AO3 News

Achievement Unlocked - May 2015 Drive

Published: 2015-05-06 12:22:37 -0400

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

Hurray! We did it! Our May 2015 membership drive is complete, and you've astounded us with your generosity.

The Organization for Transformative Works is 2,531 members stronger. Thanks to 4,193 generous fans we've raised $96,684.

If you didn't have the opportunity to become a member this time around, there's a workaround! You can donate to the OTW and become a member at any time.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make this drive happen. In particular, we'd like to acknowledge the work of the Communications, Translation, and Accessibility, Design & Technology committees, without whom this wouldn't be possible.

But most of all, thank you for your continued support and patronage. OTW's projects exist and thrive because of you.


Making Moves - May 2015 Drive

Published: 2015-05-05 12:36:32 -0400

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

The first moves seem simple enough. A pawn pushes forward, a knight takes a hop. A fan archive is created, an academic journal publishes its first issue. But things get complicated very quickly: What strategies to use? What move to make next? Different scenarios play out on different parts of the board, and dealing with each one requires consideration and planning.

Here are some of the moves the OTW has made lately, and how you can help us make the next ones:

  • The Open Doors committee has been working hard to preserve fannish archives on AO3. If you’d like to help them out, consider checking for works of yours that may have already been imported to AO3, donating materials to the Fan Culture Preservation Project, spreading the news of imports, or encouraging other users to claim their imported works.
  • Fanlore has been growing steadily, and it’s about to hit two major milestones: 35,000 pages and 30,000 users! The Wiki committee has also been busy planning several upcoming events. With April Showers done, next up will be the June page-creation challenge, followed by Stub September. You can join these challenges and help make sure that our fannish history is preserved!
  • The Transformative Works and Cultures March issue, Performance and Performativity in Fandom, has recently come out. The team is looking forward to their June issue, European Fans and European Fan Objects: Localization and Translation. If you’d like to get involved, TWC is always on the lookout for essay submissions.
  • Legal Advocacy has been working hard in the courts as they seek renewal and expansion of the vidding exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They’ve worked with the US Commerce Department to shape the future of US copyright law, and submitted comments to several other governments regarding copyright law reform. The Legal team regularly answers questions from fans and helps them find legal representation when needed. They’ve also helped educate fans about their rights by speaking at convention panels, including one at San Diego Comic Con, and publishing posts via OTW News. You can always get in touch with them if you have any questions.

All of these projects have done amazing work, but there is still more to be done. The next move is yours. If you want to support the OTW and ensure that we can continue to preserve and protect fans and fanworks in the future, make a donation today!


How We've Grown - May 2015 Drive

Published: 2015-05-04 12:39:57 -0400

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

A wiki. An academic journal. A fanworks archive. A legal team. These things don't seem, at first, to have much in common. But if you fit them all together, they start to form a single picture: the OTW.

In the past seven and a half years, the OTW has grown in both numbers and complexity. No longer are we one of those children's 25-piece puzzles—by now we've become one of those 25,000-piece ones that cover an entire table! When we were founded in 2007, we had just 60 people and a couple of ideas. Today, nearly 500 volunteers work together on six major projects and make the OTW the awesome, groundbreaking organization it is.

Our history is preserved online. Try checking out our announcements for the opening of AO3 and Fanlore, or one of our first newsletters!

However, storing our organizational history is merely one piece of the larger picture. Though they might seem disparate at first, our projects—AO3, Fanhackers, Fanlore, Legal Advocacy, Open Doors, and Transformative Works and Cultures—work together on many facets of a single goal: preservation. Whether via hosting fanworks, explorations of fan history, digital and physical preservation, or advocacy for the right of fans to keep creating, this organization is committed to preserving and protecting fan culture for years to come.

This is where you come in. We can’t keep all the puzzle pieces together without the support of fans who love and appreciate the OTW’s many projects. If you support what we do, if you’d like a chance to contribute to this fabulous fandom puzzle, if you want to sustain our mission and our growth for years to come, consider making a donation today.


How Well Do You Know AO3? - May 2015 Drive

Published: 2015-05-03 12:16:14 -0400

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

The Archive of Our Own is a labor of love that has become an integral part of fannish life for many of us. But how much do you really know about AO3, its background and its inner workings?

Did you know…

…that the name “Archive of Our Own” is a reference to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own?

