If an archive hosting some of your works has been imported into the Archive of Our Own (AO3), your works will now be a part of AO3 under the creator name you used on the original archive. Depending on the archive, your works may only be accessible to logged-in AO3 members in order to keep them out of Google searches.
An email containing instructions on how to claim your works, orphan them or remove them from AO3 will have been sent to the address associated with your works on the original archive. In this tutorial, we clarify the options presented in that email. If some of your imported works are already on AO3, please refer to What if I have already posted a copy of the works being imported on the AO3? in our FAQ.
If you didn’t receive this email or you no longer have access to the email address associated with the imported archive, please refer to How will I get control over my imported works?
After your works have been added to AO3 as part of an archive import, you have the following options:
- Claim your imported works for an existing account, or create an account to attach the works to. This option will then allow you to orphan, delete, or edit your works.
- Leave your works in the care of the archivist account. This option will keep your works on AO3, attributed to the pseud you used on the imported archive, but attached to the imported archive’s archivist account.
- Orphan your works with or without your identifying pseud. Orphaning will transfer your works to AO3’s orphan_account. You are giving up control over the works, including the ability to edit or delete them, and you will no longer receive notifications or be able to reclaim them.
- Delete your works from AO3. This option will delete all of the listed imported works from AO3. You are welcome to upload or import them yourself at a later time.
- Take action on future imports. This option allows you to stop future imports from other archives and/or disable future imports’ email notifications.
Please note: Any option you select will apply to all works listed in the claim email, even if only some of them are listed on the claim page. If you would like to handle different works separately, you’ll have to claim your imported works first (Option 1).
If you do nothing, you’ll leave the works in the care of the archivist (Option 2). If you want to check your works before making your decision, but don’t have an AO3 account, contact Open Doors with your pseud and the titles of your work(s), and we’ll send you a copy.
Claiming Your Imported Works
In order to transfer your imported works to your AO3 account, you’ll need to claim your works first. Once they have been claimed, you can then orphan your works, delete your works, or edit your works in groups or one at a time.
If you don’t already have an AO3 account, you will need to create one.
If you do have an AO3 account which is associated with a different email address and use it to claim your works, note that we will automatically associate any future imports for that same address with your AO3 account. If you don’t want that to happen, you can do any of the following:
- Contact Open Doors to request a block on the email address associated with your account. This will prevent the mass importer from ever importing a work associated with that address. For more information, please refer to What if I don’t want my works to be imported?.
- Add the archivist account, an AO3 account named after the imported archive that holds its unclaimed works, as a co-creator, then remove your own account as a co-creator right after the automated import. For more information, please refer to How do I add or remove co-creators? and How do I remove myself as a creator of a work?.
- Orphan your works right after the automated import. For more information, please refer to How do I orphan my work(s)?.
Claim All Works
The text and button in this section are different, depending on whether or not you’re currently logged into an AO3 account.
Claim your works with your logged in account. If you would like to claim these works under a different account (or create a new account to claim them with), log out and reload this page first.
Below the button will be a list of all works that have been imported on behalf of your email address. Selecting the button will add all of those works to the AO3 account you are logged into.
We invite you to join our beta and create an account! The works will automatically be added to your account and you will have full control over them.
If you already have an archive account, log in and reload this page, and we’ll assign you the works.
Below the button will be a list of all works that have been imported on behalf of your email address. Selecting the “Sign me up and give me my works! Yay!” button will activate an AO3 invite and allow you to create an AO3 account. All of the listed works will be added to your new account as soon as you finish creating it.
Leaving Your Works in the Care of the Archivist Account
Every imported archive has an AO3 account named after the imported archive. This is referred to as an “archivist account” and holds ownership of the archive’s unclaimed works.
Choosing the option “Leave my works in the care of the archivist” means that nothing changes. Your works will remain on the AO3, attributed to the pseud you used on the imported archive, but attached to the archivist account. An example of a work attributed to a pseud but attached the archivist account is:
If this is what you want, select this option and then the “Update” button.
This option also allows you to go back and claim your works in the future should you change your mind. If you keep the invite email, the link in it will still work as long as you don’t choose one of the other options. If you lose the email, you can always contact Open Doors, and we will issue you a new one.
If you would like to remove the identifying information from your works while still leaving them in the care of the archivist, you can do so as follows:
- Claim the works with your AO3 account and edit them to remove any identifying information, as well as make any other changes you want.
- Add the archivist account as a co-creator, then remove your own account as a creator. For more information, please refer to How do I add or remove co-creators? and How do I remove myself as a creator of a work?.
An example of a work that’s had all the author’s identifying information removed but remained attached to the archivist account is:
If you choose to do this, please contact Open Doors and let us know what happened, so we have a record of it and do not try to reassign the works to you.
Orphaning Your Works
Orphaning is an alternative to deleting works you no longer want associated with your account, and it will permanently eliminate all your identifying data from your works. Please note that orphaning is permanent and irreversible—you are giving up control over the works, including the ability to edit or delete them, and you will be unable to reclaim them. For more information on orphaning works on the AO3, refer to the Orphaning FAQ.
If you choose to orphan your imported works, they will be transferred to AO3’s orphan_account, and you will no longer receive notifications for them. If you choose the option “Orphan my works and take my email address off them, but keep my name”, a new pseud will be created with the same name as the handle pseud you used to create the works on the original archive. If you don’t want your pseud to remain on the works, you can select the checkbox “Assign my works to the AO3 orphan_account, removing both my name and email address”.
Before orphaning your works, it’s important to check them and make sure there isn’t any identifying information you want to remove. Once you’ve done that, you can either edit them or orphan them as they are:
- If there is nothing you would like to edit, you can orphan the works using the “Orphan my works and take my email address off them, but keep my name” option. If you want to remove your pseud as well, use the option “Assign my works to the AO3 orphan_account, removing both my name and email address”.
- If you would like to edit them, you can either:
- Contact Open Doors asking for specific text to be removed, and that the work then be orphaned. If you do this, please ensure you inform them whether you would like your pseud left on or removed from the works.
- Claim your works, edit them as you like, and then orphan them through the regular process. For more on this, refer to How do I orphan my work(s)?.
Once you’ve selected the option(s) you want, select the “Update” button towards the bottom of the page to apply your choices.
Deleting Your Imported Works from AO3
The “Please remove my works from the Archive entirely” option will delete all of the listed imported works from the AO3. Please note that this is permanent and irreversible. If this is what you want, select this option and then the “Update” button.
Take action on future imports
Prevent future imports for works with this email address
The option “From now on, do not import works with this email address” will prevent any works from being automatically included in any future archive imports if you posted them under this email address. If this is what you want, select the checkbox, along with whichever ownership option you’ve chosen for your already-imported works, and then the “Update” button.
Disable future import notifications for works associated with this email address
The option “Do not email me in the future when works are imported with this email address” will disable the notification emails that are usually sent when a work is imported. If you don’t want works to be imported at all, select the checkbox “From now on, do not import works with this email address”, along with whichever ownership option you’ve chosen, and then the “Update” button.
Where can I get more information if my question isn’t answered here?
Some commonly asked questions about Open Doors are answered in the Open Doors FAQ. You might also want to refer to our Open Doors Tutorials. You can find the answers to some commonly asked questions about the Archive of Our Own in the Archive FAQ. Questions and answers about the Archive’s Terms of Service can be found in the Terms of Service FAQ. You may also like to check out the Archive’s Known Issues. If you need more help, please contact Open Doors or submit a Support request.