AO3 News

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2014-06-17 16:00:07 -0400


  • Coders: hill, sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Enigel, james_, Naomi
  • Testers: Ariana, Camilla M., Enigel, james_, Lady Oscar


  • Front End Fixes
    • We had some CSS code stashed away in a sandbox file, waiting to be properly sorted. All our CSS definitions are now in the appropriate stylesheets.
    • Made a change so that tables in works will have visible light-on-dark text by default when using the Reversi Site Skin.
    • Gave work and bookmark indexes and list boxes consistent classes everywhere on the site.
    • Standardized use of the actions navigation subtype class so that it refers only to major navigational links to allow them to be more easily given the same style when using Site Skins.
  • Works & Bookmarks
    • The pagination on a user's Drafts page now uses the same button/arrow design as pagination elsewhere, such as on Works pages. (Please note that drafts should not be used long-term to store works in progress - always keep a backup!)
    • Trying to follow a link to a deleted series from the blurb of a deleted work (not the likeliest of scenarios) would sometimes lead to an unhelpful and unstyled error; it now generates a proper redirect and message.
    • Co-authored works would lead to gift/related work/prompt fill notifications with exposed HTML code. All emails now have fixed HTML versions.
    • When viewing or editing a bookmark, there was a "Back to Bookmarks" button at the bottom, which was inconsistent with our site navigation. The button now says "My Bookmarks" or "Bookmarks by [user]", depending on the situation, and is consistently placed.
    • In the inbox, comments from logged-in users had lost their timestamps (oops). We brought them back and also corrected misleading information in our Preferences help text while we were at it: Your own comments will never show up in your Archive Inbox, but we can email you a copy if you untick the "Turn off copies of your own comments" option in your Preferences.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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2014-06-11 13:15:55 -0400


  • Coders: Enigel, sarken
  • Code reviewers: Enigel, james_
  • Testers: Ariana, briar, james_, Lady Oscar


  • On wrangling pages, the "Unwrangled" column previously showed the number of uses of new tags on works. It now shows the actual number of new tags themselves.
  • The AO3 favicon now has a white outline around the logo and a transparent background, so it will show up without a white square behind it on dark backgrounds.
  • Previously, long headings on pages with icons (user dashboards, tag pages, etc.) could overlap with the icon, hiding the first few letters of the heading. This has been fixed.
  • Corrected the HTML code used for the nested sub-tag lists on tag pages.
  • Changed the odd/even styling on the Stats page (alternating light and dark item backgrounds) to use CSS3 magic.
  • Challenge assignment pages had redundant titles for the "Requests by" and "Offers by" sections. These have been removed.
  • When editing a site skin, the "Advanced" section will now be open by default if the skin has advanced properties set, and hidden otherwise.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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2014-06-08 16:37:32 -0400


  • Coders: james_, Lady Oscar, sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Enigel, james_, sarken
  • Testers: Ariana, Lady Oscar, Runt, sarken, Scott


  • Previously, using the "Comments" button at the top of a work caused the entire page to reload unnecessarily. Now the comments will open below the work content without an extra trip to the database.
  • When using "Edit Works" to edit multiple works, draft works are now identified by the text "(Draft)" after the work title.
  • In the work posting/editing form, the help popups for the Ratings and Archive Warnings now contain a link to the appropriate section of the Terms of Service for users seeking more information.
  • Adding a link to a work using the Rich Text Editor used to give the option to have that link open in a new window. However, the code to do so would be removed by the Archive's HTML sanitizer for accessibility reasons. The option has now been removed to avoid confusion.
  • Choosing the "Edit" button in a bookmark blurb previously loaded the bookmark editing form as a new page. Now the form opens inline on the same page.
  • In a Prompt Meme Challenge the Unposted Claims page allows Challenge moderators to see prompts that have been claimed but not yet filled. Previously, the "Description" section of a prompt wasn't displayed; now it is.
  • If a Gift Exchange had no Request or Offer Instructions specified, a blank box was left on the Sign-up form. This has been removed.
  • AO3's DMCA Policy is now linked directly from the Archive footer.
  • In the "Log In" box at the top of the page, the links for "Forgot password?" and "Get Invite" had lost the space between them. Now they're properly separated again.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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2014-06-05 14:54:38 -0400

This deploy includes code contributions by Cecilia, Elz, Enigel, james_, and sarken, and was tested by afterandalasia, Ariana, hhertzof, james_, Lady Oscar, mumble, and sarken.


