AO3 News

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2014-03-28 12:47:29 -0400

Tomorrow the OTW will be holding the last of its four March events with our entertainment industry guests discussing "The Future of Fanworks" from 1500 to 1700 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

Edited to add: The chat has ended but you can read the transcript.

Also, if you missed any of our Milestone Month events you can catch up now!


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2014-03-26 12:54:48 -0400

The Yuletide Archive for 2003-2008 will be moving to the AO3 early very very late :P in 2010 by early 2012, dammit! *kof* in May 2014! (Yes, really.)

Edited 28, April, 2014: The section below discussing comment imports has a new addition.

In this post:

Background explanation

Yuletide is a popular annual gift exchange, and importing the Yuletide Archive to the Archive Of Our Own has been planned for a number of years. While the challenge has been operating on the AO3 since 2009, it’s not until now that we’ve been able to actually move the original archive.

What will happen?

In early May, our senior coders will import the Yuletide Archive, in a similar way that the Smallville Slash Archive and 852 Prospect archives were imported. All works will be imported, and anyone accessing the original work on will be redirected to the work on the AO3.

Will tags, comments and gift notifications be imported?
The original Yuletide archive only includes ratings and fandom names; Yuletide fandoms will be automatically converted to AO3 Canonical tags upon import. You will be able to change fandom tags and add other tags to your work once you have claimed it.

Edited to say: After some investigation it looks like we might be able to import comments as well. These comments would be imported as backdated comments on the imported work, and will be signed but not linked to an AO3 account. If a commenter would like their comment removed after the import, please contact Open Doors with a link to the work, the content of the comment, and a brief explanation. Please note that if a comment is deleted, we will provide the creator with a copy of the comment for their reference.

We will NOT be able to add backdated comments to works after the import in May. For creators that have already uploaded a copy of their work to the AO3, we recommend including a link to the preferred copy in the work Notes to redirect viewers; when our merge tool is complete, it can be used to combine the hit counts, comments, etc. of two works, while keeping a single body. For creators who would still like to delete the imported duplicate, we can provide a reference copy of the Yuletide comments page for their work, though these may not be manually uploaded to the AO3.

Manually copying and pasting comments onto an imported work will not be allowed. However, we will be able to import comments onto a pre-existing work on AO3 if you can contact Open Doors BEFORE the import with the following information:

Work Title: URL:

If you used the Import from URL tool to add your Yuletide works to the AO3, you can skip this step. (If you can't remember, check the Yuletide URL here: If the page redirects to your work on AO3, you're all set.

Works will contain a message "for Name". Once you’ve claimed your work, you’ll be able to assign it to the recipient, if they have an AO3 account. (Note that their Yuletide name and their AO3 name might be different; we advise against assigning it unless you’re sure of their AO3 account name.)

How will I be notified about my work being imported?
If the email address you used on still works, you should receive an email from the Archive inviting you to claim your works. :D

If you’ve lost access to the email address you used on, use this contact form to let us know and after the import happens, we can resend the claim email. 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 Yuletide Mods to confirm your claims.)

How will I claim my works?

The email will include a link to the claim page, where you can add your work to your AO3 account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll be able to create one at that time. Once you’ve claimed your work, you’ll be able to edit the work and add additional AO3 tags.

I’ve already added my work to the AO3!
Excellent! Please add it to the appropriate Yuletide Collection. If you've used the AO3's Import tool to import your work from the Yuletide website, it will not be imported again. However, if you uploaded it manually, a duplicate will be produced. Once the import is completed, please let Open Doors know the URL of the work you would like the Yuletide link to redirect to and the URL of the duplicate we should delete.

I don’t want my work on the AO3!
After you receive the claim email, you can choose to delete or orphan your work.

The Yuletide Archive mods would much prefer you "orphan" your stories (i.e., remove all identifying information) rather than delete them. Orphaning of your works on the AO3 does not mean they expect you to orphan them everywhere, however. You are of course, as always, welcome to post your Yuletide stories anywhere else you want to, with whatever attribution you prefer.

Deletion of your work from the Yuletide Collection will leave you ineligible for participation in future years. If you have any questions about future eligibility, please direct them to the Yuletide mods at yuletideadmin [at]

I have other 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): April 26, 4pm UTC, and May 4, 1am UTC (click the links to see when the chats are held in your timezone). We'll provide a link to the OTW's public discussion chatroom in a reminder post on or before the dates of the chats.

