AO3 News

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 Internationalization & Outreach Staff and Tag Wranglers.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Journal Committee Staff: Production Assistant - closing 24 August 2015 UTC
  • Journal Committee Volunteer: Layout Editor - closing 24 August 2015 UTC
  • Translation Volunteer - closing 24 August 2015

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.

Journal Committee Staff: Production Assistant

The journal production assistant supports the production editor in overseeing academic documents through every stage of production. The production editor is responsible for creating and maintaining all documentation related to copyediting, layout, and proofreading, including detailed directions and style notes. The production editor sets, and to some extent enforces, each issue’s due dates, from preferred date for receipt of v1 copy to the editorial teams to the due dates for each step in production. The production editor ensures that copyright releases are correctly submitted and filed. The production editor assigns work to the copyeditors, layout personnel, and proofreaders and maintains deadlines. The production editor maintains OJS, which involves working with Systems to ensure it is upgraded. The production editor is in charge of the site's CSS. The production editor HTML tags documents. The production editor is in charge of doing the DOI deposit for each issue.

Applications are due 24 August 2015 UTC

Journal Committee Volunteer: Layout Editor

Transformative Works and Cultures is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics, promoting dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Layout editors HTML tag Word documents to prepare the manuscript for online publication.

Applications are due 24 August 2015 UTC

Translation Volunteer

Translators and translation betas help make the OTW and its projects accessible to a wider international audience. We work on translating all sorts of content throughout the OTW and its projects: site pages, news posts, AO3 FAQs, AO3 Support tickets, and any inquiry that reaches a committee or volunteer group in languages they can’t translate themselves. Most of our work consists of translations from English to another language, though we also need to do the reverse on some occasions.

If you are fluent in one language (or more!) other than English, if you enjoy working collaboratively, if you like having flexible deadlines, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help it reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

We really need volunteers who speak Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, European Portuguese, Hungarian, Japanese, Kiswahili, Korean, Marathi, Polish, Ukrainian, Swedish, Turkish and Vietnamese—but help with other languages would be much appreciated. (Please note that our German team is not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples as part of the selection process. More information can be found on the Translation Committee page.

Applications are due 24 August 2015 UTC

Apply at the volunteering page!

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The Seamus/Dean Forever Archive is Coming to the AO3

Published: 2015-08-11 12:35:59 -0400

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

The Seamus/Dean Forever Archive, a Harry Potter fanworks archive devoted to the Seamus Finnigan/Dean Thomas pairing, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The Seamus/Dean Forever Archive was a Harry Potter archive which was active from approximately 2002-2005. It held fanfiction and fanart focussing on the relationship between Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas.

Open Doors will be working with Miss Cora, the moderator, to import Seamus/Dean Forever into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, both its fanfiction and fanart will be hosted on the OTW's servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages.

What does this mean for creators who had work on Seamus/Dean Forever?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

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

2. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors with your Seamus/Dean Forever pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (Please include "Seamus/Dean Forever" in the subject heading.) If you are happy for your works to be preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know, as we can add the works so that others can enjoy them, but not include your name or AO3 account.

3. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one to import your works yourself, please contact Open Doors with your Seamus/Dean Forever pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "Seamus/Dean Forever" in the subject heading.) For instructions on importing works and adding them to the Seamus/Dean Forever collection, please see the Open Doors website.

4. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one, as well as assistance importing your works, please contact Open Doors with your Seamus/Dean Forever pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Please include "Seamus/Dean Forever" 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.

5. All works imported on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with their name in the summary of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Seamus/Dean Forever fanwork(s), please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (Please include "Seamus/Dean Forever" in the subject heading.) 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 Cora to confirm your claims.

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

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 Seamus/Dean Forever 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 Seamus/Dean Forever!

- The Open Doors team

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On Archive of Our Own Mobile Apps

Published: 2015-08-07 12:06:05 -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'

An unofficial Archive of Our Own Android app was recently released to Google Play. As this release has brought the subject back into the spotlight, we wanted to take this opportunity to share the current state of official AO3 app development.

"Have you thought about making an app?" is one of our most frequently asked questions, but in mobile app development, there isn’t actually such a thing as "an" app. Apps need to be built for different mobile platforms -- Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile being the top three -- and for the many versions of those platforms still in use.

