AO3 News

The Hermit Library is Coming to the AO3

Published: 2015-07-03 12:46:06 -0400

Banner by Erin of an OTW logo beamed by a spotlight over the words Open Doors

The Hermit Library, a Blake’s 7 fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3). In this post:

Background explanation

The Hermit Library is a Blake's 7 fanfiction and fan art archive hosted at the site. Founded and run by printzine publisher and author Judith Proctor in 2000, it was among the earliest multi-author archives in the fandom, and was for some years the largest online B7 archive. It includes many stories and novels which first appeared in zines, particularly those published or agented by Judith.

During an outage of in 2014, a fan by the name of Aralias contacted Judith to find out whether the site was gone forever or could be resurrected. Although the site did return, Aralias was anxious to ensure the fics hosted on Hermit would never be lost again, and asked if they could be imported onto AO3, where they would be safe (and searchable by pairing at last!). Judith agreed. She was also keen to move the rest of the content (including zine reviews, the Sevenclopia and Gareth Thomas’s complete career history) onto either Fanlore or another archive and then close the site.

Open Doors will be working with Judith Proctor and Aralias to import the Hermit Library into a separate, searchable collection with its own identity. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs. We will begin importing works from the Hermit Library to the AO3 collection in July.

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

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your Hermit Library works there, please contact the moderators (hermitlibrary.archivist [at] with your Hermit Library pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. For instructions on mass-adding works to the new collection on the AO3, Hermit Library, 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 the moderators (hermitlibrary.archivist [at] with your Hermit Library pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. For instructions on importing works and adding them to the Hermit Library 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 the moderators (hermitlibrary.archivist [at] with your Hermit Library pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. 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 the moderators (hermitlibrary.archivist [at] with your Hermit Library pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them.

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 archived on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with the creator’s name in the summary of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work. When all works have been accounted for, the Open Doors committee will set up the URL redirects, and and the original Library will be permanently closed.

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 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Hermit Library account, please contact the moderators (hermitlibrary.archivist [at] for assistance in verifying your identity. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, please include this!)

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ page, contact the moderators (hermitlibrary.archivist [at] or 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 Hermit Library and on Fanlore. 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 Hermit Library!

- The Open Doors team


Release 0.9.64: Change Log

Published: 2015-07-01 04:03:36 -0400

The Archive is now using a newer, shinier version of the Ruby language.


  • Coders: james_
  • Code reviewers: Elz, Ariana
  • Testers: Claire B, Debris, james_, Lady Oscar, Mei, melannen, Michelle Dong, mugenmine, Nerine Luna Cyran, Phoenixacid, Sammie J, Scott, Qem


The Archive was using version 1.9.3 of the Ruby programming language, which is no longer supported. To ensure that the Archive remains sustainable and secure, we have upgraded to Ruby 2.0, and we will be upgrading to even more recent versions of Ruby (and other software!) in the near future.

We'd like to offer a special thank you to our testers, who worked tirelessly to check that all the Archive's features continue to work normally after this update.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


Spotlight on Translation

Published: 2015-06-19 12:47:55 -0400

Spotlight on OTW Translation – 140 translators translated over 1,500,000 words in 2,000 documents and 22 languages so far

Why is Translation an important part of the OTW?

Our role in the OTW is to bring official content from the OTW's projects and committees to fans worldwide. We translate news posts, help pages, site content, emails and comments so that people who don't speak English can have access to all the work that the rest of the OTW does.

The OTW is made up of over 500 volunteers from all over the world working in various committees—by necessity, in order to get us all working together, a lot of the OTW's day-to-day work and output is in English. Translation's job is to stay in touch with committees that publish content so that we can get the word out in several other languages, too.

(We don't translate fanworks, by the way! Major kudos to everyone who does, but translation-wise, we have our hands full with official OTW content, including AO3 FAQs and news.)

How many languages can you translate into? How many of you are there?

22 languages—Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Kiswahili, Korean, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

We're 147 volunteers, counting both translators and staff coordinators—translators work in language teams of various sizes, from the huge 17-person German team to our newest team, Kiswahili, with only one translator so far!

What is your favorite part of the work in the Translation committee?

We translate a lot of different things, and we are a very diverse group, so everyone has their own favorites, but a lot of us really like the immediate reward of helping users directly by collaborating with the Abuse and Support teams and answering comments in news posts.

