to a new online platform, having a DOI subscription will save hours upon hours of volunteer time, as well as prevent interested readers from being unable to find the content they seek. The OTW pays an annual subscription fee of $275 for this service, plus a $1 fee for the DOI of each individual journal article.

Transformative Works and Cultures strives to provide fresh and thought-provoking material for fans and non-fans alike. The next two issues, scheduled for March and June 2014, will focus on fan labor and fan materiality, respectively — both topics to which many fans can relate.

To help support the production of original, open-access fan scholarship, please consider making a donation today. Thank you!

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.


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