…that AO3 was named one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2013?

…that since its launch into Open Beta in November 2009, AO3 has grown nonstop? In February of last year, we reached an incredible one million fanworks!

…that Alternate Universe is the most frequently used tag on AO3?

…that the Archive’s main development team (the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee) consists of eleven volunteers, nine of whom are women? This makes AO3 one of the very few majority-female open source projects on the web!

…that the category icons use astronomical symbols to represent different types of works? Venus for F/F, Mars for M/M, the Sun for Gen, and Uranus for Other?

…that AO3 is made possible by fans like you?

We rely on the combined expertise and hard work of our volunteers to maintain AO3 and keep it accessible to fans from all over the globe. In total, almost 500 volunteers work on Organization for Transformative Works projects, including AO3, Open Doors, Legal Advocacy, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures.

The existence of this Archive is a reminder of how powerful fandom can be. Thank you for being part of this amazing project and helping to make it what it is. If you would like to help support Archive of Our Own, please consider making a donation today.


OTW By The Numbers - May 2015 Drive

Published: 2015-05-02 12:24:51 -0400

Every year, the OTW’s expenses increase. Watching the trends as we grow and change is always an adventure, and fitting the numbers into a budget can be as challenging as a round of Sudoku.

Here are nine quick and quirky facts about the OTW's expenses:

Sudoko board which reads

  • 990 is the US Federal Tax return filed by the organization every year to report our income and expenses. Copies are available by request.
  • US$828 was the total cost for the year to keep our main website,, up and running.
  • 78% is the amount by which the OTW’s income grew in 2014, thanks in large part to the generosity of donors during the October fundraising drive.
  • 6 staff members were sponsored to represent the OTW at seven conventions on two continents—staffing information tables, leading panels, and networking with fans and tech professionals.
  • US$5,122.57 paid for server colocation in Europe, one of several sites where OTW servers live.
  • US$412 provided a much-needed upgrade to ticketing software for both the Abuse and Support committees, which work to address problems and answer questions for AO3 users.
  • US$3,456.00 came up twice in 2014—first as the total cost for two members of Accessibility, Design & Technology to attend training sessions for Elasticsearch (the search engine software that AO3 uses), and again as the cost for more than a dozen OTW volunteers to take part in communications training.
  • 2 contractors worked closely with the OTW in 2014—one with Accessibility, Design & Technology and a second with the Board of Directors—for a total cost of US$2,685.00.
  • 1 person's donation can make a difference.

The OTW's new expenses in 2015 will include upgrades to servers; expansion of outreach at conferences and conventions; consultants to provide additional support to AO3 and; and assistance in managing the software used for our donor database. Existing expenses will continue, including an increase of 10% in both monthly colocation fees and insurance premiums.

Every donation, large or small, helps cover the costs mentioned here and so many more, from stamps for the occasional piece of old-fashioned paper mail to providing the chat rooms in which our volunteers collaborate on and contribute to the myriad projects under the OTW umbrella. Monthly subscriptions are a great way to help cover those expenses and provide a steady stream of income in the six months between our two annual fundraising efforts.

Once again proving that 1 person's donation can make a difference, this drive we have a generous matching gift opportunity. We currently have 350 generous donors who support the OTW through recurring donations. If we can increase that to 400 donors, an anonymous donor will donate US$3,600! These recurring contributions can also count towards a premium. Any total donation over US$50 is eligible to receive a donor premium gift.

Come join us as we face new challenges this year. Make a donation and help us become bigger and even better in 2015.


It's Your Turn - May 2015 OTW Drive

Published: 2015-05-01 12:03:45 -0400

A deck of cards with the ace of hearts showing with the title 'We Win Together: OTW May 1-6, 2015 Membership Drive

It all begins with the first piece. You’ve got the whole board to place it on. Every move is open. The choice is yours.

Success begins with that first move. What are you aiming for? Maybe today you want to win a game, or you just want to have some fun with your friends. Maybe you're exploring a brave new fandom, or revisiting old favourites you've loved for years. Maybe you're creating new content, signal boosting amazing recs, or organizing a challenge. Whatever it is, you need that first move to get started.

Here at the Organization for Transformative Works, our vision is to help build a stronger fan community for years to come through our projects: Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Legal Advocacy, Open Doors, Fanhackers, and Transformative Works and Cultures.

