AO3 News

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Banner created by Ania celebrating International Fanworks Day, featuring various fanworks including cosplay, text, and visual art.

International Fanworks Day will take place on February 15, 2016. The OTW is making plans to celebrate, but we also want to know what you will be doing!

What is International Fanworks Day?

A day to promote fan creativity in all of its forms, all over the world. Whether in text, image, audio or multimedia, and whatever their nation or language of origin, we use fanworks to express love for our fandoms and forge our own communities and traditions. On International Fanworks Day (IFD), we want fans everywhere to show how important fanworks are to them.

Tell Us What Fanworks Mean to You

We will be announcing OTW-sponsored activities next month, but in the meantime we'd like to hear your plans for celebrating. We'd also like to get you to tell us what fanworks mean to you.

Send us your thoughts (up to 500 words) through our Communications contact form by January 1. We will be selecting up to six submissions for publication on OTW News between January 15 and February 15 as part of our lead-up to next year's IFD. When submitting, please tell us:

  1. How you would like your name/pseudonym listed
  2. What country you call home

Submissions are welcome in all languages!


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2015-12-13 00:02:15 -0500

Hello, AO3 users! The AO3 Tag Wranglers recently updated the Wrangling Guidelines (rules that wranglers follow to format tags consistently). This update will affect how wranglers handle Relationship tags that include piped Character tags.

What is a piped Character tag?

A piped Character tag is a tag that includes multiple names, separated by a “|” (a pipe).

Example: Felena | Felicia

When are piped Character tags used?

Wranglers use piped Character tags for characters with multiple names in canon, such as:

Min Yoongi | Suga (real name and stage name)
Catherine "Kate" Middleton | Duchess of Cambridge (real name and title)
Shroud | Sonozaki Fumine (secret identity)
Danny Noriega | Adore Delano (singer and drag name)
Kon-El | Conner Kent (known by both names)
Snow White | Mary Margaret Blanchard (dual identity)

Relationship tags for these characters are all wrangled the same way. The "&" or "/" goes in the middle of the Relationship tag, separating each individual Character tag. For example:

Danny Noriega | Adore Delano & Snow White | Mary Margaret Blanchard
Catherine "Kate" Middleton | Duchess of Cambridge/Min Yoongi | Suga

This guideline is not changing.

What about translations?

Many Character tags are piped because a character's name was changed in translation. This often happens with anime and video games. Many historical, folklore, and fairy tale characters are also well-known by an anglicized version of their original name. For example:

Satoshi | Ash Ketchum
Kasumi | Misty
Jounouchi Katsuya | Joey Wheeler
Mazaki Anzu | Tea Gardner
Rotkäppchen | Little Red Riding Hood
Schneewittchen | Snow White
Jeanne d'Arc | Joan of Arc
Owain Glyndŵr | Owen Glendower

The old guideline said to split these Character tags and put the “|” in the middle of the Relationship tag, like this:

Kasumi & Satoshi | Ash Ketchum & Misty

This divided “Kasumi | Misty” and “Satoshi | Ash Ketchum” into two mini-relationships:

(“Kasumi & Satoshi”) | (“Ash Ketchum & Misty”)

We are changing this guideline. Tags created according to this guideline were confusing for many Archive users and even wranglers. Some were extremely difficult to wrangle consistently, such as crossover relationships and relationships with piped and non-piped characters.

What is changing? Which tags will be affected?

Character tags will not be changing. Relationship tags that include piped Characters because of translation will now use the same format as all other Relationship tags.

Wranglers will place the “&” or the “/” between each complete Character tag. The new Canonical Relationship tags will look like this:

Kasumi | Misty & Satoshi | Ash Ketchum
Jounouchi Katsuya | Joey Wheeler/Mazaki Anzu | Tea Gardner

How will this affect users?

The tags on your works or bookmarks will stay the same; wranglers can’t (and won’t!) change those. Canonical tags are the tags that appear in the autocomplete, filters, and feeds. Those are the only places tags will change.

If you’ve already used tags affected by this guideline, you do not need to change them! The old tags will be connected to the new tags, so your works will appear in the new filters. Please use whichever tags you prefer.

Although it may take time for everyone to adjust to this change, we expect that having a single standard guideline will be easier for both users and wranglers in the long run. Thanks for your patience while we update the tags!

Where can I learn more?

For more about wrangling, you can read the Wrangling Guidelines. If you have a question about a tag, please use the Technical Support and Feedback link at the bottom of each AO3 page and choose "Tags" as the topic of your feedback.

-- AO3 Tag Wrangling Staff


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2015-12-06 12:20:42 -0500

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


The 2015 election is over! After a slight technical hiccup with the voting software, the election went off without a hitch, and voters chose two new Board Members from a choice of an unprecedented six candidates on the ballot! Congratulations to our new Directors, Atiya Hakeem and Matty Bowers, who began their terms on December 1st! Their victory was originally announced in a public post, 2015 Election Results. We wish them the best in their upcoming terms.

