Archive FAQ > Invitations

What is an invitation code?

Invitation codes, also known as tokens, are used for new user registration. There are two types of invitation code: one is a link that directs new users to the Account Creation page, and the other is a string of alphanumeric characters one can use to create a new account.

To use the link invitation codes, please refer to I've received an invitation code. How do I use it to create an account?

To use the non-link invitation codes, please refer to How do I use an invitation code that is not a link?

I've received an invitation code. How do I use it to create an account?

If you received an invitation link, you can either select the link or copy and paste the complete link into your browser's address bar to visit the Account Creation page.

For more information on creating new accounts, please visit How do I create an account?

Why can't I create an account without an invitation code?

We're using the invitation code system so that the Archive can grow in a controlled manner. We need to add new users gradually so that our account numbers don't grow beyond what our hardware, bandwidth, and support team can cope with. This helps us ensure that everyone using the Archive gets the best possible experience.

How do I get an invitation code?

There are two ways to receive an invitation code:

  • By selecting the "Get Invited" button below the Welcome blurb on the Archive's homepage, you can add your name to the Invite Requests list. Invitations are sent on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You can also receive an invitation code from an existing Archive user. Archive users can request invitations through their account. For more information, refer to I already have an account. How do I give an invitation to someone else?

For more information on the status of your invitation requests, refer to How long will it take for me to get an invitation?

How long will it take for me to get an invitation?

The Invite Requests page provides information on the current number of people on the waiting list. You can see how many people are waiting for an invitation and the number of invitations we're sending per day. This should help you estimate when you will receive an invitation.

You can also use that page to check where you are on the list. Just enter your email address in the second field of the Invite Requests page, under the question "Wondering how long you'll have to wait?", and select the "Look me up" button. You'll get an estimate of when you will receive your invitation based on the rate at which we're sending out invitations and where you are in the queue. The number of invitations we can send out per day depends on how well the site responds to the extra users, so the rate is subject to change.

I already have an account. How do I give an invitation to someone else?

New accounts do not come with any invitations by default.

To give an invitation to someone, you need to:

  1. Log in to the Archive.
  2. Under the "Hi, [user name]!" menu in the top bar, select "My Dashboard".
  3. Select the "Invitations" button, which is on the same line as the "Post New" and "Edit Works" buttons. This will take you to the Invitations page, which will provide a summary of how many invitations you have available, or give you the option to request more.

From here there are a few options:

If you have unsent invitations, then one option is to enter the email address of the person you would like to invite and select the "Send Invitation" button.

The second option is to select the "Manage Invitations" button. This will show you a list of tokens (invitation codes), including any that you've already sent. If there are any that are unused, you can copy the link labelled "copy and use" in the same row. In a mobile browser, you may need to scroll to the right to find this. Note that selecting the link will redirect you to the front page; you need to use the "copy link" function in your browser in order to copy the actual link address. You can then paste the full link into a chat window, email, or other document. Send the link to the person you wish to receive the invite and, once they follow the link, they'll be taken to a sign-up page.

If you have no unused invitations, then from either the Invitations page or the Manage Invitations page, you can select the "Request Invitations" button. This will take you to a form asking how many invites you're requesting and the reason why. You can ask for up to 10 through this form, either for a few friends or to run a challenge. Your reason doesn't have to be fancy; this is to track usage, not to police who will receive invitations. Remember, we're always happy to give them out! Once you've filled out the form, just select the "Send Request" button and wait. A site administrator will grant you the invitations within a few days. For more information about the next steps, refer to How do I know if my invitation request is processed? When and how will I receive it?

As mentioned, this form can be used for up to 10 invitations. If you need more than 10, then contact Support directly with the number needed and reason for the request.

I'm an Archive user. How do I manage my invitations?

You can begin managing your invitations by selecting the "Manage Invitations" button on your Invitations page. From the Manage Invitations page, you can filter your invitations by their status. To do so, simply select the "Unsent", "Sent But Unused", "Used", and "All" buttons on the top row.

In the "Sent But Unused" category, you can change or update the invitation recipient's email address. This is useful to recycle the unclaimed invitations to other potential new users, or to change a incorrect email address. Selecting the token that you want to change will take you to the Show Invitation page, which displays a summary of invitation information. You can replace the recipient's email address in the text box with a new one and select the "Update Invitation" button on the bottom right corner.

How do I know if my invitation request has been processed? When and how will I receive it?

Don't worry, chances are good that your request has reached us! A site administrator will assign you the requested invitation(s) as soon as we're able. If you don't receive the invitation(s) within a week or so, you can contact Support to check on the status of your request.

Once we assign your requested invitation(s), you will receive an email with a link to the page you can use to share them. If you haven't received an email, make sure to check your Invitations page; sometimes unused invitations will be assigned to you without an email notification. You can find the Invitations page by way of the "Invitations" button, located on the top right corner of your Dashboard page.

Visit I already have an account. How do I give an invitation to someone else? for more information.

If another user has provided you with a code but not a link, go to your browser address bar and enter http://archiveofourown/signup/####, replacing "####" with the alphanumeric code you've been given. This should take you to a sign-up form. For more information on creating new accounts, please visit How do I create an account?

Can I make a donation to get an invitation faster?

No, we don't provide Archive invitations in exchange for donations. We are committed to providing the Archive of Our Own as a free service for any fans who wish to use it, regardless of their financial situation. Therefore, although we're deeply grateful for the financial support of fans who choose to donate to the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), doing so will not get you an invitation any faster.

Where can I get more information if my question isn't answered here?

Some commonly asked questions about the Archive are answered in the broader Archive FAQ. Questions and answers about our Terms of Service can be found in the Terms of Service FAQ. You may also like to check out our Known Issues. If you need more help, please contact Support.