  • Updated the Terms of Service and ToS FAQ to reflect the changes presented here: Comment period open for FAQ and ToS.
  • In accordance with the new ToS, added a DMCA policy page.
  • Some works were getting hit by bots, inflating the hit count in the process. We have made a change that discards hit from bots and only counts users accessing a work.
  • We already increased the font size on mobile devices as a quick fix last month; a code change in this deploy makes the bigger font permanent. (To set a custom font size on your mobile device(s), please use an Archive skin as explained in this tutorial on Tumblr. You can always get an invite if you don't have an account yet.)
  • In challenges without any required tags in the sign-up form (e.g. single-fandom fic exchanges with optional character tags), the matching process would stall without any error messages. This has been fixed.
  • There were some slight display issues with error and success messages in our new mass-wrangling interface. These have been fixed.
  • For works with notes, but without a recipient, related work, or associated collection, the Notes section would include an unnecessary (if invisible) bit of HTML. Now it doesn't.
  • In our automated tests, we had checks for Yuletide imports and imports from As works from the former have now been imported into the Archive (and old links redirect to here), and doesn't allow our import tool to access their site, these tests weren't necessary anymore and were removed.
  • In AO3 News posts, titles with ampersands or > or < signs in them wouldn't display correctly. These special characters now get properly escaped.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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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.


In May, Legal continued their advocacy work with a couple of larger scale projects. First, they filed a Notice of Protest with the U.S. Trademark Office against a registrant seeking trademark rights in the term “FANDOM.” They also continued our participation in the USPTO/NTIA “Green Paper” process regarding U.S. copyright law, this time participating in a multi-stakeholder meeting regarding standardization of DMCA “notice and takedown” procedures. Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt presented at that meeting, and the OTW has a seat on the Working Group that emerged from it.

Journal is quickly pushing ahead on their schedule. Issue No. 16 will be out soon on June 15, and they are hard at work on No. 17, which will come out in September. They are also already beginning work on two special issues for early 2015 and on issue No. 20.


Accessibility, Design and Technology continued to work on code deploys, steadily chipping away at their backlog of bug fixes. Their first May release included a batch-wrangling tool for tag wranglers. This made for an exciting month for Tag Wrangling, as they are now able to do mass-wrangling from individual fandom pages. This makes wrangling much easier and faster, especially for large mega-fandoms. Tag Wrangling has also been collaborating with AD&T on a project to reduce server loads, and they helped Support resolve several tickets.

The new tag wrangling trainees have been doing a great job! Recruitment will open again in June, and Tag Wrangling will be targeting specific fandoms. If you missed out last time and want to join them, or just want more information, keep an eye on AO3 or OTW News as well as the Volunteer page for updates.

AD&T also worked with Open Doors on the Yuletide import. Open Doors has largely been handling claims, redirects, and other inquiries from the Yuletide import (which has generated almost 300 tickets so far). The outreach from the Yuletide import has also generated other archive import help requests, which they will be working on.

Abuse received almost 200 tickets in May. They've been training 13 new recruits who should be ready to start working on tickets in another couple of weeks. They now have about 20 staffers, which marks a real growth from 2013.

Support has scheduled another Open Chat for June 29. In order to hopefully reach more of our worldwide audience, they'll be throwing open the chat room at 13:00 UTC, and will be around for about 12 hours. We'll have links and more information posted closer to the date!


Board is currently working hard on various projects, including putting together a retreat for October 2014 (and working with Legal and Volunteers & Recruiting on a conference anti-harassment policy to go along with it). Beginning June 7 (18:00 UTC), Board plans to hold the open session of their meetings in the Public Discussion chatroom. Those minutes will continue to be available on the OTW website.

Communications published the OTW's Annual Report for 2013 after a period of internal review.

Translation’s language teams have been hard at work on all our projects. Two new language teams, Russian and Catalan, have started working. The teams have now translated the final Category Change announcement, which presented how fandom browsing will work on Archive of Our Own in the future, following deep changes in the way current ‘media categories’ are organized.

Translation's co-chairs, Hele and Priscilla, have also joined AO3 Documentation as additional workgroup leads. The AO3 Docs FAQ redesign project is moving along.

Content Policy had an AO3 Terms of Service/FAQ update and new DMCA policy approved for inclusion, and AD&T has posted it to the Archive.


Volunteers & Recruiting welcomed two new staffers to their own committee in May, as well as continuing to process new recruits into and out of the OTW. As always, we thank those departing for their contributions.

New Committee Chairs: moonmagicks (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
New Workgroup Leads: hele braunstein (AO3 Docs), Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Docs)
New Committee Staff: Anya (Volunteers & Recruiting), Sarah Sisk (Abuse), NadiaB (Abuse), Trey C (Abuse), PoppyPickford (Abuse) and 1 Legal staffer, 9 Abuse staffers, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer
New Workgroup Members: Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Docs)

Departing Committee Chairs: Emilie Karr (Tag Wrangling)
Departing Committee Staff: Jenny Scott-Thompson (Financial), Jaunita Landéesse (Wiki), Priscilla Del Cima (Internationalization & Outreach)
Departing Tester Volunteers: Jenny Scott-Thompson
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: AlixMason, Luzula, Tonko and 6 others


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2014-05-19 11:08:52 -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'

Applications are now open for the following exciting volunteering opportunities:

  • Communications Staffer: Chair Track Staffer - closing 26 May 2014 UTC
  • Translation Committee Staff Member - closing 26 May 2014 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.