One of the best things about working in Translation is that it's a very fun and lively group, too—with such a huge team, we have just about every fandom and interest covered, so you're just as likely to find people discussing knitting as pole-dancing in our chatrooms, from having feelings about the latest One Piece to meltdowns over Faking It. In our midst we have ficwriters, fanartists, podficcers, fan video makers, fansubbers, gif makers, reccers, meta writers, challenge moderators, and more! (We also talk about translation occasionally.)

If I were interested in the Translation committee, how could I get involved?

Get in touch with us! We're always happy to hear from potential new translators. If you'd like to know more about how we work, you can also check out our page on the OTW website.

World map showing the concentration of OTW Translation members. Countries with more members are shaded darker. Only members who were willing to appear on the map have been included. Map shows nationality or residence status, depending on what each volunteer chose to use. From higher to lower numbers, the countries are: Italy (11), Germany (9), Brazil (5), France (5), Finland (4), Netherlands (4), Spain (4), United States (4), Argentina (3), Belgium (3), Poland (3), Portugal (3), Sweden (3), Switzerland (3), United Kingdom (3), Australia (2), Denmark (2), Egypt (2), Hungary (2), Indonesia (2), Mexico (2), Russian Federation (2), Canada (1), China (1), Costa Rica (1), Czech Republic (1), Kenya (1), Republic of Korea (1), Malaysia (1), Peru (1), Turkey (1) and Viet Nam (1).

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


Have Questions about AO3?

Published: 2015-06-16 12:50:38 -0400

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 Archive of Our Own has a number of social media accounts to keep you informed. However, with all the different channels available these days, it can be hard to know where to turn. Here's a brief summary of the official AO3 channels and what you can expect from each.

Need help?

For questions or comments about the Archive, please contact us via the AO3 support form, which provides a direct line to our Support staff. The link can also be found at the bottom of all AO3 pages, under "Technical Support and Feedback".

Although we have made an effort to respond to people contacting us through the AO3's social media accounts in the past, there are numerous problems with doing so. Some channels limit us in how much information we can put into a reply, and others are too public to share sensitive account data. As a result, we'll be concentrating all our support efforts on the official contact form.

Support is able to assist users in multiple languages, thanks to help from our Translation committee! You can send your questions in العربية, Bahasa Indonesia, català, čeština, dansk, Deutsch, English, español, français, 한국어, italiano, magyar, Nederlands, polski, português brasileiro, português europeu, Русский, suomi, svenska, and 中文.

Please keep in mind that our Support team is staffed entirely by volunteers, so response times can vary. If you've included an email address in your message, they will get back to you!

Stay informed!

If you don't have questions and would just like to keep up with the latest Archive news, you can follow us on Twitter and Tumblr:

  • @AO3_Status provides real-time status updates about downtime and other site issues.
  • @ao3org and the AO3 News Tumblr share the latest Archive news, including information about site changes.
  • @AO3_wranglers tweets the latest updates about changes to Archive tags.

(You can also stay up-to-date with our sister projects and our parent organization, the Organization for Transformative Works, through the OTW's other accounts.)


Release 0.9.63: Change Log

Published: 2015-06-15 22:12:04 -0400

We've made a few minor bug fixes and enhancements and cleaned up some old code.


  • Coders: Ariana, james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, james_, Sarken
  • Testers: Ariana, briar_pipe, Lady Oscar, mugenmine, Nerine Luna Cyran


  • In some situations, the mass importer Open Doors uses for at-risk archives would incorrectly report that a work had already been imported. We've modified how the mass importer checks a work's import status to prevent this from happening.
  • On the posting form, using an Archive URL beginning with https to cite a related work would result in an error message. Now you can successfully use AO3 URLs beginning with either http or https.
  • Fandom names were indented slightly on challenge prompts and external work blurbs. Now they line up correctly with the title.
  • All tag wrangling pages included an "Unsorted Tags (#)" link, which meant that every time a wrangler loaded a wrangling page, we were counting all the bookmark tags that had yet to be marked as Fandom, Relationship, Character, or Additional Tags. Because this is bad for performance, we moved the link so it will only be included on pages where it is necessary.
  • We had code for emailing co-creators when edits were made to their work. However, we weren't using this code, so we have removed it.
  • The Content Policy workgroup recently proposed changes to the Open Doors Terms of Service. The changes have now been incorporated into our Terms of Service page.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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 Elections and Open Doors Staff. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • AO3 Documentation Staff - closing 22 June 2015 UTC
  • Communications Staff: Weibo Site Moderator - closing 22 June 2015 UTC
  • Support Staff - closing 22 June 2015 UTC
  • Systems Staff - closing 22 June 2015 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.

