AO3 News

OTW July 2013 Newsletter, Volume 71

Published: 2013-08-01 18:49:54 -0400

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


In July, Open Doors was contacted by three archive moderators and they're developing plans to get their archive contents safely onto the AO3 (in addition to touching base with mods for archives already in their queue). Open Doors is also facilitating two donations to the Fan Culture Preservation Project, one of which is a rather large collection (approximately 35 boxes) of materials that is pretty exciting. Lastly, a point for celebration: all unclaimed stories in the 852 Prospect Archive collection have now been unlocked. Woot, visibility!

Accessibility, Design and Technology have been doing lots of work on sustainability. They’re currently in the process of upgrading to a new version of Rails (the web framework the AO3 is built on), which helps ensure good security and means we can take advantage of new developments in Rails. They recently welcomed some awesome new recruits to our Quality Assurance & Testing subcommittee and they’ve been hard at work testing ALL THE THINGS to be sure the upgrade hasn’t broken anything. The Test Archive is now in need of some love, as we use it a lot, so AD&T has been working with Systems to plan for upgraded Test servers.

AD&T is simultaneously preparing for a period of reflection, organizing, and decision-making that will start immediately after the Rails deploy. They've assembled a master list of topics to work through, and will have discussion forums and meetings as well as get-togethers to get some of the more fiddly work done (such as evaluating our list of open bugs to check that they are all still relevant and have the right information attached). They will reflect on conceptual and procedural matters, such as our place in the world of Open Source development, and ways to support and motivate our volunteers better. AD&T will also look into cross-committee processes and touch base with relevant partners. This period of reflection is a chance for them to catch their breath and take a look at the big picture, so that they can work more efficiently going forward.

Of particular interest to users, AD&T has been working with other committees, including Support, Abuse, Tag Wrangling, and Internationalization & Outreach, on the plan for adding different work types to the Archive. This is a much-needed piece of work which will make it easier to mark and filter works by media type (art, video, text, etc), and has been a long time coming.

Systems valiantly tried to keep the OTW mailserver from committing suicide, then split it into separate incoming and outgoing mailservers. They've have also tried out some additional monitoring systems (alongside, not instead of, New Relic) and are in the process of upgrading their ticketing system. Systems will soon be hard at work bringing up new machines for testing, beefing up the servers that run the Archive, and bringing up new virtual servers for Fanlore and the OTW’s internal email server, among other things.

Lastly, Category Change is finishing up discussion on the remaining items from the internal feedback round about fandom categories on AO3, and will be dedicating itself to writing the public documentation for the proposal as soon as they’re done.


Tag Wrangling briefly re-opened wrangler sign-ups for a targeted recruitment, looking for volunteers to handle fandoms in need of some TLC. This call was so successful that recruitment closed again within a couple days! They’ll be reopening again within the next couple of months after training up our new people. There is also a team of wranglers reviewing AO3's religion, mythology and folklore tags, looking for better and more consistent ways to handle these complex fandoms.

Journal put out a call for peer reviewers for Transformative Works and Cultures, so if you work in fandom studies or are interested in fandom meta, you can add yourself to their reviewer database. Journal just sent the next issue into production, on track to be released on September 15. The editorial team is working on the first two issues of 2014. Journal's editors also worked with Comms staffer Jintian on a spotlight discussing their production process.

Communications held recruitment for graphics volunteers and have brought in four so far to augment our news posts with images. They are also planning to celebrate the 1000th subscriber to the OTW Tumblr account on Aug 2, which will feature work from its new recruits. The milestone makes Tumblr the third most followed OTW News outlet after LiveJournal and Twitter.

Development & Membership's The Meetup of Our Own at San Diego Comic-Con was a great success! Around 90 people attended and we collected US$365 in donations. Many thanks to Legal staffer Heidi for her leadership role in planning and hosting this event. In other news, DevMem has begun planning for the October fund drive and is developing a training plan for DevMem staffers in preparation for recruitment.


Board announced some changes to our officer lineup at the beginning of July. The current Board officers are:

President: Ira Gladkova
Vice President: Cat Meier
Secretary: Kristen Murphy
Treasurer: Nikisha Sanders
Elections Officer: Eylul Dogruel

Board held an open house chat for chairs, staff and volunteers on July 13-14 and approved Phase 1 of a proposal from Systems to expand our technology infrastructure. Phase 1 includes a new server for test and infrastructure, a temporary new virtual server to build and test the configuration for a new incoming e-mail server, and provisions for upgrading our bandwidth as usage increases.

