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Qiqqa Moving Ahead

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Posted by Dr Andus
Dec 1, 2011 at 12:39 AM


Dr Andus wrote:
>Basically I’m not convinced of the benefits of the cloud aspect
>when it comes to referencing software. I imagine most academic researchers still end
>up carrying around a laptop if they need to be mobile. And you can still have your data
>backed up by other cloud services such as Mozy, along with all your other files.

Well, I didn’t quite mean to suggest that I don’t see the point of using cloud services. It’s the existing solutions for referencing that I don’t find compelling enough to use. I agree it would be nice to have what dan7000 describes. As far as I can see Google Docs would be the closest service that could really do it all, if they wanted to get into the referencing market. If I could save journal paper PDFs directly into Google Docs and then have referencing integrated so I could read, annotate, outline, write and reference online, that would pretty much do it for me. Basically Google Docs merged with Citavi. Although I do like multiple windows and monitors, so having everything in a single browser window might be a limiting factor.


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 1, 2011 at 07:05 AM


dan7000 wrote:
>Re the pricing model - as it
>says on their page, they are using Amazon S3 - so it’s S3 that has the extraordinarily
>cheap storage. http://aws.amazon.com/s3/#pricing.

True, but there are many services that use S3 but don’t pass on the pricing benefits to their customers.


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 1, 2011 at 07:13 AM


Dr Andus wrote:
>If you get involved with the type of academic research that requires this sort
>of referencing app, you will exceed the free 200MB within a couple of months.

The way I see it, whatever work one does seriously, they will exceed the free capacity offered by whatever service they choose to use. I.e. if they don’t, then the guys who set up the service will never make any money on the ‘freemium’ model, because they set the free package so high that it even covers their premium clientele. In short, if you find a service which offers everything you want for free, stay away from it, it won’t be around for long.

There are exceptions, of course, but these confirm the rule. The main one is Microsoft’s Skydrive: 25 Gb to all accounts for free. But Microsoft, like Google, is an integrated money making machine which can afford to provide such a free service, because it represents added value for other products from which they make money. Windows 8 should see this integration and added value at its fullest, much like Apple is doing with OS X and the iCloud.


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 1, 2011 at 08:01 AM


Dr Andus wrote:
>As far as I can see
>Google Docs would be the closest service that could really do it all, if they wanted to
>get into the referencing market. If I could save journal paper PDFs directly into
>Google Docs and then have referencing integrated so I could read, annotate, outline,
>write and reference online, that would pretty much do it for me. Basically Google Docs
>merged with Citavi.

I checked Google Apps Marketplace http://www.google.com/enterprise/marketplace/ and was quite surprised to find no product for academic referencing. With online tools like Refworks used by academic institutions for years, I don’t understand why no such offering has been combined with Google Apps* yet.

In any case, if you find the Google Docs approach useful, you could indeed employ it. Since the ‘address’ of a PDF stored in Google Docs is online, it could be accessed by many online services. For example, you can use an online outliner like Checkvist and link to the various PDF references as you go along. I’m not sure what online services can do the actual PDF annotation, but I’m sure they exist.

An alternative is a service like Dropbox, mentioned earlier and also cross-platform. In this case, you would use locally installed programs (in Windows, Mac, iOS or Android) to access and annotate your files. The PDF file’s address would be local, but the local copies would be kept in sync across the various devices.

*Just in case anyone is unfamiliar with Google Apps, they are the various Google services (Mail, Docs, Calendar, etc.) set up within the context of a domain, i.e. any user under that domain can use the services from their domain account. There are free, academic and premium Google Apps packages.


Posted by jimme
Dec 1, 2011 at 02:51 PM


Hi there,

This interesting discussion was pointed out to me by one of the Qiqqa community.  Thanks for some of the insights you have written here ? especially with regard to how it is perceived where we are positioning Qiqqa.

Ultimately, we have built and are building Qiqqa to make research fun by removing all the hassle from the research process.  That includes finding and recommending new literature to read; remembering what you have read, highlighted and annotated; making your documents available to you wherever you are (online OR offline); and writing up and referencing painlessly. 

We definitely are not trying to replicate the dropboxes of the world: we just want to make research fun and hassle-free.  We are aiming squarely at the fact that most researchers can?t be bothered with learning how to tie various applications together to replicate the features of Qiqqa.

Our two pricing models were designed and built to make Qiqqa self-sustaining from the outset.  We don?t believe that the academic research management industry can sustain a VC-funded 50-employee business, but it certainly can sustain a handful of people very comfortably. 

The freemium model offers us the trade-off between getting Qiqqa to spread widely without the need for expensive marketing campaigns, while earning income from the 10% of people who are happy to support the premium version to help Qiqqa improve. 

For online storage, we pass on the Amazon costs so that we can continue to scale to tens of millions of documents with no threat to the existence of Qiqqa ? yet it costs the average Qiqqa user only $2 per year to have all their research literature available anywhere on the planet: on their laptop, the web, or their android in their pocket.  And that price will only come down as hardware improves and as the number of identical PDFs that overlap different libraries grows.

If you do end up using Qiqqa, please give us any feedback you may have.  It?s how we thrive and we really appreciate it! :-)

Cheers, and a merry Christmas season!


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