OTW Signal, April 2021

Every month in OTW Signal we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works.

In the News

On April 1st many organizations and businesses take part in April Fools’ posts, teasing their readers with fake news stories. But we’d like to instead let readers know some facts about the OTW and its projects that may help them better use Fanlore, AO3, Open Doors, Fanhackers, and TWC!

  • Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) includes both academic work as well as more informal essays by fans in each issue, which come out 2-3 times a year. But the academic peer review process means that it takes 12-18 months between essay submission and publication. Symposium essays, which are shorter and editorially reviewed, can be accepted up to 6 months before the next issue.
  • Open Doors has the capacity to import non-English language fanworks archives! We’ve imported two such archives in the past: GSSU and Turkfanfiction.Net.
  • OTW memberships and AO3 accounts are not linked in any way, so choosing to be an OTW member when you donate has nothing to do with whether or not you have an AO3 (or other OTW project) account. The OTW strongly supports the right of fans to separate fannish and non-fannish identities. We will never connect the two, and the databases that contain membership information and AO3 account information are entirely separate. Our storage and usage of your data is governed by our Privacy Policy.
  • Everyone is welcome to edit and contribute to Fanlore, and the site grows when more people take part! To start participating, all you have to do is register for a user account, which is easy and free of charge. You’ll be able to start making edits to existing pages right away, and after a 4-hour wait period, you’ll also be able to create new pages.
  • Although TWC has 1-2 special issues each year that focus on a particular theme, there is no guarantee the issues will include articles on a specific topic or with a particular point of view. That is because academics (and fans!) are not assigned topics by editors and do not write on demand. So what appears in each issue depends on what gets submitted and who responds to the call for papers for that issue.
  • The Archive of Our Own uses an 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, help and support can cope with. This helps us ensure that everyone using the Archive gets the best possible experience. Anyone can get an account by clicking on the “Get Invited” button on AO3’s front page, and it takes about 1-2 days for an invite to arrive by email.
  • Fanhackers is for fans! Although we have writers who post regularly, we welcome submissions — on what to read, what to post about or even what to post. If you’re interested, contact us!
  • Fanlore does not have a “notability” requirement, which means that any editor can add any fan or fandom-related content to Fanlore no matter how popular or how little-known it is. We’re here to document niche and obscure corners of fandom as well as big events, popular fanworks and prolific creators. Editors are even able to make people pages for themselves that discuss their own fannish contributions!
  • Open Doors has the ability to post individual fanworks by other creators to the Open_Doors AO3 account if permission from the creator is documented and submitted to Open Doors via our contact form.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or news story you think we should know about, send us a link. We are looking for content in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in an OTW post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Signal

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