Femslash week in review

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Name: Femslash week in review
Date(s): 2017-present
Submissions: no
Type: statistics
Fandom: multifandom
Scope: femslash meta
URL: https://letzan.tumblr.com/tagged/femslash-week-in-review
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Femslash week in review is a series of posts by letzan listing the most popular femslash fandoms on AO3 by week.


Mission statement: help out people (including myself) who read fic on AO3 and wish they were reading more femslash, but don’t know what’s out there. Plan: do a week-in-review post every week which contains general stats about new fic and (eventually) a few recs.

Note: I am starting with the list of all works on ao3.org which were updated within a given week, and which were categorized as F/F, but I am not reporting stats on all of those works — I’m narrowing down to a subset of fandoms and works for which it’s tractable for me to actually look at all the character tags, and then I’m excluding ships containing what I believe to be cis-male characters. I’ll give overall stats about how many works I’ve reported on and how many I’ve excluded. If you think I’m excluding a fandom you care about, please let me know!

  • Fandom (and top three ships): If multiple tags that seem to correspond to the same fandom (e.g. “The 100 (TV)” and “The 100 Series - Kass Morgan”) show up in my ranking, I report the one with the best rating. There’s totally a judgment call here about what things are “the same fandom” — I’m going to err on the side of reporting more different things when I can, but I won’t skip something with a lot of works which aren’t otherwise accounted for. When measuring the top three F/F ships in a fandom, I count both “A/B” and “A & B” as “A,B”. Ties are broken by including all of the ships, but I only include a maximum of five ships per fandom to keep the table length reasonable.
  • Rating for week: I like fandoms with ensemble casts, so I’m doing a weighted sum based on the logarithm of number of works by pairing, so that fandoms with several different F/F pairings get a significant bonus.
  • F/F/ works updated this week: includes both new and continued works.
  • % of F/F works updated this week: This is the percentage of all F/F works I’ve ever categorized in the fandom, so a big number probably means a brand new fandom, or at least one which was unusually active this week.
  • F/F:M/M ratio (all works): This ratio is taken from all works in the fandom tag, and is just a hint to readers about how F/F-dominant the fandom is. Obviously there’s no reason you can’t find great F/F works in a predominantly male fandom (we’ve all read those), but the ratio may give a hint about whether the F/F pairing is likely to be the dominant one in a work with multiple pairings. Note that the “F/F” and “M/M” numbers for this column are taken directly from AO3, not from my compiled character and ship stats. (Since I don’t categorize M/M works, I couldn’t do it any other way.)

Known bugs which affect the accuracy of this data:

  • AO3 does not modify the “last updated” date of a work in a revealed exchange when the exchange reveals, so my database can miss exchange works entirely if they’re last edited awhile before the exchange works are revealed. This probably leads to a serious undercount of works in revealed exchanges.
  • When canonical names for characters and ships change over time, my database can wind up containing entries for both ships. This makes ratings inaccurate.