Organization for Transformative Works/AO3 Documentation

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OTW Committee
Committee Name: AO3 Documentation Committee
Organization: Organization for Transformative Works
Date(s): March 2012 - June 2015 (workgroup);
June 2015 - present (committee)
Focus: Creating user-facing and internal documentation, such as FAQs, tutorials and screencasts, for Archive of Our Own and the wider OTW.
Committee Roles:
External Links: FAQs on AO3
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Organization for Transformative Works Committees

AO3 Documentation, Accessibility, Design & Technology, Board Assistants Team, Communications, Development & Membership, Elections, Fanlore, Finance, Legal, Open Doors, Policy & Abuse, Strategic Planning, Support, Systems, TWC, Tag Wrangling, Translation, Volunteers & Recruiting, Webs

The AO3 Documentation Committee, or "Docs", is one of the committees involved in the Organization for Transformative Works, and is responsible for creating, editing and revising user-facing documentation such as FAQs, tutorials and screencasts on Archive of Our Own.

It was originally formed as a workgroup in March 2012, before transitioning to a full committee in June 2015. Docs works closely with other OTW committees including Support, Translation and Accessibility, Design & Technology (AD&T).

Workgroup era

In March 2012, the OTW Board of Directors approved the creation of an 'AO3 Documentation Workgroup'.[1] The workgroup came about largely through the efforts of the Support Committee, with help from the Accessibility, Design & Technology Committee. It was conceived as a cross-committee workgroup to help manage external AO3 documentation, such as FAQs and Tutorials, as well as create and/or expand the OTW's internal knowledge base.

Matty Bowers, the then-chair of the Support Committee, served as the original workgroup lead for Docs, with Amelia and Elz, then co-chairs of the AD&T Committee, acting as advisors. She held this role from the workgroup's creation in March 2012 until August 2014. Hele braunstein and Priscilla del Cima, then co-chairs of the Translation Committee, joined as additional workgroup leads in May 2014,[2] managing the workgroup alongside Matty until she stepped down in August.

Initially, the workgroup was to be composed of internal volunteers and staff, with external recruitment planned for a possible later date. Incoming new external volunteers were to be sorted into the AD&T or Support Committees depending on their main skillset. The workgroup opened external recruitment for the first time in April 2013,[3] and again in March 2014,[4] September 2014[5] and February 2015.[6]

In November 2014, Docs began working on the required documentation to become a full committee.[7] The reasons for transitioning from a workgroup to a committee were various: in the OTW, workgroups are usually formed to achieve a specific goal and then disbanded, whereas the Docs workgroup planned to continue working on AO3 and OTW documentation with no set end in sight.

By this time, Docs was also primarily made up of new, Docs-only external volunteers instead of internal cross-committee volunteers, and for all intents and purposes was functioning as a committee, establishing liaison relationships with other committees and taking steps to ensure its long-term sustainability. The two workgroup leads, hele and Priscilla, were also in the process of training up two new prospective chairs to take over the day-to-day running of Docs.

In June 2015, AO3 Documentation formally transitioned to committee status, and the committee opened up external recruitment for its first new cohort of staff members.[8]

History of chairs/workgroup leads

  • March 2012 - August 2014: Matty Bowers (workgroup lead)
  • May 2014 - June 2015: Hele Braunstein & Priscilla del Cima (workgroup leads)
  • June 2015 - October 2015: Hele Braunstein & Priscilla del Cima (co-chairs)
  • October 2015 - August 2016: Hele Braunstein & Claire P. Baker (co-chairs)
  • August 2016 - December 2016: Claire P. Baker & Sammie Louise (co-chairs)
  • January 2017 - February 2019: Claire P. Baker, Sammie Louise, & Rebecca Sentance (co-chairs)
  • February - September 2019: Claire P. Baker & Sammie Louise (co-chairs)
  • September 2019 - present: Claire P. Baker, Sammie Louise & Morgan Drake (co-chairs)

External links


  1. ^ Organization for Transformative Works: March 2012 Newsletter, Volume 57 (Accessed December 28, 2016).
  2. ^ Organization for Transformative Works: May 2014 Newsletter, Volume 80 (Accessed December 28, 2016).
  3. ^ The OTW is Recruiting for AO3 Coders, Documentation Staffers, and Tag Wranglers!, Organization for Transformative Works, published April 12, 2013 (Accessed December 28, 2016)
  4. ^ The OTW Needs Volunteers!, Organization for Transformative Works, published March 17, 2014 (Accessed December 28, 2016)
  5. ^ Looking for AO3 Documentation Volunteers, Organization for Transformative Works, published 8 September 2014 (Accessed 28 December 2016).
  6. ^ We Need Volunteers for OTW Committees!, Organization for Transformative Works, published 16 February 2015 (Accessed 28 December 2016).
  7. ^ Organization for Transformative Works: November 2014 Newsletter, Volume 86 (Accessed December 28, 2016).
  8. ^ Organization for Transformative Works: June 2015 Newsletter, Volume 92 (Accessed December 28, 2016).