Board also adopted and announced a reimbursement policy stipulating when and how staff members may be reimbursed for OTW-related costs they have incurred in the course of staff work and approved a proposal from Volunteers & Recruiting to purchase e-books with which they will develop a library of resources on nonprofit best practices.

They have also begun preparing for the 2013 Board election in conjunction with the Elections Workgroup.

Strategic Planning has been interviewing the Support co-chairs and preparing survey questions for Support staff members. They also interviewed the current Wiki chair to update information in the Wiki/Fanlore report that is being drafted. It should be finished along with the Systems report next month.


Volunteers & Recruiting is nearing the end of the foundation stages of building a chair and lead training program. They are also actively working on finishing their committee’s training plan in preparation to recruit for their own committee.

New Committee Staff: 1 AD&T staffer
New Communications Volunteers: Diane Quintal, Bremo
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Gnine, asa, Ruth Damaris, skieswideopen, Baranduin, Claire J. Vannette, sesanye, Ketsu, breadfuls, bscl43, Zain, Liviapenn, Temaris, KeevaCaereni, radondoran, Carrie Haase, Katy Armstrong, antrazi, Jennifer Tifft, Camilla M., jsparc, Gills, Anne R, Llwyden ferch Gyfrinach, Selenay, Lillian Bolen, slylytouchingly, bluehooloovo, Brianna Smith, Lbilover, Swamp Adder, wendymarlowe, DebetEsse, Wordwitch, ereshai, Firefly_Ca, Rav, Alix Mason, Lee H., strina, 3 additional tag wranglers.
Departing Committee Chairs: Moose (Systems)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Systems staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 17
Departing Tester Volunteers: artisan447

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


Become a peer reviewer for TWC!

Published: 2013-07-28 18:21:26 -0400

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), the OTW's scholarly journal, is looking to expand its pool of volunteer reviewers, especially for our Symposium section. If you are interested in peer reviewing for TWC, please come over to the site, sign up, and create a profile as Reviewer.

While we tend to solicit peer reviewers for the full essays from within academia (and fan studies scholars specifically), pretty much any fan who loves meta is a good match for a potential Symposium reader. So we want to spread the word and the work :)

You'll be asked to fill out some information (such as uni affiliation if applicable), but, most importantly, there's a field in the software where you input your interests and expertise.

Once you've created a reviewer account, please e-mail us to tell us who you are, how you found us, and what you are specifically interested in. We use the journal's database to find reviewers, but it is often easier when we have spoken to reviewers already and know a bit about them. Then we'll contact you when a manuscript comes in that fits your expertise, and ask if you can review it.

If you have any questions about reviewing; if you want to know more about submitting essays, Symposium pieces, or book reviews; or if you there's something specific you want to know about TWC, please feel free to contact us by emailing editor (at) transformativeworks (dot) org. You may also want to take a look at the recent spotlight on TWC which discusses our production process.

We look forward to having you join the Journal Team!

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


Looking for Tag Wranglers once again!

Published: 2013-07-23 13:11:26 -0400

Updated: Thanks to a quick response from many readers, we are temporarily closing tag wrangling recruitment again. If you've missed your chance, keep an eye on our website, as we'll be reopening intake once we've processed the newest tag wranglers.

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Communications Graphics Volunteers, for which chairs are currently reviewing applications.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Tag Wrangling (reopening) - Applications accepted on an ongoing basis (role may be temporarily closed based on level of interest)

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 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.
Tag Wrangling

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for keeping the hundreds of thousands of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! We choose which form of a fandom title appears on the Media pages, as well as all the character, relationship, and additional tags which appear in the filters and the auto-complete, and we link tags together to make all 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 like organizing, bringing order to chaos, excuses to fact-check your favorite fandom canons, or you just get a kick out of seeing all the wacky and wonderful terms fans come up with, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join our team, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling volunteering, we're currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. We’re currently seeking wranglers for the following fandoms and fandom types. (If you have no knowledge of or interest in wrangling any of the below, please don’t apply at this time, as there won’t be any wrangling work available for you to do. In the future we’ll open recruitment for other fandoms, as needed!)

