AO3 News

Post Header

2015-05-11 13:40:20 -0400

We addressed some issues with the filters that had cropped up on some mobile devices after our last code update, so sorting & filtering should be working again for everyone. We also fixed a few tiny bugs.


  • Coders: frownlee, james_, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: james_, Sarken
  • Testers: Ariana, hele, Lady Oscar, mumble



  • In an earlier code update, we had changed the way filters appear on mobile devices, to prevent the need for excessive scrolling just to get to the sorting options. On some devices, unfortunately, it was impossible to select some options in the filters due to the way they overlaid the other page content. We've now changed the layout so that when you tap the "Filters" button, the Sort and Filter sidebar pushes the other content out of the way.
  • The "Filters" button was missing when accessing a user's bookmarks while logged out; this has been fixed.
  • The "Filters" button (and the "Bookmark External Work" link) is now included when accessing a collection's bookmarks.


  • Upon request by the Development & Membership committee, we made changes to the Drive page in preparation for the AO3 Membership Drive.
  • We made a small change to one of our automated tests which was failing because of a date-related issue, and another small change to another test that was failing intermittently for unknown reasons.
  • We added more caching to some of the administration settings on the Archive, which will reduce database calls during peak times.
  • We updated some of the database schema files that had become outdated due to previous code releases.
  • An image used in the Tumblr share code on works and bookmarks was causing a security warning when accessing the Archive using https. Now we use a protocol-relative URL for the image to prevent such warnings.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


Post Header

2015-05-08 10:39:49 -0400

Banner by Sidhrat of 2 wooden signs in the rain, one with an AO3 logo and one with a Fanlore logo.

Now that our membership drive has wrapped up (thank you, everyone!) we also want to give you a wrap-up reminder of our April Showers fandom celebrations from this year.

Below, we've collected the links to every fandom post we made, along with links to each fandom's AO3 and Fanlore pages, so you can make sure you didn't miss any of them. And the April Showers Recs (2015) collection has recommended works in dozens of fandoms, so you can make spring last as long as you want!

We'd love to thank each and every one of you who reblogged, retweeted, liked, and clicked on any of our tweets or Tumblr posts... but that would take too long and would get in the way of your checking out all the great fandoms listed here. Enjoy!

Highest clickthroughs from the AO3 twitter:

Jupiter Ascending

Most notable posts from the AO3 tumblr:

Jupiter Ascending
Agent Carter
Orphan Black

Highest clickthroughs from the Fanlore twitter:

Jupiter Ascending

Week One:

  1. Dragon Ball -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Jupiter Ascending -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. Redwall Series -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. Nabari no Ou -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  5. Snowpiercer -- [AO3] [Fanlore]

Week Two:

  1. Over The Garden Wall -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Valdemar Series -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. Hellblazer/Constantine -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. Alex Rider -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  5. Black Books -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  6. Marble Hornets -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  7. Orphan Black -- [AO3] [Fanlore]

Week Three:

  1. Ib -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Cobra Starship -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. RWBY -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. The Fault in Our Stars -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  5. Shadow Hearts -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  6. Le Petit Prince -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  7. Agent Carter -- [AO3] [Fanlore]

Week Four:

  1. Nochnoy Dozor -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Kingsman -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. Cabin Pressure -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. Gravitation -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  5. The Last of Us -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  6. How to Get Away with Murder -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  7. Carmilla -- [AO3] [Fanlore]

Week Five:

  1. Ouran High School Host Club -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  2. Minecraft -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  3. Wicked -- [AO3] [Fanlore]
  4. Book of Life -- [AO3] [Fanlore]


Post Header

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


In late March and April, Legal continued its policy-making work in a few areas. They continued to work with Fan Video & Multimedia on the DMCA exemption request for vidders. The team has received the objections to our petitions and are coordinating with other petitioners. Legal will be submitting their responses soon but could use your help. Our Legal team is asking fans to add their voices and tell the U.S Copyright Office that they have a right to remix multimedia. The key exemption for the OTW is the third item on the comment list: "Remix your media (videos)". We're asking that fans write in about their need for high quality material from sources that are only available on Blu-Ray; or material from places such as iTunes or Amazon when obtaining media from them is necessary to make a timely vid to participate in an ongoing fannish conversation. Comments are due by May 29, and will be published on the U.S Copyright Office website.

Legal also sent a representative to attend a U.S. Department of Commerce public meeting on facilitating the development of the online licensing environment for copyrighted works. In addition, the results of the DMCA Working Group project that OTW participated in have been announced by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and are available online.

