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 link. 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 link. 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.

If you received an invitation code that is not a link, please refer to How do I use an invitation code that is not a link?

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 may also be able to receive an invitation code from an existing Archive user, if they have any available. Archive users can no longer request new invitations through their account, but they can send out any they already have. 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?

If another user has provided you with a code but not a link, go to your browser address bar and enter http://archiveofourown.org/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?

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 a number of factors, so the rate is subject to change.

How do I request invitations for a challenge that I'm running?

To sign up for your challenge, all participants must have an Archive of Our Own (AO3) account. If you need to request accounts for a challenge you're running, please contact Support with the challenge name, the dates sign-ups will open and close, the challenge moderator account to send the invites to, and the number of invitations needed.

The challenge moderator will then be able to send the invites to participants by following the instructions in I already have an account. How do I give an invitation to someone else?

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

If your account has unsent invitations, you can give those invitations to others following the steps below.

To give an invitation to someone, you need to:

  1. Log in and go to your Dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select the "Invitations" button towards the top of the page. This will take you to the Invitations page, which will provide a summary of how many invitations you have available.

From here there are a few options: one is to enter the email address of the person you would like to invite and select the "Send Invitation" button. You can always review the email address and choose to resend if that's necessary. Modifying the email address allows you to recycle the unclaimed invitations and resend them to other users. For more information, refer to I'm an Archive user. How do I manage my invitations?

The second option is to copy the invitation URL and send it to the person directly. To do so, select the "Manage Invitations" button from your Invitations page. This will take you to a page which shows you the status of all invitations made available to your account, including those that have been used by your friends.

The URL of any unused token is located in the "copy and use" text area. To copy it, right-click on the link (or long press on mobile) and select "Copy link location" or "Copy link address". Paste the resulting link into a chat window, email, or other document and send it to your friend. They can then follow this link to sign up for an account.

If you don't have any invitations available, anyone you want to invite will need to request an invite through the Invite Requests page. The "Request Invitation" button is located on the Invitations page and the Manage Invitations page, but selecting that button will no longer initiate an invitation request process. If you need to request accounts for a challenge you're running, please refer to How do I request invitations for a challenge that I'm running? for more details.

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

Log in, and go to your Dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image. Select the "Invitations" button that is located towards the top of the page. From there, you can begin managing your invitations by selecting the "Manage Invitations" button.

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 for recycling the unclaimed invitations to other potential new users, or for changing an incorrect email address. Selecting the token (invitation code) 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. You can also copy the direct URL of the invitation and resend it to the recipient. For more information, refer to I already have an account. How do I give an invitation to someone else?

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 and some common terminology is defined in our Glossary. 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.