AO3 News

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2015-02-25 14:22:13 -0500


  • Coders: Sarken \o/
  • Code reviewers: Elz, james_
  • Testers: james_, Lady Oscar, mugenmine, mumble, Nerine Luna Cyran, Sammie J., Sara H., Scott


New Features

  • We made the Archive homepage more useful for guests by listing available fandom categories to browse, highlighting recent news posts, and pointing out the benefits of creating an account. For logged-in users, we added a random selection of their marked-for-later works, the latest unread comments from the inbox, and a list of favorite tags.
  • With the new Favorite Tags feature, you can now pin up to 20 canonical tags (fandom, character, relationship, etc.) to the homepage, so you can always access your most frequently visited tags when logged in. To add a Favorite Tag, simply go to the tag's work listing (e.g. Polyamory) and select the "Favorite Tag" button. A link back to the tag's work listing will immediately be added to your homepage.

Inbox Fixes

  • We were experiencing intermittent problems with deleted works/chapters leaving behind "ghost comments" in some users' inboxes. Because these comments counted as unread comments, but couldn't be deleted or marked read, users could be left with a permanently incorrect inbox count. We think we've tracked down the cause for this and fixed the bug now.
  • When paging back in the inbox and deleting an old comment, users would get redirected to the first page after successful deletion. Now they'll stay on the page they were on.
  • While a work is in an anonymous collection, comments left by its creator are displayed as "Anonymous Creator", with a dedicated icon that's different from the Archive default icon. The icon wasn't used in the inbox view for anonymous comments; now it is!

Misc. Fixes

  • When subscribing to or unsubscribing from a work, series, or user, the page would previously reload with a success message. Now we're using AJAX to handle these tasks, which saves us a page reload. \o/
  • It was impossible to delete a work from your history with JavaScript disabled (you'd get an Error 404 when trying). Now it works!
  • Canonical tags have a separate name we use for alphabetical sorting, so tags like "The Fandom" will be alphabetized by "F" instead of "T." Some older tags were missing this name, though, so we added it in order to make it possible to alphabetize users' Favorite Tags lists.
  • Fixed an issue with some forms having white-on-white text when using the Reversi skin.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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Banner from site of actors Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd

In this post:

Background explanation

Open Doors is pleased to be working with Shirasade to welcome the Archive, a Lord of the Rings RPF fan fiction archive focused on the pairing of Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Billy Boyd (Pippin), to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In its new home, the Archive will be a separate, searchable collection with its own identity for all of the fan fiction housed on the current archive. We will begin manually importing works from the Archive to the AO3 collection in March 2015.

What does this mean for creators who have work on the Archive?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your Archive works there, please contact Open Doors with your Archive pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. (Please include "" in the subject heading.)

For instructions on mass-adding works to the new collection on the AO3, Monaboyd Archive, please see the Open Doors website.

2. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one to import your works yourself, please contact Open Doors with your Archive pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "" in the subject heading.)

For instructions on importing works and adding them to the Monaboyd Archive collection, please see the Open Doors website.

3. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one, as well as assistance importing your works, please contact Open Doors with your Archive pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "" in the subject heading.)

Once your account is set up, let us know your AO3 name, and we can transfer your works to you once imported.

4. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors with your Archive pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (Please include "" in the subject heading.)

If you would not mind your works 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 byline of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work.

All imported works will 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 Archive account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's fantastic; if not, we will work with Shirasade, the Archive mod, 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'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of the Archive. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve the Archive!

- The Open Doors team


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2015-02-16 12:14:06 -0500

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

Thank you to those who responded to our most recent call for volunteers. Today, we have another group of committees looking for some additional help and are excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Abuse Committee Staff - closing 23 February UTC
  • AO3 Documentation Volunteers - closing 23 February UTC
  • Communications Chair Track Staff - closing 23 February UTC
  • Wiki Staff - closing 23 February 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.

Abuse Committee Staff
The Abuse Committee is dedicated to helping users deal with the various situations that may arise. We also handle any complaints that come in about content uploaded to the Archive of Our Own. The team determines if complaints are about legitimate violations of the Terms of Service, and what to do about them if they are; our major goals are to adhere to the TOS, to make our reasoning and processes as clear and transparent as possible, and to keep every individual case completely confidential. We work closely with other AO3 related committees such as Support and Content.