  • Any fandoms listed on the first 3 pages of the Fandoms in need of a wrangler page
  • Any fandoms with a canon originally in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Russian. (Volunteers interested in these should preferably have some fluency in the language, due to lack of English-language references for many.)
  • Homestuck
  • Star Wars (especially the Extended Canon)
  • Finnish Music RPF
  • DCU (comics and animated canons)

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

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


AO3 Newsletter - May/June/July

Published: 2013-07-16 14:58:25 -0400

Hello AO3! This newsletter has been, um, a long time coming for which we sincerely apologize. Here's what we've been up to in the past three months.

Cool stuff on the Archive!

To our overwhelming delight, Time Magazine named us as one of the "50 Best Websites of 2013." Thank you to everyone -- from staffers to users -- who make this website what it is!

852 Prospect moved in with us in May. This move was orchestrated by the hard work of the 852 Prospect archivists, Open Doors and AD&T. Please join us in welcoming the Archive to the Archive!

Tag Wrangling has been hard at work with their new tools to help users search by original language titles as well as transliterated fandom titles. Check out more information about these tools here.

There were two small deploys in early May and late June: Releases and 0.9.7. focused on code needed for the 852 Prospect move as well as a couple of fixes. 0.9.7 included more fixes as well as integrating Travis-CI into the testing process.

Our Content Policy workgroup has been hard at work with our TOS and FAQ in anticipation of the inclusion of fannish nonfiction on the Archive. These proposed changes went up for public review at the end of June. We thank everyone who provided input!

The OTW unveiled the Archive of Our Own Diversity Statement, a statement which has been years in the making. We encourage you all to read it and hold us to it as we continue to develop the Archive in the many years to come.

What’s up in the world of tags?

Several small changes to guidelines have clarified what freeform tags we canonize, including how we handle episode tags and fandom fusion AUs - check out the subtags of Alternate Universe - Fusion to find Jane Austen fusions and your fandom favorites with Pokemon! We've also changed guidelines for translated fandom tags, so you may notice Japanese, Cyrillic, and other non-Latin alphabets when browsing the fandoms lists.

Adventures with Support

We have new people! Annie, girlmarauders, and Katherine have all joined our merry little band. Bring on the tickets!

AD&T Committee business of note

AD&T has been busy with small fixes and releases as well as working on documentation and necessary groundwork to recruit new coders in the fall!

Tag Wrangling Committee business of note

We've inducted and trained almost 50 new volunteers in May, and are planning to re-open wrangling volunteering on a limited basis in July. The wrangling staff has also posted several more advanced tutorials for both our new wranglers and experienced wranglers, so all of us are wrangling "on the same page", so to speak. With over 12,000 canonical fandoms on the Archive, all the work of our wrangling volunteers is very appreciated!

Questions? Comments?

We welcome feedback from users! If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments of the latest news post, or send in a Support request (if you're reporting a bug, please send that to Support, as they're super efficient - comments on our news posts sometimes get overlooked).


Volunteer Recruiting: Communications Graphics Volunteer

Published: 2013-07-08 11:02:05 -0400

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Internationalization & Outreach Committee members.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Communications Graphics Volunteer - July 15

We have included more information on the 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 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 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.

Communications Graphics Volunteer
Communications has primary responsibility for internal and external communication for the OTW. We manage the OTW blog and social media outlets and assist other teams in managing project-specific communication. We’re currently looking for someone to create graphics for use throughout our posting sites, and specifically for Tumblr. If you have experience with graphic design or fanart, click through to learn more about the role and apply to join as a Communications Volunteer.

Applications are due July 15

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


Announcing the Archive of Our Own Diversity Statement

Published: 2013-06-29 15:45:39 -0400

The OTW is delighted to announce the implementation of the Archive of Our Own Diversity Statement.

The AO3 Diversity Statement is intended to codify the Archive's pre-existing commitment to open expression and inclusive participation in the Archive project. We, the staff and volunteers of the OTW, have written this statement to express our principles, and to give you, our users, friends, and fellow fans, an explicit set of standards to which to hold us as we continue to develop the Archive. We hope that going forward the Diversity Statement will form a vital part of the Archive experience.

The Diversity Statement has been years in the making, and was spearheaded by the Internationalization & Outreach committee in collaboration with multiple other OTW committees. A big thank-you goes to those committees, especially the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee and the Archive team, and to I&O's chairs and staffers past and present who put time, thought, and energy into seeing the statement go live.


Release Notes for Releases and 0.9.7

Published: 2013-06-29 06:01:02 -0400

Here are the collected notes for a few small deploys we had recently!