Our Elections Committee received much interest in the data resulting from this election. In response to that, we produced the Elections Statistics for 2015 post. This post briefly elaborates some numbers involved, as well as our process for electing an equal cohort of Board members and our policy regarding the privacy of voters.

With a historic election season behind us, the committee would like to thank everyone who made the 2015 election possible. Candidates and committees, volunteers and voters, this Organization would not be possible without your participation and support. The future of the OTW belongs to you.


Our Accessibility, Design & Technology Committee is pleased to announce that the Archive of Our Own now has comment moderation. You can read more about this new feature in this post, which includes instructions for how to us it.

Some big milestones are also approaching. AO3 will soon reach 2 million fanworks! We're excited to celebrate this milestone with our users. When the Archive reached 1 million fanworks on February 15th, 2013, we decided to celebrate by declaring that day International Fanworks Day, an annual tradition we'll be celebrating again in 2016. Be sure to plan your own celebrations early so that we can spread the word about them in the new year.


Our Legal Committee was busy with international copyright issues this month. We produced an educational post discussing What the Trans Pacific Partnership Means for Fans, covering a recent international trade treaty’s intellectual property provisions and what impact they could have on fanworks in the countries that sign on to it. Special thanks to our Translation Committee for translating the post into many languages! We also promoted the Save the Link Coalition’s Internet Voice Tool, which is collecting feedback for the European Commission regarding proposed European legislation that could restrict the ability of online platforms to contain links to copyrighted material, or could even make those platforms legally liable for content posted by their users.

Legal also filed two amicus briefs in cases that we’ve been following for years. Following up on September's fair use win in the case of Lenz v. Universal, we asked the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to strengthen its holding in that case that copyright holders must consider fair use before issuing a DMCA takedown notice. And in the case of Davis v. EA Games, we joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to settle a disagreement among U.S. courts about when the First Amendment protects people’s free speech rights to use someone’s name, likeness, or identity without violating their rights of publicity.


On November 22nd, the six sitting members of 2015 the Board of Directors announced their resignation effective December 15th. The newly elected Board members are currently working on making the transition as seamless as possible. There's no need to worry--the OTW and all of our projects (including AO3) aren't going anywhere. We'd like to thank everybody for your patience and understanding as things get sorted out.


Our Volunteers & Recruiting Committee has now finished recruitment for 2015. Recruitment will resume again in 2016.

New Committee Staff: RoseJackson (Abuse), SoyAlex (Volunteers & Recruiting), 1 other Volunteers & Recruiting, Solovei (AO3 Docs), ncastro (I&O), 1 other I&O, Matthew Vernon (Systems), 1 other Systems, ashleyhasahat (Communications), Cameron Salisbury (Journal) & 1 other Journal
New Journal Volunteers: Carmen Montopoli, Christine Mains, and 4 others
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Amy Hoffman, Andrandiriel, Anna S., Aro, BiancaMay, Cecil, Charlene Te, Cortney, ebjameston, Elijah, Fallowsthorn, Firen, hammysammy, Jesse, kadnarim, Kits, L1n, Laura Groeneveld, Lillian S, Luin, lydiacatfish, Noémie Barbet, Paige Hanson, Panda, phantomdoodler, Rania, Suzan Miller, SwaggyOrc, Tori Flot, track_04, Trasyn Lennon, Wes, Weston Richey, 1 other Tag Wrangling volunteer.
New Translator Volunteers: 1

Departing Committee Chairs: Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Committee Staff: Lommy (Abuse), & 1 other Abuse, Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Documentation), Claire W (AO3 Documentation) & 1 other AO3 Documentation
Departing AO3 Documentation Volunteers: 1
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Sammie Jarrett, Merchant, 11 others.
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: openendings, 16 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: Dutchie848, HannahB, 4 Translator volunteers

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


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banner with 'Wolf and Hound' written, from that website

The Wolf and Hound, a Sirius Black/Remus Lupin pairing-centric archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The archive was originally created in 2003 to make works posted to the Sirius_Black_and_Remus_Lupin Yahoo! mailing list easier to find, and the mods have been proud to host the many amazing stories that the list has woven over the years: around 800 works by over 200 creators.

Although the current mod, Lassenia, still loves the fandom, they are no longer active in it and unfortunately do not have time to maintain the archive. To ensure The Wolf and Hound Archive's works are not lost, Lassenia will be working with Open Doors to import the archive 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 that the works can continued to be found with their old URLs. We will begin importing works from The Wolf and Hound Archive to the AO3 collection in December.