We are seeking people who can keep in close contact, be patient in rephrasing explanations, make and document decisions, cooperate within and outside of their team, and ask for help when it's needed. Staffers need to be able to handle complex and sometimes-disturbing content, and must be able to commit a sufficient amount of time to the team on a regular basis.

Abuse staffers are required to spend at least five hours a week handling committee work, though it often tends to be more. Please be sure you can handle the workload before applying.

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 23 February 2015.

AO3 Documentation Volunteer
AO3 Documentation is the workgroup that writes and updates AO3 FAQs and tutorials. We're looking for people who love the Archive of Our Own and who have experience with writing and proofreading user help documentation. If you enjoy helping your fellow fans learn how the AO3 works, please read the full details and apply to join the Docs team!

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 23 February 2015.

Communications Chair Track Staff
The Communications Committee is the central information distributing arm of the OTW, responsible for the distribution of information internally to OTW personnel and externally to the general public, the media, fans, and other fannish organizations. Communications is also typically the first point of contact for someone interested in or wanting help from OTW, and serves all of the organization's committees and projects. The position of Chair Track Staffer is designed for individuals with ample time to learn all aspects of Communications' activities, and who would like to work toward being considered for the role of chair.

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 23 February 2015.

Wiki Staff
Wiki staff members are responsible for dealing with all the behind the scenes stuff to ensure that Fanlore runs smoothly. We respond to questions and complaints; shape Fanlore policies, categories, and tutorials; assist the gardeners; try to promote Fanlore; plan larger projects, and generally try to be as helpful as possible. No special experience is required, only reliability, the ability to work in a team, and an interest in fannish history and Fanlore in particular.

Applications are due 12AM UTC on 23 February 2015.


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2015-02-16 04:03:48 -0500


  • Coders: Ariana, Elz, james_, Lady Oscar, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: Elz, Enigel, james_, Scott
  • Testers: Agwen, Anika Kabit, james_, Lady Oscar, Matty, Michelle Dong, mugenmine, mumble, Sarken


Works & Tags

  • No language was being set for imported works, which meant the works would not show up when users filtered by language. Since our code can't detect the language of an imported work, it is now automatically set to English at the time of importing. If necessary, you can change it to the correct language by editing the work.
  • In certain circumstances, it was possible to leave kudos on your own work. This will now trigger an error message and the kudos won't be recorded.
  • The page listing the 20 most recent comments left on works all across the Archive is now only accessible to site admins.
  • Tags that used to be canonical but which were later made synonyms of new canonicals were still appearing in the Top 10 Tags list in the filters. This should no longer happen going forward; however, old instances still need to be cleaned up.

Wording Fixes

  • The browser page title for our 503 error page incorrectly said, "Exceeded maximum downloads per minute." Now it will say, "Page responding too slowly."
  • The help text explaining the "General Audiences" rating has been updated.
  • There was a button and a link on your invitations page that said "Request More," which was confusing/misleading if you'd never requested invitations before. Now it says "Request Invitations."
  • Where "invites" was used as a noun on the site, we have replaced it with the more correct "invitations".
  • The button labels on a user's Manage Invitations page are now capitalized to match our usual style.
  • On the page where creators can claim their works after an Open Doors fanwork archive import, we changed some wording and the link to contact Open Doors.
  • Updated the help message listing the CSS properties that can be used in skins.

Invisible Fixes

  • The code for our Abuse form and Support form has been refactored (rewritten to follow good coding practices), with no changes to functionality.
  • When accessing a single bookmark listing for an external work, there was an extra, empty HTML element on the page. It has been removed.
  • The page that asks you to confirm you are willing to access adult content was missing some HTML tags. They have now been added.
  • We changed our server logs to be angrier and take up less space (i.e. started using the lograge gem for Rails).

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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Banner by Ania of various fanworks including cosplay, text, and visual art

It's now February 15th in our earliest timezones, which means International Fanworks Day is here! Today is the first annual day to celebrate fanwork of all kinds. Below we have a few things listed that the OTW is sponsoring or connected to but we'd like you to let us know, in comments, about other events and activities you're aware of so that we can signal boost them.

