File Storage, Groups, and double-counted storage

Hi all,

in the documentation I found the following, which I already realized to be different in my own account setting up a group:

"Using Zotero File Storage for Group Libraries

No additional fees are charged for collaboration. Closed public and private groups can use Zotero File Storage for file syncing as long as the group owner has storage space available and has enabled file editing in the group library settings. Group file storage always draws from the storage account of the group owner."

I understand the need to sell storage-space to the users as the Application itself is for free.

BUT: The storage prices are not so cheap. When I set up a private group, and add some citations with added files for that group, the related storage is calculated as well as consumtion in my personal account as well in the group - so I need doubled (or even multiple... :-( ) space for the same one citations with added files.

I can't imagine that the files need to be stored twice (or multiple times) in my account depending on offering it in one or more private groups.

At the end I guess the calculation of used storage-space for private groups as additional storage-consumption is just not fair, as for public groups.

I file stored should only consume storage one time, independent on in how many and what groups the citation and the added files are offered. Or the pricing-model has to be overhauled...
  • edited September 17, 2016
    A couple of things to note:
    - Only file/attachment storage is paid. Syncing just the reference information is always free (e.g., for public groups, which can't have file storage).

    - Files in your group libraries are completely independent from files. They can be modified/annotated/deleted completely separately from files in your personal library. So storing both does in fact take up twice the space on the server.

    - The cost of paid storage is not a money-making endeavor by any means. The fees primarily go toward the cost of renting the server space and to maintenance of the file syncing system.

    With those things in mind, I've always found paying at most $120 a year for unlimited file storage to be worth it given the central role Zotero plays in my research. The price is comparable to Dropbox, etc., especially for the higher storage tiers. If the cost doesn't work for you, you can always use a different cloud service with WebDAV to sync your personal library files.
  • The storage prices are not so cheap.
    I'd also argue against that. It is only true if you compare Zotero to non-comparable services like Dropbox or and even there only for the lower tiers, as bwiernik points out. Compared to its actual competitors, Zotero storage, especially for groups, is almost laughably cheap. A Zotero plan that allows you to have an unlimited number of groups with unlimited storage and unlimited members is a fifth of the most basic group plan available for Mendeley: even after educational discount (it's a tenth of the full price)
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