AO3 Documentation Staff: AO3 Documentation is the committee 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 click through to read the full details and apply to join the Docs team! Applications are due 22 June 2015 UTC

Communications Staff: Weibo Site Moderator: Communications staffers are 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.

The position of Weibo Site Moderator would be a good fit for someone who is fluent in Mandarin and English, has experience as a moderator, is familiar with using Weibo, and has about 4-5 hours of available time each week. If you would like to help us do outreach to Chinese language fandom communities, this is the position for you! Applications are due 22 June 2015 UTC

Support Staff: The Support team is responsible for handling the feedback and requests for assistance we receive from users of the Archive. We answer users’ questions, help to resolve problems they’re experiencing, and pass on information to and from coders, testers, tag wranglers and other teams involved with the Archive. Applications are due 22 June 2015 UTC

Systems Staff: The Systems Committee is dedicated to supporting, troubleshooting, and expanding the technological infrastructure that underlies the OTW’s many projects. Systems staff members manage many day-to-day aspects of Linux system administration, such as Email Server administration, DNS updates, Apache management, and user/group rights and permissions. Committee members also tackle larger projects like virtual machine installation and configuration, researching better ways to manage our infrastructure, optimizing, and planning for the future.

We are seeking individuals who have some experience in remote Linux administration. A focus in one of the following areas is greatly desired: Email Server administration, Routing/Networking, Configuration Management (such as Chef, Puppet, Salt, Ansible, or CFengine), Virtual Machine configuration and management with VirtualBox, VMWare, or Xen, and/or MySQL database administration. However expertise in all areas is not required, and training will be provided. Applications are due 22 June 2015 UTC

Apply at the volunteering page!


May 2015 Newsletter, Volume 91

Published: 2015-06-06 12:59:07 -0400

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



Our Wiki Committee had an exciting announcement as May wound to a close. In a post made at their Dreamwidth community, they informed Fanlore users that the United States Library of Congress approached us for permission to preserve Fanlore as a part of their American Folklife Center's ongoing digital culture web archiving project.

"Fanlore's inclusion in the Library of Congress project emphasizes the fact that fan history is a significant part of folklore and culture in the United States and across the world. If you are a Fanlore contributor of any kind, there is absolutely no need to be concerned about attribution of your work. Fanlore's Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license will still be in effect, and displayed on the archived version of Fanlore available to researchers (and eventually to the public) through the Library of Congress."

Wiki spent the month testing Trello as a possible new committee workspace tool, planning for Fanlore's next month-long event in June, and working on outside requests.


Journal received approval from the Board to create a press for monograph-length Open Access Gold works. They are brainstorming the infrastructure requirements right now, so while a timeline isn't yet available for considering manuscripts, stay tuned for further announcements! They continued to handle manuscripts for the September 2015 issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, No. 20, and things look good for the March 2016 issue.

Legal’s advocacy mission continues going strong! They filed our submissions to the U.S. Copyright Office and ended May by attending hearings and testifying in support of the fan video exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The news so far is good: our opponents have not opposed the renewal of the exemption the OTW attained three years ago for DVDs and streaming. However, there is still work to do, since they’ve opposed our petition to expand the exemption to cover Blu-ray.

The case of Garcia v. Google, in which the OTW filed an amicus brief, has also come to a positive resolution, which made some good law for free speech and the Internet and avoided some of the problems highlighted in the brief. In theory, the case can still go up to the U.S. Supreme Court, but in practice, that is not very likely to happen.

Legal also responded to a trademark-based cease & desist request; responded to several queries from fans; and responded to press requests for interviews as well as helping many OTW committees with legal questions.

Internationalization & Outreach worked on long-term planning. Their mission to promote inclusivity and the internationalization of the OTW is being developed into a plan to more thoroughly incorporate these goals into the OTW.

Communications is creating a subgroup for media outreach efforts, and has also completed work on a personnel evaluation process which will begin in August. Janita Burgess was approved by the OTW Board as the new co-chair for Communications. With help from Translation, Communications moved forward with plans to launch a Weibo account this year to engage with Chinese fandom. They will be recruiting for a fluent Mandarin speaker as Weibo account mod in June.

Translation had a hectic month with many contributions from across the committee in order to prepare for and distribute multilanguage posts in support of our May membership drive. After the drive, Translation started rounding up internal and cross-committee feedback in order to document the lessons they've learned this time and improve plans for the next drive. They've also been focusing on developing internal structures to help foster a more collaborative task environment.


Abuse received over 320 tickets in May. They have been seeing an uptick in spam works again, so please report any you find in your fandom so the team can deal with them quickly!