  1. We're hosting a short fanworks challenge, #IFDrabble. Get out your tablet, your laptop, or your phone and write up to 100 words to celebrate fanworks! (Why 100 words?)

    What does your favorite character—or your favorite pairing—get fannish over?

    • Does Tony Stark secretly watch—and love—Transformers fan films?
    • Does Athos ship Aramis/Porthos?
    • Do the members of Shinee cosplay as Final Fantasy characters?

    But our challenge isn’t for writing alone — submit a drawble, a short vid, an audio work or other format for the challenge as well. Just post it today as part of the day of celebration.

    Help us find and share it — tag it #IFDrabble on tumblr, Facebook, Dreamwidth, or wherever you fan. (And if you post it on Archive of Our Own, tag it with the International Fanworks Day 2015 tag.)

    Keep it safe-for-work, and we may give you a signal boost!

  2. Feedback Fest: Everyone who creates and shares fanworks loves hearing from the people who enjoyed it, so we're hosting a Feedback Fest to celebrate the works that we love. Participate by leaving a comment here with a link to fanworks you've left feedback on. This way, you can share what you love about fanworks while encouraging others to leave feedback, too.
  3. On 8 February, we held a live chat on “Why Fanworks Should Be Celebrated”, with authors Cecilia Tan, Tara Sue Me, and Racheline Maltese. All of these authors started out writing fanfiction and have gone on to be published professionally—and they still participate in fanworks. Along with moderator Francesca Coppa, the panelists discussed the value and importance of all kinds of fanworks. If you missed it, you can still read the transcript.
  4. Other folks have been talking about International Fanworks Day. Here are some places to read and hear about it:

We also know about the following fan celebrations:

Tell us about more places where International Fanworks Day is being celebrated!

Mirrored from an original post made at the OTW News Blog.


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Banner by Ania of various fanworks including cosplay, text, and visual art

Don't forget that International Fanworks Day (IFD) takes place next week on February 15th! We hope everyone is preparing some short-form fanworks for the OTW's Drabble Challenge, #IFDrabble.

But we'd also like to celebrate fanworks already known and loved by you. For that, we've got Feedback Fest! Everyone who creates and shares fanworks loves hearing from the people who enjoyed it. Therefore, in our IFD celebration post on February 15th, we'll be asking fans to link to fanworks they've left feedback on. This way, people can share what they love about fanworks while encouraging others to leave feedback, too.

And remember that tomorrow is the live chat "Why Fanworks Should Be Celebrated", with authors Cecilia Tan, Tara Sue Me, and Racheline Maltese. All of these authors started out writing fanfiction and have gone on to be published professionally—and they still participate in fanworks. Along with moderator Francesca Coppa, they will be discussing the value and importance of all kinds of fanworks.

We would like to hear about how you will be celebrating! Tell us about plans to celebrate fanworks that you know of or that you will be hosting so that we can link to them during IFD.

Mirrored from an original post made at the OTW News Blog.


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2015-02-06 12:20:04 -0500

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.


Accessibility, Design and Technology has been busy! They've been working closely with Abuse, Support, and Systems to handle ongoing problems with spammers and download bots. (Thanks to Translation for the quick turnaround on that post!) They're currently testing code for release 0.9.45, which, in light of the spam issues, will focus on providing some much-needed tools for the Abuse committee.

Release 0.9.45 will be the eighth deploy since the November newsletter was posted: 0.9.35, 0.9.36, and 0.9.37 - 0.9.39 in December, along with 0.9.40 and 0.9.41 in January.


Communications has been working on plans for International Fanworks Day, which will take place on February 15. Events include a short fanworks challenge and a fic/pro author panel chat, which will take place in the OTW's Public Discussion room between 17:00–19:00 UTC on February 8 (What time is that in my timezone?). More announcements will be rolling out up until the event day, but the OTW wants to know what fans and their communities will be doing to celebrate. Let us know here in comments!

Communications is also continuing the OTW Guest Post series, with posts released in January and February. If anyone has suggestions for participants, please contact Communications.


Support handled almost 6000 tickets from January 1 to December 31, 2014. To set the bar even higher for 2015, they have, as of January 21, already received over 550 tickets. Support is also planning to do open chats again this year. If you'd like to see them cover something in specific, they are open to suggestions, so leave a comment here!