Release, deployed on May 9, had code contributions from Ariana, Nathan J Xaxson, Scott, and tuff_ghost. It primarily contained the final pieces of code needed for the 852 Prospect import, with a couple of critical fixes thrown in.

Release 0.9.7 was deployed in two steps, with most of the fixes going out this week, and included contributions from Elz, Enigel, Sarken, Scott, and tuff_ghost.

All new code was tested by our awesome testing team: Belle Gee, Camilla M, FishieMishie, hele, Jay Bee, Jenny Scott-Thompson, Lady Oscar, Leigh Berry, mumble, Northern Star, Sam Johnsson, and Sarken.


Making friends with Travis!

Over the last few months coders have been working hard on updating our test suite (a whole bunch of scenarios describing what our code should do, making it easier to tell if it doesn't) to prepare for our big upgrade to Rails 3.2.

In the process of doing so, the Archive has started using the Travis-CI platform, a Continuous Integration (CI) service. (Special thanks to coder Scott for all his work in this process!) This ensures that each and every code change is run against the entire suite of over 520 tests before being accepted into the main codebase. This, as well as continued progress in our adoption of helpful CI practices, helps keep the Archive running smoothly with fewer interruptions for code deployments.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Release Details


  • Travis-CI integration

Bug fixes

  • A previous code change made it impossible to remove gift recipient information from a work. Gift recipients can now be removed again!
  • An issue had made it impossible to edit a chapter draft and then re-save it as a draft; this was fixed in
  • Subscription notifications for chapter updates now properly list the chapter number/count for the Work (e.g. 3/7), making it easier to tell if a work is completed. We also permanently brought back information lost in a previous deploy, namely chapter summaries, additional tags, and series information for all possible configurations of chapter updates.
  • Code changes on external sites caused works to be imported incorrectly and with extraneous content. The importer should now correctly import works from LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, and DeviantArt.
  • Redirects from the Smallville Slash Archive to works imported to the Archive were broken; they should now work properly.
  • The emails sent to owners of imported works from 852 Prospect were updated to correctly reflect the claiming process and related information.
ToS and ToS FAQ
  • Fixed several broken/misdirected links.
  • Made changes to wording requested by the Legal and Content Policy committees.
  • Twitter retired its old API, breaking our Twitter widgets. They were temporarily removed from the Archive front page and maintenance page until they can be updated.


Proposed Content Policy ToS and FAQ changes

Published: 2013-06-28 14:07:52 -0400

In mid-March our Content Policy workgroup asked for user feedback about the following ways in which we would have to address the addition of fannish non-fiction content to the AO3. Because work type is not yet in place as part of the basic upload form, we have been working on a general policy focused on tagging. Based on internal and external feedback, we have made some changes to the initial proposal, though the basic structure remains the same.

The Terms of Service document has proposed minor language changes in the following sections and one major addition:

  • Section II - minor
  • Section IV B and F - minor
  • Section IV K new sections 5 and 6
  • Section V D - minor

You can access this in either Word format or PDF format.

The new FAQ proposal includes some minor word changes in various sections, primarily in how users are referenced ("they"). The major new additions are labeled as follows:

  • Can I archive nonfiction?
  • How will “ephemeral” be defined?
  • What falls within the definition of fandom nonfiction?
  • What isn't fandom nonfiction?
  • How does tagging apply to podfics, vids, and other nontextual content? Do I need to use particular tags?
  • Do I need to tag for “fan fiction”?"
  • What kinds of mis-tagging does Abuse handle?
  • What do you mean by recategorizing a fanwork type?
  • What do you mean by a manual recategorization?
  • When will you change a language tag?
  • When will you remove a fandom tag?
  • Will you recategorize or remove other tags, such as relationship tags?
  • What should I do about recs/commentary on fanworks?
  • I would like to create a list of recommendations or a list of works that use certain tropes.
  • What counts as a recommendation that should be in a bookmark versus a more general discussion or analysis of multiple fanworks?
  • How does the harassment policy apply to reviews?
  • I am looking for a particular story. Can I create a work explaining what I’m looking for?
  • What about a fanwork prompt?
  • What about a letter to someone I've been anonymously matched with for a challenge?
  • How do these rules apply to bookmarks?
  • Addition to "What is tag wrangling?" section.

You can access this in either Word format or PDF format.

As stated in our Terms of Service this post constitutes the beginning of a two week comment period regarding these changes: "At the end of the comment period, proposed changes will be voted on by the Board. If the Board votes in favor, the changes will become effective at that time."


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