What does this mean for creators who have work on The Wolf and Hound Archive?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your The Wolf and Hound Archive works there, please contact Open Doors with your The Wolf and Hound Archive pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. (Please include "Wolf and Hound" in the subject heading.) For instructions on mass-adding works to the new collection on the AO3, The Wolf and Hound 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 The Wolf and Hound Archive pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "Wolf and Hound" in the subject heading.) For instructions on importing works and adding them to the The Wolf and Hound Archive collection, please see the Open Doors website.

3. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one or assistance in importing your works, please contact Open Doors with your The Wolf and Hound Archive pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "Wolf and Hound" 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 The Wolf and Hound Archive pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (Please include "Wolf and Hound" 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 archived on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with the creator’s name in the byline 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 we will permanently close down the site.

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 The Wolf and Hound 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 the The Wolf and Hound 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 Wolf and Hound Archive 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 Wolf and Hound Archive!

- The Open Doors team


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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'

There have been a lot of changes in the OTW in the past few days. The current Board of Directors has resigned, effective December 15. We know there has been some confusion, and we wanted to share with you the situation as it currently stands:

  • The OTW and its projects, including the Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures, are operating normally. Our volunteers are still carrying out their work and will continue to do so throughout this process. Rest assured that everyone's first priority is to keep the projects and the organization running smoothly.
  • We, Matty Bowers and Atiya Hakeem, new Board members elected earlier this month, will take office on December 1st. We should have access to all the tools and information available well before the 15th.
  • We have a long list of things we know need to be worked on, compiled from internal and external feedback, and our own plans for the Org. We will rely on this to prioritize and start taking action.
  • We are committed to publishing a budget for 2016 as soon as possible. An essential part of this process will be to make a draft and then seek OTW teams' feedback on the chosen items. This may not end up happening until early 2016, depending on the status of the current draft. We'll know more come December 1st, when we receive access to the draft.
  • We hear everyone's questions about the next election cycle and what happens to the vacant seats on the Board. We will do our best to have information about that out as soon as we can; we can't officially make decisions or announcements until December.

Please remember that this is a work in progress! There is a lot of information to be gathered, and a lot of work ahead. There has been a great deal of internal and external support for this fresh start and we are grateful to everyone who has reached out and offered to help. We’re currently working to organize our information and resources so we can move ahead as soon as possible.

Thanks for your support, and for the vote of confidence.

—Matty and Atiya (Lady Oscar)
Board members-elect


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Banner by Diane of a 3 line checkbox with the choices 'OTW', 'Elections News' and a checkmark next to 'Make your voice heard'

On 14 August 2015, the Board voted to change the size of the Board from 9 Directors to 7. Before this vote, the Board informed Elections that only 2 seats would be available to be filled this year. This is complicit with Article V, #3 of the by-laws, which states that at least 2 Directors must be elected yearly, and if the Board has 7 or more Directors, at least one-third of the Directors must be elected yearly.

On 16 September, the Elections Chair pointed out that, since it is possible to elect more than the minimum requirement in a given year, we had an opportunity to revitalize a shrinking Board due to the unexpected candidate turnout this year. (There was initially a total of 8 candidates.) The Board overruled this, with Andrea Horbinski replying as follows: "The Board has voted to set the size of the board at seven directors. Since we elected three people last year, we can elect two people each this year and next year and easily be on a regular schedule--the same one we were on before the size of the Board was increased to nine."

Later, the Board removed Nikisha Sanders from the ballot. Again, the Elections Chair protested and was overruled by the Board. Subsequently, Dan Lamson withdrew his candidacy.

6 candidates ran in the final election. They were voted on and ranked by members in this order:

  1. Matty Bowers
  2. Atiya Hakeem
  3. Alex Tischer
  4. Katarina Harju
  5. Aline Carrão
  6. Andrea Horbinski

The 5th place candidate, Aline, received 2.89 times more votes than the 6th place candidate, Andrea.

Today, the Board held an Open Board meeting in the publicly accessible Public Discussion channel. Despite not warning the volunteers, members, or Elections Committee that this vote was expected to take place, the Board voted in favor of Andrea Horbinski returning to the Board to finish out the term ending 31 December 2016, which was vacated at the end of 2014 by Anna Genoese. Andrea Horbinski, Margaret J. MacRae, Cat Meier, and Jessica Steiner voted in favor, Eylul Dogruel abstained, and Soledad Griffin was absent. You can read a transcript of this vote and the resulting reaction at this link.

In 2010, a similar situation occurred when a Board member retired immediately after that year's election. At that time, the next-place candidate, Hele Braunstein, was brought in to fill the seat. Precedent, common sense, and ethics dictate that the membership's choices in an election be considered and respected. The Elections Committee supports the appointment of Alex Tischer to the Board to fill Anna's seat. If Alex does not wish to take on the position, we support the appointment of Katarina Harju or Aline Carrão, in that order.