Abuse has been very busy as well. In addition to dealing with ongoing spam issues, they received roughly 260 tickets in December and 360 in January. Their final total for 2014 was 2750 tickets, which is a considerable jump from 2013, when they had 1900 tickets come in. Please do be patient with Abuse staff if it takes a while for them to respond; our volunteers are working through tickets as fast as they can, but they don't want to rush their investigation and miss any crucial information. Abuse hopes to recruit soon, so if you're interested in helping them out, watch OTW or AO3 News for recruiting information!

Abuse also thanks Accessibility, Design and Technology, Support, Systems, Tag Wrangling and Translation for all their help with the spam cases Abuse has been dealing with.

The Tag Wrangling Committee started 2015 with a successful recruitment drive, and is welcoming all their new trainees. Congratulations to the October class of recruits, who are all making fantastic progress towards training graduation. Tag Wrangling also consulted on quite a few tag-related Support tickets and answered wrangling questions from their Twitter account (@ao3_wranglers). Finally, they launched a virtual wrangling merit badge program, for fun and encouragement.

Also on the social media front, the AO3_Status Twitter is quickly approaching the 25,000-follower milestone, while the ao3org Tumblr has recently passed the 3,000-follower mark.

AO3 Documentation started preparing for recruiting new members by revamping their selection and training process, and they're looking forward to seeing their team grow.

Together with Open Doors, Content Policy prepared tweaks to the Open Doors Terms of Service to reflect greater experience with the process. Meanwhile, Open Doors announced the import of The Henneth Annûn Story Archive, an archive dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien fan fiction, into AO3.


Journal has issues 18 and 19 going through production right now. Copyeditors and layout editors are busy, and soon Journal's proofreaders will get a last look at each essay. Both 18 and 19 are special issues with guest editors (Lucy Bennett and Paul Booth for Performance and Performativity, and Anne Kustritz for European Fans and European Fan Objects), who are writing their editorials right now. Meanwhile, January 1, 2015 was the official suggested submission deadline for the general September issue, and the essays received are going through peer review and author revisions at the moment. Journal's Symposium editor and Review editor are both handling their sections, soliciting and reviewing submissions. Finally, the 2016 special issue The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work, guest edited by Ika Willis, is still soliciting (deadline: March 1, 2015). For more information, see the March Call for Papers.

Legal is busily preparing to file the OTW's comment in support of the petitions filed in November 2014 as part of the U.S. Copyright Office’s Rulemaking Process. This comment, which will be filed in early February, will contain Legal's arguments and evidence in support of renewing the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption that we helped win in 2009 and 2012, which makes it legal for fan video makers to rip DVDs and online sources in order to make noncommercial fan videos.

In December and January, Legal also continued our participation in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s DMCA Multistakeholder Forum process and answered several queries from fans seeking legal information.

Wiki has been dealing with some technical issues, including a problem with making new accounts. The Fanlore site went through a server move, which occurred with minimal disruption, and they now have plenty of space! A dispute over the use of fandom artwork on Fanlore is still ongoing, as are other outside requests. The OTW also welcomed a new moderator for the fanlore_news Twitter account, Pip Janssen.


These last couple of months have been good to the Elections Committee. They saw the finalization of their 2014 internal feedback request and review as well as the completion of their upcoming 2015 Roadmap. With 2014 in the rearview mirror, they have focused on internal reorganization; a move to Trello; the beginnings of an overhaul to the Elections website; and updates to all their Position Descriptions as they've moved to permanent committee status. Elections also completed basic experiments and planned more extensive reviews of their intended software for the 2015 Election.

Elections had to say goodbye to three staffers who are focusing on other OTW tasks, but took on a new Team Coordinator trainee and is getting ready to open recruitment in February.

Translation's been hard at work juggling many news posts in several languages for the past few weeks. They have also compiled a report of an internal survey with translators, detailing volunteers' thoughts and suggestions regarding the committee, their tools and procedures. With two new Danish translators joining their ranks this month, the Translation committee has now grown to an incredible 20 volunteer language teams.

Development & Membership is still working on sending premium gifts to donors and is researching new CiviCRM hosts. They recently recruited and are interviewing potential new staffers.