Communications Staffer: Chair Track Staffer

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 26 May 2014 UTC

Translation Committee Staff Member

Translation Committee staff members coordinate a large volunteer pool responsible for the translation of OTW site pages, news posts, Archive FAQs, AO3 Support tickets, and any inquiry that reaches an OTW committee or workgroup in languages they can’t translate themselves.

While volunteers do the actual text translation and editing, staff helps them by keeping track of priorities, deadlines and pending tasks; assigning work; talking and working with other committees to arrange tools for the volunteers; writing training and procedures documentation; and many other tasks involved in managing a wide, diverse and very active volunteer pool.

If you enjoy teamwork, if you like organizing, writing documentation and working with people, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

Applications are due 26 May 2014 UTC


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2014-05-18 12:49:41 -0400

Open Doors is proud to finally welcome the Yuletide Archive for 2003-2008 to the Archive of Our Own!

In this post:

Background explanation

In late March, we announced that the early Yuletide archive would be moved to the Archive of Our Own.

Our senior coders have now completed the import, and all works can be found in the relevant Yuletide Collection on the AO3.

How will I be notified about my work being imported?

If the email address you used on still works, you should have already received an email from the Archive inviting you to claim your works.

If you’ve lost access to the email address you used on, and haven't already contacted the Open Doors committee, use this contact form to let us know the change and we'll forward 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 do I claim my works?

The claim email includes a link to the claim page, where you can add your work to your logged-in AO3 account, or create an AO3 account. Once you’ve claimed your work, you’ll be able to edit the work and AO3 tags like any other work you've created.

I have already added my work to the AO3

If you used the AO3's Import tool to import your work from the Yuletide website, or you asked us to transfer comments, a duplicate of the work will not be imported.

However, if you uploaded the work manually and didn't contact Open Doors with your work links before the import, a duplicate was produced with comments from the original archive. Once redirects are set up (scheduled within the next week), the original Yuletide URL will point to this duplicate work.

If you would like to redirect the Yuletide URL to a particular work on AO3, please delete the imported copy and then contact Open Doors to let us know the original Yuletide URL and the URL of the AO3 work it should be redirected to, in the format

Yuletide URL:
AO3 URL to Keep:

(Once you delete the imported copy, the redirect will break, but we will use your links to fix it as quickly as we can!)

Unfortunately we are unable to transfer comments now that the import is complete (see below under What about tags, comments and gift notifications? for further information).

What about tags, comments and gift notifications?

The original Yuletide archive only includes ratings and fandom names; Yuletide fandoms were automatically converted to AO3 Canonical tags upon import. You are welcome to change or add fandom tags and other tags to your work once you have claimed it.

Unfortunately we were only able to transfer comments to existing AO3 works if we were notified prior to the import. While manually adding old comments is not allowed, AO3 coders are working on a merge tool that will allow users to combine the comments (as well as other stats: hit counts, kudos, etc.) while keeping a single work body. If you would like to wait for this tool, we recommend including a link to the preferred copy in the duplicate work's Summary to redirect viewers until the merge tool is complete. If you would still like to delete the imported duplicate, we can provide a reference copy of the Yuletide comments page for your work, though these comments may not be manually imported to the AO3.

Works contain a message "For [Name]". If the recipient has an AO3 account, you’ll be able to assign it to them once you have claimed your work. (Note that their name on the original Yuletide archive and their AO3 name might be different; we advise against assigning it unless you’re sure of their AO3 account name. Try checking this post on the Yuletide Admin LiveJournal community to see if your recipient has posted their AO3 name!)

I used the Import feature or contacted Open Doors before the import, but my work imported again anyway

An import bug caused some works to be imported again despite either having been imported using the AO3 import tool or updated by Open Doors. We were able to delete these duplicates and re-import comments for affected works, which sent an import notification to all affected authors; the works listed in those notifications were all works that received re-imported comments.

I don’t want my work on the AO3

After you receive the claim email, you can choose to delete or orphan your work. (If you want to delete your work because it's a duplicate, see I have already added my work to the AO3! above.)

The Yuletide Archive mods would much prefer that you orphan your stories (i.e., remove your account association and/or name) 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.

Are you a Yuletide participant or do you 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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Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

The Category Change workgroup is ecstatic to present the final version of how fandom browsing will work in the Archive of Our Own in the future.

This includes deep changes in the way current ‘media categories’ are organized – that is, a heavily reworked grouping of fandoms. You can view current categories in the Fandoms by Media page in the Archive.