ETA November 23, 2015: The 2015 Board has resigned, effective December 15. They will be replaced by Atiya Hakeem and Matty Bowers, who will join the Board no later than December 1.

ETA2 November 23, 2015: Due to these unusual events, Elections Staff released the ranking information about this year's candidates with permission from 5 of the 6 candidates. However, as our goal is to promote an equal and harmonious Board of Directors, we do not intend to reveal this information in future elections unless a situation like the one we witnessed last weekend happens again.


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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 OTW Board of Directors voted at its regularly scheduled meeting on 22 November to appoint Andrea Horbinski to serve the remainder of the term vacated in 2014 by Anna Genoese, ending 31 December 2016. Filling board vacancies by appointment is a normal part of board work provided for in Article V §4 of the OTW Bylaws, and the Board has done so at multiple points in the past.

After discussion with the rest of the Board, Andrea Horbinski has decided to decline the appointment to the OTW Board for 2016. She has tendered her resignation from the Board effective 15 December 2015. Soledad Griffin, Jessica Steiner, Eylul Dogruel, Cat Meier, and M.J. MacRae are also resigning from the Board effective on that date. Those who currently serve as members of OTW committees will remain with the organization in their staff roles but not their Board roles.

The 2015 Board wishes the 2016 Board and the volunteers, staff, and membership of the OTW all the best for the organization’s continued success.


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2015-11-19 17:45:32 -0500

The big news this time around is comment moderation. Many thanks to the users who helped us trial this feature, and to the Abuse team for their input! In addition, we have done some work on our automated testing infrastructure and made some corrections and improvements to our documentation.

A big round of applause and thanks to the Systems team for their hard work debugging and resolving the hardware-related downtime earlier this month!


  • Coders: Ariana, Elz, Naomi (shalott), Nerine, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Elz, Enigel, james, Naomi, Scott, Sarken
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, mumble, Sarken, madelyn, torigates, truffulafruits


  • [AO3-3543] - Comment moderation is here! Please read the details below for updates to our previous post, Comment moderation is coming, including some additions we made after testing and user input.
  • [AO3-4364] - A handful of the tests in our automated test suite fail intermittently due to timing issues. We have disabled caching on these tests to reduce the frequency of failures.
  • [AO3-4320] - Added a link to the more detailed Tags FAQ to the tags help files.
  • [AO3-4141] - Updated the Edit Pseud form to link to the help file with the correct set of available HTML tags.
  • [AO3-4034] - In the Diversity Statement, we were "the archive" instead of "the Archive" when referring specifically to the AO3. Now we have a capital A! \o/
  • [AO3-4373] - A new database column (to track if a work has comment moderation enabled or not) temporarily broke search indexing, whoops! Fixed.

More Detail on Comment Moderation

Turning Comment Moderation On or Off

Comment moderation can be turned on and off at the per-work level. You can set it for a new work or edit an existing work to turn it on or off in the privacy settings.

Privacy options when posting or editing a work: only show to registered users, disable anonymous commenting, enable comment moderation

You can also turn it on or off for multiple works at once using the "Edit Works" tool from your dashboard or works page.

Privacy options when editing multiple works at once: anonymous commenting, comment moderation

Approving Comments

When you have comment moderation turned on, you will have to approve all the comments before they are posted publicly. You can review comments on a work by checking its "Unreviewed Comments" page:

Row of buttons at the top of a work, including the link to access all unreviewed comments on the work

Page showing all unreviewed comments on a work, to be approved, deleted, or marked as commercial spam

You will also be able to approve comments from all your works from your inbox (assuming that you have JavaScript enabled and have not turned off your inbox.)

Unreviewed comment on the user's inbox page

You will not be able to reply to a comment until it is approved.

You cannot "un-approve" a comment, but as before, you can still delete it.

Posting Comments

When you leave a comment on a work with moderated comments, there will be a note about the moderation before and after you post.

If you are a logged-in user, you will be able to edit or delete your comment after you post it, but your comment will not be linked from the work. If you want to be able to find it again, you can either bookmark your comment or turn on the preference to receive email copies of your own comments.

If you edit your comment after it is approved, it will go back into moderation (unless the edit is very small, like fixing a typo).

If you reply to someone else's comment, they will be notified of your reply when your reply is approved.

If You Need To Report a Comment

If you receive a comment that you want to report to the Abuse team, you can use the abuse report form and include a link to your list of unreviewed comments (which can be accessed by Abuse personnel), or to the work or comment in question. Since comments can be edited if they were left by a logged-in user, we recommend taking a screenshot (which you can send as an email attachment once the Abuse team responds to your report) or holding on to the comment notification you received.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


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