Referencing for people who value simplicity, privacy, and speed.
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Dear friends,

Exciting stuff has been happening!
First of all, two weeks ago I quietly released the Android version of the Citationsy app. It’s still a bit rough around the edges, but I’m going to keep improving it.
Download it here. It offers all the features from the iOS version, including the famous book barcode scanner.

Also released recently: The Firefox Citationsy extension.

I’ve been a bit lazy about writing and sending out these emails, but I have decided to do so more often from now on, and will be sending out a newsletter every second Tuesday.

KopernioKopernio →
Save time navigating paywalls, logins and redirects. Kopernio is a free browser plugin that helps you get to your full-text PDF faster. Stop clicking and start reading.

I’ve been thinking a lot about ads recently. The reason for this is that Citationsy’s business model — give all users an awesome app, charge $20 / year for Pro features — has been working out OK, but not as good as I thought it would. The reason is probably that the free version is good enough for most use cases. This is not something I ever want to change — if I lock more stuff behind the Pro paywall it just leads to tens of thousands of people using a less good app to get their work done.
I want the free version of Citationsy to be good, really really good, and the best reference manager for most people.

Unfortunately this leaves very little room to charge for upgrades.
My thinking on this was shaped largely by Call you Girlfriend, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman’s podcast, specifically their two Boss Ladies episodes. They talk about how they make money from the podcast, merchandise, and ads, and specifically how they built it this way so that all their listeners would always be able to listen for free.

Another big influence was Marco Arment, creator of Overcast. Overcast used to be free with a $4.99 upgrade to get the best features, leading to, as Marco says, “This brought in good money up front, but income slowly declined, as all paid-once purchases do, and it restricted the app’s best and most compelling features to the very small percentage of people who paid. Everyone else got a sub-par app” (emphasis mine)
That’s essentially the situation I’m in.

So, ads. I really don’t like ads. I don’t like how they look, I don’t like how they slow down sites, I don’t like the weird 2MB tracking JavaScript they inject all over the place. These are things I just can’t compromise on.
But an ad model that works like Overcast’s — I control who places an ad, they pay me directly, all ads are tasteful, no trackers or JS, no animations — that might be OK.

This is what I’m doing: You can book a two week classified, shown to 130.000+ students, academics, researchers, and professors, and included in this newsletter sent to 80.000+ subscribers, for $49.
Each newsletter also includes one main corporate sponsor (in this issue it’s my friends at Kopernio).
I built a self-serve platform to help you prepare your ad and make the payment, and once you’ve done so I review all ads and they go live on the site.

This way, everyone gets to use Citationsy for free and I get to eat.

More new features after the break

I also added a feature that a lot of you asked for: Notes!
You can add little notes to your references now. They are not included when you export your project, so you can use them to leave little bits of information for yourself or your collaborators. They include full Emoji support and look like this.

Other new things:
* BibTeX Import (beware, this is a Pro feature)
* Massive improvements to Copy+Paste functionality
* The browser extension now detects wether you’re adding a link that you’ve already referenced and warns you
* Support for MediArxiv
* Citationsy Archives now has a very useful Scholarcy integration
* Citing YouTube videos now works even better

All the best,

This is the year.

PS: As always, if you have any feedback regarding Citationsy or ideas for new features (or even complaints) don’t hesitate to reply to this email and let me know.

PPS: I am always looking for new testimonials for the Citationsy website, and I’d love to include yours. If you want to see your name up in lights, send me a short sentence about why you like Citationsy (if you do actually like it — if you don’t, tell me why!) along with your name and university.

PPPS: I am in Kuala Lumpur for the next couple weeks.
In town? let’s meet for a coffee