Legal responded to a number of queries from fans, educators, the press, and others. In addition to offering help and information, they were able to connect one fan with counsel who can help them fight for their fan game. They also worked intensively with other committees to provide information, and responded to a lot of fans about the Ebooks Tree site. (More on that below).


Accessibility, Design & Technology also responded to reports of AO3 content being reposted on, which had many concerned users reaching out to us via Support tickets and social media. Once it turned out that the site was merely linking to files (instead of downloading them), the Accessibility, Design & Technology team took care of the problem by blocking their access to our servers, and updated users on the situation via Twitter and Tumblr.

Accessibility, Design & Technology had three small deploys in April: Releases 0.9.55 and 0.9.56 and Release 0.9.57 (which included a significant improvement for mobile users). Along with the Wiki Committee, they hosted the annual April Showers event, inviting people to add their works to the Archive or their information to Fanlore for a number of smaller and older fandoms.

Abuse tackled roughly 350 tickets in April. They're seeing a number of tickets come in from users who can't reset their passwords because they no longer have access to their old email accounts. Please do remember to update your email address on AO3 whenever you get a new one! This can be done by going to the following link: USER NAME)/change_email

Content Policy completed Terms of Service changes relating to Open Doors after a public period of comment. And AO3 Documentation uploaded two new FAQs to AO3 this month: Downloading Fanworks and History and Mark for Later.

The new Open Doors import tool, created by Accessibility, Design & Technology, was launched in time to be used for the Henneth Annûn Story Archive (HASA) import, which greatly sped up the process for volunteers working on it. They also continued work on the Boys in Chains import, worked with mods on other in-progress archives, and answered user claims and requests. Some of the claims and requests were for long completed archives, like the Smallville Slash Archive, which might have been helped by publicity with more recent imports--we hope to continue to help creators claim their works!

Support tickets continue to flood in, and they resolve them as fast as they can. For the number-inclined, 700 tickets each month appears to be the new normal. That's 200 more per month than the team used to get this time last year! Support is also planning their first open chat of the year with a switch from open Q&A to topic-focused chats.

Tag Wrangling helped Accessibility, Design & Technology address a tag import bug, and organized some wrangling parties so wranglers could help each other work through their unwrangled tags.


Translation was hard at work preparing for the membership drive. They also published a page about their committee on the OTW website, sent out a form to collect pronouns from OTW volunteers as a resource for the translation of texts that mention them, and revamped more procedures, documentation and glossaries.

Communications created and updated policies for all OTW News outlets in regards to spam comments and content sourcing and crediting. The OTW Tumblr account got a new layout for better accessibility, and the Google+ account is being moved in light of Google's recent changes to the service. In addition, new site mod thatwasjustadream began work at OTW News' Live Journal and Dreamwidth sites.

Journal's editorial team has upshifted the work on the March 2016 guest-edited issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work, as deadlines loom. Revisions are being processed for publication in the general September 2015 issue. Co-editor Karen Hellekson followed up with the publisher of The Fan Fiction Studies Reader regarding royalties to be paid to the OTW later in the year.

The Wiki Committee held an editing party as part of April Showers early in the month. The event has seen new pages added to Fanlore and many additions to existing pages. Some users have struggled to access certain pages on Fanlore, though there has been no concrete down-time and the cause is currently unknown. The vast majority of users should not experience issues.


Elections held their first Open Chat, where they invited all OTW members to come and ask them anything and everything about the elections process. In preparation for the upcoming 2015 Election, they'll also be conducting a wide-audience test of the software we hope to use. Elections would love assistance from the membership with this project. If you're interested in participating as a tester, please fill out this form. Anyone who missed the chat can send questions by contacting them directly or by visiting their new Twitter account.

Strategic Planning finished its feedback period for the second draft of the OTW 2016–2019 goals document. The next step is to incorporate all that feedback and finish the plan, and then send it on to the Board for approval. Meanwhile, they also recruited four new staffers who are going through training and will be put to work soon!

Development & Membership kicked off its fundraising drive on May 1 with a goal of US$100,000 and a games theme. Development & Membership completed making arrangements for their new CiviCRM setup, which should make both donating and backend management easier and more convenient.


Volunteers & Recruiting ran a recruiting round for 2 roles, and processed 63 applications. Induction and removal requests, internal tasks, and requested tasks from the rest of the organization took up the majority of staff time, although they continued to work on their 2014 Annual Report project and testing workflows for a ticketing system to help streamline our tasks.