Before we could even start developing an app that would allow you to do anything more than browse unrestricted works, we would need to develop a public API -- definitely on our roadmap, but several major releases away. Then, we would need to build different, responsive user interfaces for both phone and tablet. What seems like a small, straightforward project evolves very quickly into something needing many resources, dedicated ones, with diverse skill-sets. While we have said in the past that we'd like to release a mobile AO3 app, the required resources just aren't available.

The coders who develop the Archive all do so on a volunteer basis, and give as much time as possible to support its growth -- but that time is limited, and fully consumed by the work needed to keep the Archive running smoothly. Either the team spends time continuing to improve the Archive, or developing an app -- there simply aren't enough volunteers to support both.

It’s not just the initial development that would be resource-intensive. An app would need to be maintained and continually updated to ensure it keeps working as new versions of each platform are released -- not to mention enhancing the app to include new and improved Archive features! And because an app would require long-term maintenance by a dedicated team, it’s not something we can reliably fund with donations.

But coding and testing resources don't even begin to scratch the surface of what would be needed to support an app! Resources would also be needed from the following teams:

  • Support would need to be staffed, trained, and equipped to help with any technical issues encountered on each platform,
  • Our Documentation team would have to create and continually update support documents for the app, and
  • The Translation team would have to translate and continually update the documentation to make the app accessible to non-English speakers.

Not only would this be more resources than we currently have available, it would also pull team members away from working in support of our roadmap.

Our team's goal is to keep the Archive available and accessible to as many people as possible. The best way we can do so is by focusing our efforts on building a single, responsive version of the Archive that works (and works well!) on as many devices as possible. We are eternally dedicated to ensuring that this includes devices of all shapes and sizes, and will continue to focus resources on enhancing the site's mobile responsiveness and usability for all. That means a standalone app just isn't possible at this point in the Archive's development.

To close on a security note, if a third-party app or website requests your AO3 login information, please proceed cautiously and be aware that you are providing this information at your own risk. While there are no current security concerns, please be sure to change your password if you believe your account may have been compromised at any time.

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July 2015 Newsletter, Volume 93

Published: 2015-08-06 11:28:12 -0400

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

I. OTW JOINS COALITIONS

In July, the OTW was proud to join three new legal-focused coalitions. First, in early July we joined the Harry Potter Alliance's Fanworks Are Fair Use Project, a community of fan creators, readers, artists, and enthusiasts who are committed to the protection and preservation of fair use law.

Then, a few days later, we announced that we'd joined the Re:Create coalition—a group of organizations representing innovators, creators, and consumers united for balanced U.S. copyright policies, including robust fair use laws.

More recently, we've added our support to the Save The Link project, a global coalition opposed to policies that would allow governments to block hyperlinks or block sites based on where they link to—yet another set of ideas we've long believed in and are thrilled to support.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed a variety of small bug fixes in releases 0.9.65-0.9.69; worked with the Legal, Support, and Communications teams to research and respond to the unofficial Archive app recently released into the Google Play store; and identified and began testing new issue trackers to replace Google Code, which will be shutting down in a few months.

AO3 Documentation completed and uploaded three documents this month: the Posting and Editing FAQ, the Statistics FAQ, and a tutorial on "Posting a Work on AO3. They've also welcomed five new members to the Docs team.

Abuse handled over 300 tickets in July. They are currently working with Accessibility, Design & Technology to make it easier to identify and deal with anon trolls and harassment. They are also in the process of updating their documentation, which should make it easier to help deal with tickets. Meanwhile, Support's ticket count is averaging, for 2015, around 725 tickets a month. They've also signed on seven new staffers to help with the increasing workload.

Systems has been interviewing potential new recruits and are working on documentation. They're installing and setting up lots of new servers and development systems, namely for Open Doors and the AO3 coders. They've also been working on our offsite backup solutions to better protect the OTW's data.

Tag Wrangling implemented a new procedure for revising the wrangling guidelines, which should smooth out the process of keeping everything up to date. They also assisted Open Doors with tag mapping for upcoming archive imports, and held several wrangling parties in chat so everyone could work together and give each other advice on tricky tags. Wranglers also continued to assist each other with translations, and responded to several Support requests.

III. INFORMING FANS

Legal corresponded with the creators of an unauthorized "AO3 App" for Android, whose product and promotion used the OTW's trademarks in a confusing manner. We are pleased that so many people love the AO3, but we don't want people to be confused! For more information about AO3's position on an app, please refer to this post.