This proposal was elaborated based on internal input and the feedback obtained from Archive users, as well as ensuing discussion within the workgroup. You can learn more about the creation of the workgroup and the issues it arose from in our introductory post.

One of our starting points was that our new system should cover several different usages - users should be able to find specific fandoms, or just browse fandom lists and find new fandoms they hadn't thought of. But there were several other goals as well. For example, since fandoms are one of the main and more accessible ways fans can then browse works, it should be as easy and intuitive as possible. The system should be accessible, sustainable and adaptable to changing fandom trends.

It was also important that the system should be translatable, not only words-wise, but culture-wise -- this entails making it as neutral as possible and avoiding, when possible, ethnocentric categorizations.

New Category Types: Country of Origin and Language

Currently, fandoms on the archive are sorted into media categories – Frozen (2013) can be found under Movies for example, and fandoms that fall under multiple categories are listed under multiple categories.

Under this new system, media categories are one of three attributes that fandoms will be sorted by and browsable under. The other two attributes are country of origin and source language.

Like with the current media categories, fandoms will be able to have more than one country or language. What countries are added to a fandom will depend on specific guidelines the Tag Wrangling Committee will set for a particular media or type of fandom. The Tag Wrangling Committee will be also able to rename categories and subcategories and create subscategories.

These will be listed on a fandom landing page, similar to current tag landing pages, that will link to its page in Fanlore and its works and bookmarks in the Archive. A fandom will be allowed more than one attribute of the same type. For example, under this new system, Hana Yori Dango & Related Fandoms could be listed under Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China, in order to incorporate all adaptations.

Instead of the current Fandoms by Media, there will be a page with a search box that will allow users to search for fandoms directly if they know their names or part of their names, and a way to browse country, language and/or media.

The two methods (search and filter) will be combinable. Once a user has selected a combination of attributes, a fandom list will appear, with all fandoms that have those attributes. For example, one can search for any fandom that has 'Batman' in the title, but then refine that search only to English language TV shows.

Media is the only mandatory attribute. Each fandom will have one or more media, and one, multiple, or no Submedia. Each submedia can belong to only one media category. Ideally, fandoms would get all media and submedia that would apply to them, to make sure that anyone who comes looking through this method would find them. Fandoms can be in a media category without being in any of its submedia and there will be a special category for fandoms in this situation.

Defined Media Categories

It's important to remember that this list is not exhaustive and will change in the future. We are not trying to categorize everything that can exist, but rather to organize what already exists in the AO3 while keeping the system flexible enough that new categories can be added in a simple manner. Submedia categories will only be created if they are numerous – more than 40 fandoms and 100 works; these numbers might increase reflecting archive growth – and if it will be a useful browsing category for users.

There will always be fandoms that do not fit any existing or possible category. We cannot and do not aspire to perfection, but rather to the best possible method, one that is strongly based on existing user behavior and usability, rather than philosophical perfection.

We propose eight Media Categories:

Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art:

* Animated Films
* Anime & Manga
* (Bande Dessinée)
* English-language Comics and Graphic Novels
* English-language Animated Series and Cartoons
* Webcomics & Animated Webseries
* (Manhwha)
* (Manhua)
* Other Animation, Comics, Manga & Sequential Art

Notes: At this point, there are not enough Manhwha nor Manhua fandoms for the subcategory to be created. Bande Dessinée fandoms does fulfill the numerical requirements for fandoms, but not the requirement for number of fanworks at the moment. Fandoms that qualifies for these subcategories will be placed under the Other Animation, Comics Manga & Sequential Art subcategory.

Audio & Music

* Albums & Songs
* Audio Plays, Radio & Spoken Word
* Other Audio & Music

Books, Literature & Lore

* Religion, Lore & Folk Traditions
* Novels, Novellas & Short Stories
* Poetry
* Other Books & Literature

Performing Arts

* (Ballet & Dance)
* Theater & Musicals
* Other Performing Arts

Notes: The Ballet & Dance subcategory does not currently fulfill numerical requirements. Qualifying fandoms will be placed under Other Performing Arts subcategory.


* Tabletop Roleplaying Games
* Video Games
* Visual Novels
* (Board Games)
* Other Games

Notes: the Board games subcategory currently does not fulfill numerical requirements. Qualifying fandoms will be located in Other Games subcategory.

Live Action Films, TV Shows and Other Productions

* Films
* TV Shows
* Webseries
* Other Live Action Productions

Real Person Fiction

* Actors
* Bands & Musicians
* Political & Historical
* Sports
* Other Real Person Fiction

Other Media

* Paintings, Sculptures and Other Related Art Forms
* Anthropomorphic
* Other Fandoms in Other Media

We believe this proposal solves most issues with the current browsing system and improves it, while also adding flexibility to the Media categories framework – which will allow the AO3 to change it as the Archive itself grows and changes.


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