What if I don’t want my works to be imported?

Contact Open Doors with the email address registered with the archive to be imported and request a block for that address. A block on an email address will prevent the mass importer from ever importing a story associated with that address. If you no longer have access to the email address you wish to block, please include any information that can help verify your identity. Please understand that in such cases, each request will be considered and vetted carefully.

Why are you importing archives onto the Archive of Our Own? Why not just save the entire archive and host it on the OTW’s servers?

Preserving fannish history is a central part of our mission – we love the plurality of fandom and want there to be many individual archives, and we want to ensure that if someone can no longer maintain an archive, this bit of fandom isn’t lost. We’d love to be able to preserve the archives themselves, but the resources required are too big: each archive would need its own server space, a team of coders able to update and/or rewrite the code behind it, some dedicated moderators, etc. By importing archives onto the AO3 but making them into distinct collections, we are able to save the wonderful fannish creativity and a little of that individual identity, while ensuring we only have to support one set of code, one lot of servers, and one support team.

What if I have already posted a copy of the works being imported on the AO3?

If you imported the work from the original archive using our import feature, then the work will not be imported again and your existing copy will be automatically associated with the new collection. If you posted the work manually or imported it from a different url, then you will need to decide what to do with the duplicate work. Keeping in mind that when possible, the imported archive’s web addresses will redirect to the imported copy of these works (to preserve rec lists and bookmarks), you can:

  • Wait for the merge tool currently in development, which can combine the hit counts and reviews of both copies, while keeping only one story body (and preserving the redirect link, if applicable).
  • Delete the imported copy (breaking the redirect link, if applicable), and add the pre-existing copy to the imported-archive’s collection.
  • Delete the pre-existing copy on AO3.
  • When applicable, request that Open Doors reset the redirect to point toward the pre-existing copy on AO3. To do so, please contact Open Doors with your AO3 account name, imported archive’s account name, and links to the works that you want the redirects to point to.

How will people be able to find my work?

The imported archive will be made into a collection on the Archive of Our Own, so it will remain individually distinct and can be browsed independently of the main archive. Imported works will also be accessible from the main Archive pages (so you may get some new readers!). Where possible, we will implement redirects from the original archive domain to the Archive of Our Own: we will publicise this on a case-by-case basis.

How will I get control over my imported works?

  • If the email address registered on the original archive is the same as the email address registered on the Archive of Our Own:
    1. You will receive an email letting you know your works have been imported and synched to your account.
  • If you have access to the email address associated with the account on the original archive, you will receive an email letting you know your works have been imported and giving you the following options:
    1. Claim the works on the Archive of Our Own and create a new account which they will be associated with (this means you get an AO3 account if you don’t already have one). You can then edit, delete, etc, the same way you would with any work you posted on the AO3.
    2. Claim the imported works and associate them with your existing AO3 account. You can then edit, delete, etc, the same way you would with any work you posted on the AO3.
    3. Delete the imported works. If you do this, you will also have the option to prevent any future works associated with that email address being imported onto the Archive.
    4. Orphan the imported works. This leaves the works on the Archive, but removes them from the control of any user account. You can choose whether to remove the name they were associated with on the old archive, or leave it displaying as a pseud. (Please note: If you choose to orphan your works, you will want to check them over first and edit out any remaining identifying data.)
  • If you don’t have access to the email address associated with the account on the original archive:
    1. Contact Open Doors with your account name on the original archive, any information that can help verify your identity.

What if I don’t have an account on the AO3?

When an archive is imported onto the AO3, you’ll be notified by email. If you don’t already have an account, you will be invited to create an Archive account (without adding yourself to our regular invitations queue). Yay! If you do already have an account, you’ll be able to claim the works for that account.

What will happen when my work is imported onto the AO3?

When your work is imported onto the AO3, several things will happen:

  1. We’ll send an email to the email address registered on the imported archive, notifying you of the move.
  2. If you already have an account on the Archive of Our Own under that same email address, your stories will be synched to your account automatically. (Any stories already imported by you using the URL Importer feature in AO3, will not be imported again.)
  3. If you already have an account, but under a different email address, you can still claim your stories using the claim links in the notification email.
  4. If you don’t have an account on AO3 under that email address, you will be invited to create one, and then claim your imported works and associate them with that account.
  5. Your imported works will be restricted to logged-in Archive users by default until you claim them and choose whether you want them to be publicly-visible. In some cases (especially those where the original archive was open to the public, and the archivist requests this) the works will default to being publicly-visible after three months whether claimed or not.

How will I know when my work is imported onto the AO3?

When an import takes place, an email will be sent to every user who has had a work imported. These emails will go to the email address associated with the account on the old archive. This does mean that if you no longer have access to that email address, you won’t be notified automatically – we hope that the other publicity around imports will help ensure that those people affected will hear about it. We maintain a list of imported archives in the Open Doors Special Collections Gallery.

How will I know if an archive with my work on it is going to be imported onto the AO3?

Before we import an archive, we’ll post an announcement on the Archive news blog, TransformativeWorks.org blog, OTW’s Dreamwidth and LiveJournal News Journals, Tumblr, and the AO3 Twitter account: @ao3org. We will also encourage the maintainers of the archive we’re importing to publicise the import on the old archive (if feasible) and in other venues where they believe affected users will see the news. Since at-risk archives are often older archives where many users have moved on and/or changed their contact details, we can’t guarantee that everyone affected will know ahead of time, but we’ll do our best to make sure people are aware.

Why is my story suddenly here?

Because the archivist who controls the archive you used decided to move to the AO3. While all the AO3’s tools are designed to give as much control to the individual fan as possible, in the case of large archives we believe that the archivist has responsibility and authority for the body of work as a collection. Archivists have moved archives onto different servers, updated the software that organizes the works, switched webhosting, etc. to keep a collection of fan works alive, online, and together. Transferring or backing up a collection into the AO3 is just another way of ensuring an archive’s long term accessibility. The archivist will also continue to have control over the collection if they want, and can set its rules, etc. Nonetheless, if an individual fan wants to remove their stories from the original archive or from the AO3, we provide easy tools for doing so; see below.