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’re delighted to finally welcome Yuletide entirely to the Archive of Our Own!

- The Open Doors team

Are you a Yuletide participant or otherwise enjoy the challenge? Share your memories on Fanlore and keep its story going for future generations—contributions are welcome from all fans! (New to wiki editing? No worries, just visit this page.)


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2014-03-18 13:54:47 -0400

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

Edited to add: The Support chat has ended, but if you still have questions click on the Support link at the bottom of all AO3 pages.

If you've been enjoying The Future of Fanworks chat series, we hope you'll be reading the Q&A posts coming this weekend with our legal panel. However, if you're all set for a live chat, we'll be having one of those too!

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

They'll be available on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 1600-2200 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?. If you can't make it to this one, keep an eye out for the next as Support will be doing other chats later this year.

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

Some guidelines from Support, just to keep things running smoothly

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

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

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

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

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

For example, you might have been wondering:

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

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

Note: The post originally listed a date from last year. Our apologies for any confusion!


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2014-03-17 14:19:30 -0400

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

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Support Staff, Translation Volunteers and Communications Graphics Volunteers. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:
  • AO3 Documentation Volunteers - applications accepted until 24 March
  • Strategic Planning Staff - applications accepted until 24 March
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteers - applications accepted until 24 March
  • Web Developer - applications accepted until 24 March

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.

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.

AO3 Documentation Volunteers

The AO3 Documentation Workgroup manages external AO3 docs such as the FAQs and Tutorials. We’re looking for people who are familiar with the Archive of Our Own and have experience with writing and proofreading help documentation. If you enjoy helping your fellow fans learn how AO3 works, please click through to read the full details and apply to join the workgroup.

Applications are due 24 March 2014

Strategic Planning Staff The Strategic Planning Committee is looking for a staff member! We need someone interested in strategic planning, writing, and data processing who is willing to jump in with both feet. We're a professional, collaborative committee of people who believe in supporting each other through our work, and we want someone who is excited about the idea of being part of an environment of support, creativity, and critique. We are willing to train the right person in the OTW's processes, practices, and tools if you're willing to commit your time and energy to us!

Applications are due 24 March 2014

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

If you like organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandom canons, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and application form.

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

Applications are due 24 March 2014

Web Developer Do you have experience with Drupal and website management? Join our team of Web Developers! Web Developers are responsible for improvements to and maintenance of the primary OTW web properties. You will participate in an on-call rotation with other Web Developers, design and implement new features and fixes for the websites, and help to determine priorities for future web development efforts.

Applications are due 24 March 2014


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2014-03-14 15:06:44 -0400

Banner by Alice of a question mark shaped out of communication objects such as an envelope and TV

Tomorrow the OTW will be holding the second of its four March events discussing "The Future of Fanworks" from 0100 - 0300 UTC on March 15th/16th (What time is that in my timezone?)
  • Moderator: Jintian, OTW Communications staffer
  • Guest: cereta
  • Guest: yhlee
  • Guest: yifu

Edited to add: The chat has concluded but if you missed it, here's the transcript!


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2014-03-07 13:24:47 -0500

Tomorrow the OTW will be holding the first of its four March events discussing "The Future of Fanworks." This will be a live chat with fan studies scholars from 1600-1800 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

Edited to add The chat has concluded but if you missed it, here's the transcript!


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2014-03-05 08:21:13 -0500

This deploy includes code contributions by Ariana, Enigel, and Sarken and was tested by Ariana, Lady Oscar, Naomi, and Sarken.


  • The form that allows Archive admins to change various site settings and put up admin banners wasn't as user-friendly as it could have been: the text was crowded, the options were ordered randomly, and we couldn't see the full text of the admin banner when we needed to edit it. Now similar options are grouped together and everything is easier to read, which makes our admin team much happier.
  • The interface for posting and editing AO3 News posts now has an autocomplete function for the post tags.
  • Users can filter News posts by tag or language, but the filter form wasn't coded as accessibly as it could have been. Now the labels are properly associated with their dropdown menus, so screen readers will tell users what the menus are for.
  • If you attempted to share a multi-chapter work on Twitter while in chapter-by-chapter view, the only thing in the tweet would be the URL. Now the tweet says, "[TITLE] by [PSEUD] - [FANDOM TAG] [URL] via @ao3org" as it already does for oneshots.
  • The forms for editing and posting works contained a field called "Custom Stylesheet" that allowed users to apply a Work Skin to their works. We changed the name to "Select Work Skin" to make its function clearer.
  • The form for editing information on multiple works wasn't as user-friendly as it could be. We've made the "* Required information" notice stand out some more and rearranged the Visibility and Comment Settings checkboxes to make it easier to see which checkbox corresponds to which option.
  • User who set their preferences to hide warnings or additional tags may have noticed that, if they selected the option to reveal the tags, there were two commas between each tag. Oops! Now it's one comma per tag.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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2014-03-04 16:13:19 -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.