Legal also responded to several queries from fans about fair use and fandom law and got help from Translation with a query in French.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Legal Chair Betsy was on a panel moderated by Legal staffer Heidi which discussed the evolution of fandom and fanworks and the laws that surround them. They were joined by panelists from Tumblr, Wattpad, Zefr, Supernatural Wiki, Chaotic Good, and the New Statesman. Video of the panel is now available.

Communications' Media Outreach subcommittee covered the San Diego Comic-Con "Fandom is my Fandom" panel. It also released a guest post with Donna Davies, creator of "Fanarchy," a documentary on fan films. Many more guest posts are being planned by the Media Outreach group, and they would welcome suggestions for future guest posts.

Communications has begun actively moderating the OTW News twitter account, and is still looking for suggestions for non-English-language fan accounts to follow. A moderator for the OTW's new Weibo account has been inducted and is currently completing training. The Weibo account should become active within the next six weeks. A new graphics volunteer has also been inducted and is currently completing training.

Communications is also working on the upcoming 20th issue celebration for Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC). A panel chat with contributors to TWC is planned for September 19th, focusing on the field of Fan Studies. If you have questions on the topic, please let us know!

Journal's next issue of TWC is on schedule. Editor Karen updated paperwork for TWC's listing in a compilation of Open Access journals.

Translation welcomed and trained several new volunteers as a result of June's Spotlight post, including two brand new teams: Japanese and Croatian!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Development & Membership welcomed one new staffer in July and said a fond farewell to four others as they continued work toward the upcoming October drive. They are currently developing a proposal to add a second payment processor (besides PayPal) to address international donor needs.

Elections came to a consensus regarding the extension of the voting period for OTW elections. The voting period will now be four days, spanning Friday to Monday. In addition the committee's confidentiality and neutrality policies were drafted, agreed upon, and sent to Legal for further review. They also finalized a social media policy and selected a Twitter team for their account.

Internationalization & Outreach has been taking internal feedback on a plan that it has developed to promote inclusivity and internationalization within the OTW. They also updated some internal documentation in preparation for their new recruits.

Strategic Planning will be publishing the final draft of our long-range plan for consideration and hopes to work out details of what implementation will look like at our October meeting with the Board. Strategic Planning has a few last-minute meetings with several committees regarding the timeline of certain goals.

V. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been continuing to work on implementation of their new task tracking system with plans to go live in early August. They recruited for Tag Wrangling volunteers and Internationalization & Outreach staff in July and are presently planning for August recruiting. They have also started discussions for the annual Still Willing to Serve campaign for current staff and a number of end-of-year tasks.

New Committee Staff: OutToGarden (AO3 Documentation), Rebecca Sentance (AO3 Documentation), Robin Gaitan (AO3 Documentation), Kaitlin (Support), Wes (Support), Genie Este (Support), kiki-eng (Development & Membership), sveritas (Communications), 1 other AO3 Documentation staff, and 4 other Support staff
New Communications Volunteers: ElenaWho
New Translator Volunteers: Hana Yu, Tanya Lokot, EmptyLot, tezzin, AndreyVas, and 7 others

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Systems, and 4 Development & Membership
Departing Tester Volunteers: erialeduab
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1
Departing Translator Volunteers: Karagodina Elena and 4 other Translators


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

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Portuguese in the AO3

Published: 2015-07-26 17:40:27 -0400

Until recently, if you were browsing or posting works in Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese, your only option was a generic "Portuguese" language. Answering several user requests, and after consultation with OTW Translation's Brazilian and European Portuguese teams, we have decided to change this setup.

The "Portuguese" language has been split into two languages for posting to the AO3:

  • European Portuguese, labelled "Português europeu"
  • Brazilian Portuguese, labelled "Português brasileiro"

To minimize the tidying-up work, both Translation teams have done their best to identify existing works in the previous "Portuguese" tag that belong to either language. During the migration, Accessibility, Design & Technology coders moved works according to this classification. If you have previously posted a work in Portuguese, please double-check that it's properly classified. You can change your work's language by selecting the "Edit" button at the top of the work page and choosing the correct language in the "Choose a language" dropdown menu.

We hope this will increase the site's usability for our Portuguese-speaking users. Our translation teams are also hard at work on the Brazilian Portuguese AO3 FAQs and the European Portuguese AO3 FAQs. Feel free to submit Support and Abuse tickets in either language, or just drop us a line saying hi!