New Committee Staff: Ellorgast (Communications), xDream (Communications), OTP221B (Communications), Ira Gladkova (Volunteers & Recruiting), Kate Sanders (Strategic Planning), Seamus Johnston (Strategic Planning), billiethepoet (Strategic Planning), Mandy Gooch (Strategic Planning), 2 other Communications staffers
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: stellal, Kuro, insidiousChaos, Solovei, JujYFru1T, savkweaver, aiyesha, Animem, VSSAKJ, Safara, flyrivaille, Val James, sarcasticchick, DestinedForHell, Sam K, AbstractSong101, tabris, Robin, sillyowl, Elysium Barnett, Yohaly, xcacophony, Elizabeth Zavodny, AParticularlyLargeBear, Inspector Caracal, artificiallifecreator, Tim Tyla and 2 others
New Translator Volunteers: lightofthewind, Patricia Sen Lloria, Oniondip, Susanne Møller, Melime, Neene, Lykke, Muriel Kalliokoski, Chloë C, Vénia, Carmen, claire89 and 6 others

Departing Committee Staff: Andrea Horbinski (Journal), mumble (Support), 2 Strategic Planning staffers, 2 Volunteers & Recruiting staffers, 1 Abuse staffer
Departing Workgroup Members: Blue_Meridian and 3 other AO3 Documentation volunteers
Departing Communications Volunteers: Bremo, dogtagsandsmut, & Lisa Shininger.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 2 Tag Wranglers
Departing Translator Volunteers: 3 translators

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


Post Header

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

Hurray! We did it! Our May 2015 membership drive is complete, and you've astounded us with your generosity.

The Organization for Transformative Works is 2,531 members stronger. Thanks to 4,193 generous fans we've raised $96,684.

If you didn't have the opportunity to become a member this time around, there's a workaround! You can donate to the OTW and become a member at any time.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make this drive happen. In particular, we'd like to acknowledge the work of the Communications, Translation, and Accessibility, Design & Technology committees, without whom this wouldn't be possible.

But most of all, thank you for your continued support and patronage. OTW's projects exist and thrive because of you.


Post Header

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

The first moves seem simple enough. A pawn pushes forward, a knight takes a hop. A fan archive is created, an academic journal publishes its first issue. But things get complicated very quickly: What strategies to use? What move to make next? Different scenarios play out on different parts of the board, and dealing with each one requires consideration and planning.

Here are some of the moves the OTW has made lately, and how you can help us make the next ones:

  • The Open Doors committee has been working hard to preserve fannish archives on AO3. If you’d like to help them out, consider checking for works of yours that may have already been imported to AO3, donating materials to the Fan Culture Preservation Project, spreading the news of imports, or encouraging other users to claim their imported works.
  • Fanlore has been growing steadily, and it’s about to hit two major milestones: 35,000 pages and 30,000 users! The Wiki committee has also been busy planning several upcoming events. With April Showers done, next up will be the June page-creation challenge, followed by Stub September. You can join these challenges and help make sure that our fannish history is preserved!
  • The Transformative Works and Cultures March issue, Performance and Performativity in Fandom, has recently come out. The team is looking forward to their June issue, European Fans and European Fan Objects: Localization and Translation. If you’d like to get involved, TWC is always on the lookout for essay submissions.
  • Legal Advocacy has been working hard in the courts as they seek renewal and expansion of the vidding exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They’ve worked with the US Commerce Department to shape the future of US copyright law, and submitted comments to several other governments regarding copyright law reform. The Legal team regularly answers questions from fans and helps them find legal representation when needed. They’ve also helped educate fans about their rights by speaking at convention panels, including one at San Diego Comic Con, and publishing posts via OTW News. You can always get in touch with them if you have any questions.

All of these projects have done amazing work, but there is still more to be done. The next move is yours. If you want to support the OTW and ensure that we can continue to preserve and protect fans and fanworks in the future, make a donation today!


Post Header

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

A wiki. An academic journal. A fanworks archive. A legal team. These things don't seem, at first, to have much in common. But if you fit them all together, they start to form a single picture: the OTW.

In the past seven and a half years, the OTW has grown in both numbers and complexity. No longer are we one of those children's 25-piece puzzles—by now we've become one of those 25,000-piece ones that cover an entire table! When we were founded in 2007, we had just 60 people and a couple of ideas. Today, nearly 500 volunteers work together on six major projects and make the OTW the awesome, groundbreaking organization it is.