February was a month with major milestones from three OTW projects. Fanlore passed 500,000 edits, the AO3 passed 1 million fanworks, and our Journal Committee editors produced The Fan Fiction Studies Reader.

To continue the celebrations in March, Communications has lined up a series of discussions on "The Future of Fanworks" with academic, fan, legal, and entertainment industry guests. And to continue the focus on fanworks through coming years, they announced an International Fanworks Day to be held annually on February 15th.


Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed Release 0.9.13, which included significant performance fixes and improvements to the importing code. Their next update, Release 0.9.14, is happening in tiny batches and will focus on small bug fixes -- this will enable them to work through the backlog of code submissions more quickly and efficiently.

Open Doors also worked with AD&T and QA&T to update importing documentation with the fixes and features in the last deploy.

Abuse is finalizing its 2014 Road Map, discussing new policies and working on 2013 stats. Support is in the midst of recruiting and looking forward to welcoming new staffers to help them respond to tickets! Tag Wrangling is still limited due to server strain, but AD&T’s latest code push allowed them to lift some of the time restrictions. Tag Wrangling staff spent the month helping Support with tag-related requests, and coordinated with AD&T and Systems to get some large re-wranglings done without disrupting the servers.

Journal is currently going through production, with the March and June issues (No. 15 and No. 16) going through simultaneously.


Development & Membership welcomed five new staffers and is in the process of training them. They're also working on plans for the April membership drive, scheduled for April 3-9. DevMem chair, Kristen Murphy, was also interviewed by Three Patch Podcast about the OTW's growth and milestones.

Legal continued their outward-facing work, helping fans with inquiries about fair use, about how to respond to takedown requests, and about what to do when others are using their fanworks without permission. In addition, Legal Staffer Casey Fiesler published a paper on fans’ understanding of fair use. Legal also registered the OTW in the European Union's Transparency Register and filed a submission to the European Commission in response to its call for comments concerning possible EU copyright reform.

Strategic Planning is wrapping up surveys of Abuse, Comms, DevMem, I&O, and Web and moving into the data analysis and report-writing stages. They are preparing for another round of surveys and interviews in March. They also made a minor correction to the appendices of the Wiki Committee/Fanlore report based on the feedback from a former staff member.

Translation is happily training new staff, and their teams are hard at work preparing the website for the upcoming April membership drive in all the languages they can cover. They’re also finalising procedures for collaboration between tag wranglers and translators, to bring the two volunteer pools closer and enable ways that they can help each other out.


Volunteers & Recruiting has once again been very busy. In addition to answering questions from individuals both inside and outside the org, they inducted staff from the January round of recruiting and opened recruiting for three more roles (Translation volunteers, Support staff, and Communications graphics volunteers). We were very pleased with the overall turnout and are grateful that so many people are interested and willing to give their time to help the OTW and support our projects.

Beyond recruiting, VolCom is completing the set up of their new volunteer database and preparing to do a final audit to make sure that all of the records made it over in the import. They are also conducting annual reviews of committee documentation and working on VolCom's annual report for 2013 with plans to release a public version once it is completed.

New Committee Staff: Jennifer Radecki (Communications), Elise Thrasher (Communications), Rachel Weir (Communications), theteapot (Accessibility, Design & Technology), Helka Lantto (Development & Membership), DandalfTheWhite (Development & Membership), Rowan (Development & Membership), 1 other Communications staffer, 4 Translation staffers, 2 other Development & Membership Staffers.
New Coder Volunteers: 1 volunteer
New Communications Volunteers: Dogtagsandsmut
New Translator Volunteers: jerakeen, MayCSB, Nerine Luna Cyran, Nari, Snixx, Ulrika A, ACarrao, madamezou, IcePhoenix & 6 others.

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4 volunteers


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