Volunteers & Recruiting has been largely focused on revising and updating internal procedures and documentation, the committee’s Annual Report, and managing the first two recruiting rounds of the year.

December personnel changes

New Directors: Jessica Steiner, M. J. MacRae and Soledad Griffin
New Committee Staff: Araise Solace (Elections)
New Strategic Planning Volunteers: Jessica Steiner and 1 other

Departing Committee Chairs: Hana Lee (Strategic Planning) and Eylul Dogruel (Elections)
Departing Committee Staff: Eylul Dogruel (Elections), Hana Lee (Strategic Planning), Jessica Steiner (Strategic Planning), 1 other Strategic Planning staffer, 1 Abuse staffer, 1 Wiki staffer, 1 Communications staffer, 1 Support staffer, 1 Internationalization & Outreach staffer
Departing Workgroup Members: Trey C
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Abbie and 4 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: Tired21, Ana Carolina Nonato and 5 others

January personnel changes

New Committee Chairs: kiki-eng (Internationalization & Outreach) and Elliot Oberholtzer (Strategic Planning)
New Committee Staff: 1 Development & Membership staffer
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: blotthis, sabinelagrande, fenn, wanderedpen, AlexandriaTheGreat, VictoriaWrites, Lira, Amayakumiko, 10pm, thedevilchicken, quackingfish, jstorming, Sumi, ClockworkCourier, Marie_L, cricri, Debris, starfield, Taine, Lily Aydan, bladesin, doughtier, Minkster, Maggie, arccie, dianajoy, Mysterie, elmyra, alamerysl, Chaos, VeraSilva, Jasmine Farahani, Fia, Cara, flipflop_diva, Louise Mitchell and 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: Purple Emilie and 2 others

Departing Directors: Nikisha Sanders
Departing Committee Chairs: Niko Thompson (Strategic Planning)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Elections staffer, 1 Development and Membership staffer, 1 Strategic Planning staffer, 1 Communications staffer, Dai-kun (Translation)
Departing Workgroup Members: Dash (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Translator Volunteers: jerakeen, Dai-kun and 2 others

Mirrored from an original post made at the OTW News Blog..


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Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Abuse'

Thinking about your own death is difficult under normal circumstances. But what happens when you consider the effect it would have on your identity as a fan? If you're like a lot of us, it probably comes with a moment of panic:

"What happens to all my fanworks?!"

Or possibly: "What happens if my mom--or my partner, or my kid--finds my fanworks?"

There's no doubt that having a significant, distinct online identity--which may have websites, blogs, fanworks, email addresses, and social media accounts--adds a level of emotional and legal complexity to the real final frontier: death.

RIP ... but keep the kudos coming?

What is your expectation for your fanworks and accounts after your death? What do you want to have happen to them? In at least one case, fans made the decision: In 2007, fans and friends of fic author Thamiris, who died earlier in the year, donated money to an effort to preserve her website and make her LiveJournal account permanent. Fanlore has a profile of the author and the effort.

For most of us, though, whether your online presence is simple or complicated, someone will have to deal with your electronic trail. With this in mind, in 2012 the U.S. government recommended having a social media will, a document which can be used by people of other nationalities as well. An online executor would be responsible for the closure of email addresses, social media pages, and blogs and would carry out the final wishes of the deceased.

But again, that may still be a bracing prospect if your executor is not a fellow fan and will have to decide what to do with the explicit Destiel fic you posted in 2010.

Identifying next of kin for AO3

With that in mind, the Archive of Our Own has an option to name a Fannish Next of Kin--someone who would gain access to your account in case of death or incapacitation. By naming another individual who can act on your behalf, you can decide ahead of time how you want your AO3 accounts handled going into the future.

Maybe you want your works preserved; maybe you want them orphaned or deleted; maybe you want to have them open to remixes and related works. Whether your fannish identity departs with you or keeps on keeping on--that's a choice you can make. Learn more about how the Fannish Next of Kin works.

A Fannish Next of Kin can be part of your bigger plan for your social media will, and can ensure that your readers have someone to contact in case of questions about that unfinished WIP or whether or not their favorite work will get a sequel. However you want your works handled, this option will allow you to have a plan in place.

Mirrored from an original post made at the OTW News Blog.


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