Zotero Freemium Edition

This week marks a significant transition for Zotero as we introduce Freemium Edition. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in Zotero, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality research management software to scholars around the world and on any platform.

If you are a “home delivery” Zotero subscriber, you will continue to have full access to your references on your computer, and they will continue to arrive on your doorstep, as 3×5 cards, at your regularly scheduled delivery intervals: Hourly, Tuesdays, Solar Eclipses, or Arbor Day Only. If you are not a home delivery subscriber, you will have free access to up to twenty references. If you exceed that limit, you will be asked to become a Freemium subscriber. If your birthday falls in September or you are left-handed, you will be asked to pay twice.

Zotero is offering three Freemium Edition packages that allow you to choose from a variety of devices:

  • $15 per month ($180 per year) will grant you access to zotero.org from up to five mobile devices, though the devices must only be used while physically in motion.
  • $20 per month ($240 per year) will give you access to three mobile or stationary devices, and you’ll be able to use them while seated comfortably and on Thursdays.
  • $35 per month ($420 per year) will let you access zotero.org from anywhere, including even the ratty old PC in your parents’ basement.

Non-subscribers will still be able to access up to twenty of their references each month. “We think with careful planning and succinct argumentation, cheapskate scholars will still be able to prepare a short journal article once or twice per year,” assured lead developer Dan Stillman.

Zotero breaks new ground with its innovative lunar billing cycle, which will charge users every 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes. Zotero Outreach Coordinator Debbie Maron explained, “Plato said that the forms resonate with the divine movement of the heavens, so scholarship should be billed similarly.”

The new pricing model is intended to address longstanding concerns about Zotero’s commercial viability. “We found that no matter how much we promoted Zotero’s award-winning features and dynamic developer community, potential adopters couldn’t wrap their heads around free software,” remarked Zotero co-director Dan Cohen. As he used a hundred dollar bill to light a cigar, Cohen added, “Time to get paid!”

In order to cement its advantage in providing the latest and best cutting-edge technology, Zotero will now also lead the pack in the most important category: cost. “How do I judge the quality of my Bentley or this caviar and foie gras hoagie?” asked co-director Sean Takats, peering through his monocle. “By the outrageous price, of course, and now we can finally do the same for Zotero.”

Faolan Cheslack-Postava could not be reached for comment, probably because he’s on his yacht.