Accessibility, Design & Technology had a few tiny deploys this month (Releases 0.9.58 - 0.9.61), and a somewhat bigger one (Release 0.9.62) which will eventually enable us to translate AO3 email templates. There's still a long way to go to offer users a fully customized Archive experience in their own language, and Accessibility, Design & Technology want to thank them and the Translation committee for their patience and support as the AO3 team takes slow steps towards this goal.

Systems has begun this round of ordering bigger, faster servers! They are also excited to have a recruitment slot coming up. They have begun meetings with their documentation specialist to get information about the committee's processes into the OTW's internal wiki, and also fixed a mailing list issue that was affecting several committees.

AO3 Documentation wrapped two new FAQs this month—Invitations and Contacting the Staff—and is working on several other FAQs and tutorials. The workgroup has been officially approved to move from workgroup status to a permanent committee within the OTW.

Tag Wrangling held some training sessions on freeform tags for their new volunteers, who have hit the ground running. Wrangling staff worked with Accessibility, Design & Technology to try to track down some tag bugs. They also responded to several user questions on Twitter, and a number of Support requests. Wranglers continued their excellent work helping each other with translating the increasing numbers of non-English tags in each other's fandoms.

Open Doors has been working on in-progress imports with assistance from Accessibility, Design & Technology and is starting another archive import that will be announced soon. They also recently recruited for new staffers.


Development & Membership's May drive efforts were a huge success. Thanks to our generous supporters, we topped our US$100,000 goal on the last day, and checks continue to arrive. That makes our total for May 1-6 over US$104,000. All of May thus far has brought in over US$110,000 and looks to be our second highest grossing month ever (after October 2014). Our hard-working team in Development & Membership handled over a hundred emails and messages during the drive period, and learned a lot from the process. In non-drive related news, they have begun looking at alternative payment processors, as one of the major requests emerging during the drive was for an online alternative to PayPal. They hope to have something new set up by our next drive in October.

Elections ramped up in May by recruiting new staff and preparing for a voting software test. If you'd be willing to help them with the June test by participating in mock votes, please fill out the tester volunteer form!

The Board discussed various proposals and issues with Finance, Legal, and Development & Membership, and has begun planning for the 2015 Annual Retreat. More details regarding the latter will be forthcoming. Board would also like to thank Journal, the Treasurer, and others for coming together to address concerns and work out the details to permit the new monograph press project to move forward. They also extend congratulations to all committees and personnel involved with the recent drive.

Strategic Planning is hard at work compiling internal feedback and suggestions into the third and final draft of the OTW 2016-2019 goals document. Meanwhile, they are training four new staffers who are digesting the previous draft and helping with changes.


Volunteers & Recruiting ran campaigns for new staff for Elections and Open Doors, and continued working on internal requests as well as training their new staff members. They also made progress on the final documentation steps of a 2014 project to recognize the service of all OTW volunteers.

New Committee Chairs: Janita Burgess (Communications)
New Workgroup Members: Jessica Steiner (AO3 Documentation)
New Communications Volunteers: SoyAlex and 4 others
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: alterangirl, Loxaris, Leslie, Paopu-Blossom, BlackParadise, penguinbell, and Pokestine
New Translator Volunteers: 1

Departing Committee Staff: Curtis Jefferson (Open Doors), 1 Systems, 3 Development & Membership, 1 Communications, and 2 Translation
Departing Workgroup Members: Scott S (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 7
Departing Translator Volunteers: 3

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


Learn about the Posting and Editing form on AO3!

Published: 2015-06-02 12:35:26 -0400

banner by caitie of chat-related words and emoticons in chat bubbles'

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.

So Support will be holding an Open Chat session in our public chat room.

Unlike previous Open Chats, we're trying a new thing this year. This chat will be focused on the Posting and Editing forms! We'll have a walkthrough of tricks, methods, and known issues when adding your fannish creation to the Archive. Want some suggestions on how to add comments and notes beyond what the tags field will allow? Have a translation, or remix, or other creation inspired by an existing work? Are you posting to a challenge but never get it to work quite right? Are you wanting to post a work in a different language? Come find out how! (We'll still have a few staffers around to answer some general questions, too.)

We'll be available on Sunday, June 7, 16:00 UTC to 18:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?). If you can't make it to this one, keep an eye out for future chat announcements.

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

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 capacity. 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, 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.

We'd be happy to help you with any questions, and anything else you're having trouble doing or would like to try doing with the Archive. And if you miss us and have any questions, you can always send us a ticket!

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


Pages Navigation