This week, we’ve set a goal to raise US$100,000. This money helps the OTW pay for expenses that keep our projects going, in addition to funding improvements and helping us grow.

Now we need you to make the next move. Come play on our team—give us a boost by donating. You can help us build a better AO3. You can help us fight for the legal rights of fans. You can help us make fanworks and fan culture more accessible to everyone who wants to enjoy them.

We’ve set up our game board. Now we just need our pieces. Help lead us to success and donate today!


Release 0.9.57: Change Log

Published: 2015-04-30 18:43:08 -0400

We fixed a few bugs and took care of a performance issue caused by the dropdown user menu. Also, no more endless scrolling to reach the Sort and Filter box on mobile devices!


  • Coders: james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, mugenmine, mumble, Sam Johnsson, Scott


  • The filters for works, bookmarks, and so on were positioned at the bottom of the page for users on small screen devices, which made for a lot of scrolling. For users who have JavaScript enabled, we have added a button that will cause the filters to open on top of the page. (For users with JavaScript disabled, the button will jump down to the filters at the bottom of the page.)
  • The numbers in the "Hi, user!" dropdown menu (e.g. "My Works (17)") had to be calculated every time a logged-in user loaded a page, any page. This was bad for performance. We've removed these counts to reduce the strain on our database. (This doesn't affect the dashboard menu, where you can still find all relevant numbers.)
  • Like FanFiction.Net, the website Quotev blocks any attempts to import fic from their site. We have added a warning and an error message to our Import Work page to let users know about the block.
  • There was no way to tell which email address was associated with your account if you did not have the "Show my email address to other people" preference enabled. Now it will be displayed on the Change My Email page.
  • A user's History page includes information about the last time that user accessed any given work. However, this information was only updated if the user accessed the first chapter of a multi-chapter work. Now it will update regardless of which chapter the user accesses.
  • Admins must choose a language when posting a translation of a news post. However, the list of available languages was very long and included languages we do not currently offer translations in (e.g. Latin and Klingon). We've limited the list to only include languages for which we have translated news posts or FAQs.
  • The links in a user's dashboard menu were difficult to select when using a mouse or trackpad with the Dash Line skin (or with the default skin, which uses the same code as Dash Line on any screen narrower than 640px). We've fixed the overlapping elements that caused this issue, and now the links should be easier to select.
  • We've added a simple page which our load balancer can use to ensure a server is up and running before sending work its way.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


Releases 0.9.55 - 0.9.56: Change Log

Published: 2015-04-24 09:40:32 -0400

We've increased our cache storage space, fixed a handful of small but annoying bugs, and made some improvements for the Archive's Abuse and Tag Wrangling teams.


  • Coders: Enigel, james_, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: Elz, james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, mugenmine, Runt, Sara Elizabeth, Sarken



  • Draft works on the Archive are deleted one month after their creation. As a reminder, the deletion date is now included on the draft blurb. (Don't forget to back up your drafts!)
  • It was possible to leave guest kudos on a restricted work by opening the Archive in a second tab and logging out prior to selecting the Kudos button. Doing this will now give an error message.


  • Editing the tags on a bookmark did not expire the bookmark cache, so the changes did not appear in the bookmark blurb. Now changes to a bookmark tag will appear much more quickly.
  • Ratings on the Bookmark External Work form were listed in alphabetical order. Now they are listed in the same order we use elsewhere on the site (Not Rated, General Audiences, Teen And Up Audiences, Mature, Explicit).
  • In blurbs, the fandom tags on bookmarks of external works (and on series) were indented slightly. Now they line up directly beneath the series or work title.


  • On the Request Invitations page for logged-in users, we have added a note stating that requests are manually reviewed and may take several days to be approved.
  • When checking an email address's position in the invitation queue, the page would sometimes give contradictory information, like "There are currently 5 people on the waiting list," and "You are currently number 27 on our waiting list!" We've changed the way position is calculated so that will no longer happen.


  • We had more cache storage space available to us than we thought, so we've started using it. \o/
  • Abuse sometimes receives an overwhelming number of reports for a particular work. To ensure that Abuse is able to deal with reports quickly, we have limited the number of times any individual work can be reported in a month.
  • If two tag wranglers were trying to simultaneously wrangle unsorted bookmark tags, they would receive an error page that also had a success message. Now their work will be saved and they will not get an error message.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.


Pages Navigation