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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 AO3 Documentation Staff, Support Staff and Systems Staff.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Internationalization & Outreach Committee Staffer - closing 27 July 2015 UTC
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteers - closing when 50 applicants have been received or 27 July 2015 UTC, whichever occurs first.

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.

Internationalization & Outreach Committee Staffer

Internationalization & Outreach is looking for new staffers.

The OTW has a responsibility to all its volunteers and users to work toward inclusivity, accessibility and visibility for the OTW and its projects, both from a fannish and an international standpoint. I&O is currently engaged in long term planning and is looking for people to help with human resources-type documentation (updating I&O role documents and position descriptions for personnel, confidentiality agreements, and so forth) and in-depth research into the issues that I&O deals with within the OTW in a broader context.

I&O is looking for people who are good at writing clear and accessible guidelines and explanations or who are good researchers, and who want to make the OTW more accessible for fans. We want people who are good at identifying problems and solutions and at building consensus. It’s important to know how to balance between bringing our own perspectives to the table and representing the ideas of our fellow volunteers. You should be willing to listen to the other committee members, to contribute to and critique each other’s work, and to collaborate toward our eventual goal.

We hope to build a team of people who can work together towards these goals of inclusivity, accessibility and visibility for the OTW and its projects. If you would like to help the OTW better represent fandom's diversity, I&O is the committee for you. Join us!

Applications are due 27 July 2015 UTC

Tag Wrangling Volunteers

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to keep the millions of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff.)

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. See the application for which fandoms are in need.

Applications will close when 50 applicants have been received or 27 July 2015 UTC, whichever occurs first.

Apply at the volunteering page!

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Releases 0.9.65 - 0.9.69: Change Log

Published: 2015-07-19 23:10:04 -0400

We've returned some formatting to kudos emails, cleaned up the language menu for news posts, and added some HTML classes for use in Archive skins.

Credits

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

Details

  • The language filter for AO3 News posts used to list all languages available on the Archive. It will now only include languages for which we have a locale set up, which will usually correspond to languages with news posts.
  • The kudos email lost some of its text styling when we prepared it for translation. User names will now be bold and red again, and work titles will be bold and italic.
  • We cleaned up the files that control the text of the kudos email.
  • There were some automated tests that weren't being run because they weren't working properly. They have been fixed and are now being run.
  • We've begun using a Ruby gem that will reduce the number of deadlocks in our database.
  • When challenge information was deleted from a collection, the collection would still claim to be a gift exchange or prompt meme in the blurb. We've cleaned up old instances of this bug and fixed it so it won't happen again.
  • After expanding the list of users on a work with over 50 named kudos, selecting a name that was previously hidden merely hid the list again. Now the name will correctly link to the user's profile.
  • We were using CSS to insert colons on the Statistics page, e.g. in "User Subscriptions: 2" or "Hits: 4", which was not the best way to do it. We now include the colons directly where they should be.
  • Work stats (word count, hits, kudos/comment/bookmark count) now come with individual CSS classes, so you can target dl.stats .hits in an Archive skin to hide hit counts from yourself across the site.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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OTW Joins Re:Create Coalition

Published: 2015-07-08 13:42:55 -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'

For years, we at the OTW have been fighting for copyright laws that make room for fans to express themselves through fanworks. We haven't been alone in this fight: over the years, we've partnered with groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the American Library Association, and others to argue that the law should encourage a wide range of creation and expression, including the fair use of material created by others.

Now, we're officially coming together with a network of organizations that believe, like we do, that U.S. copyright law should reflect the diversity of the creators, innovators, and consumers who make, use, remake, and reuse creative expression; that U.S. copyright law should not stand in the way of free expression worldwide; and that fair use is a vital component of a balanced copyright law. In March, we joined members of this group in sending a letter to the U.S. Congress encouraging balanced copyright policies -- and we're very happy to continue that work with a great group of partners.

“Fanworks serve a unique and important role in our society and must be protected. Fair use is a critical right that permits the public to use portions of copyrighted material without permission, under certain circumstances, from the copyright owner. Whether it be an adapted story with our favorite characters or an app for our phones, fair use makes creativity and innovation possible. Re:Create is excited to welcome OTW to the coalition and we look forward to all that we will accomplish together,” said Tina Pelkey, a spokesperson for Re:Create.

Find out more about the Re:Create coalition and its work at its site, and watch this space for news of coalition activities and opportunities.

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