Our history is preserved online. Try checking out our announcements for the opening of AO3 and Fanlore, or one of our first newsletters!

However, storing our organizational history is merely one piece of the larger picture. Though they might seem disparate at first, our projects—AO3, Fanhackers, Fanlore, Legal Advocacy, Open Doors, and Transformative Works and Cultures—work together on many facets of a single goal: preservation. Whether via hosting fanworks, explorations of fan history, digital and physical preservation, or advocacy for the right of fans to keep creating, this organization is committed to preserving and protecting fan culture for years to come.

This is where you come in. We can’t keep all the puzzle pieces together without the support of fans who love and appreciate the OTW’s many projects. If you support what we do, if you’d like a chance to contribute to this fabulous fandom puzzle, if you want to sustain our mission and our growth for years to come, consider making a donation today.


Post Header

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

The Archive of Our Own is a labor of love that has become an integral part of fannish life for many of us. But how much do you really know about AO3, its background and its inner workings?

Did you know…

…that the name “Archive of Our Own” is a reference to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own?

…that AO3 was named one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2013?

…that since its launch into Open Beta in November 2009, AO3 has grown nonstop? In February of last year, we reached an incredible one million fanworks!

…that Alternate Universe is the most frequently used tag on AO3?

…that the Archive’s main development team (the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee) consists of eleven volunteers, nine of whom are women? This makes AO3 one of the very few majority-female open source projects on the web!

…that the category icons use astronomical symbols to represent different types of works? Venus for F/F, Mars for M/M, the Sun for Gen, and Uranus for Other?

…that AO3 is made possible by fans like you?

We rely on the combined expertise and hard work of our volunteers to maintain AO3 and keep it accessible to fans from all over the globe. In total, almost 500 volunteers work on Organization for Transformative Works projects, including AO3, Open Doors, Legal Advocacy, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures.

The existence of this Archive is a reminder of how powerful fandom can be. Thank you for being part of this amazing project and helping to make it what it is. If you would like to help support Archive of Our Own, please consider making a donation today.


Post Header

Every year, the OTW’s expenses increase. Watching the trends as we grow and change is always an adventure, and fitting the numbers into a budget can be as challenging as a round of Sudoku.

Here are nine quick and quirky facts about the OTW's expenses:

Sudoko board which reads

  • 990 is the US Federal Tax return filed by the organization every year to report our income and expenses. Copies are available by request.
  • US$828 was the total cost for the year to keep our main website,, up and running.
  • 78% is the amount by which the OTW’s income grew in 2014, thanks in large part to the generosity of donors during the October fundraising drive.
  • 6 staff members were sponsored to represent the OTW at seven conventions on two continents—staffing information tables, leading panels, and networking with fans and tech professionals.
  • US$5,122.57 paid for server colocation in Europe, one of several sites where OTW servers live.
  • US$412 provided a much-needed upgrade to ticketing software for both the Abuse and Support committees, which work to address problems and answer questions for AO3 users.
  • US$3,456.00 came up twice in 2014—first as the total cost for two members of Accessibility, Design & Technology to attend training sessions for Elasticsearch (the search engine software that AO3 uses), and again as the cost for more than a dozen OTW volunteers to take part in communications training.
  • 2 contractors worked closely with the OTW in 2014—one with Accessibility, Design & Technology and a second with the Board of Directors—for a total cost of US$2,685.00.
  • 1 person's donation can make a difference.

The OTW's new expenses in 2015 will include upgrades to servers; expansion of outreach at conferences and conventions; consultants to provide additional support to AO3 and; and assistance in managing the software used for our donor database. Existing expenses will continue, including an increase of 10% in both monthly colocation fees and insurance premiums.

Every donation, large or small, helps cover the costs mentioned here and so many more, from stamps for the occasional piece of old-fashioned paper mail to providing the chat rooms in which our volunteers collaborate on and contribute to the myriad projects under the OTW umbrella. Monthly subscriptions are a great way to help cover those expenses and provide a steady stream of income in the six months between our two annual fundraising efforts.

Once again proving that 1 person's donation can make a difference, this drive we have a generous matching gift opportunity. We currently have 350 generous donors who support the OTW through recurring donations. If we can increase that to 400 donors, an anonymous donor will donate US$3,600! These recurring contributions can also count towards a premium. Any total donation over US$50 is eligible to receive a donor premium gift.

Come join us as we face new challenges this year. Make a donation and help us become bigger and even better in 2015.


Pages Navigation