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Qiqqa is a PDF research management tool and brainstorming tool
Initial release April 2010; 6 years ago (2010-04)
Stable release
Qiqqa v73 / February 2015; 1 year ago (2015-02)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Available in English
Type Reference management software
License Proprietary
Website www.qiqqa.com

Qiqqa (pronounced "Quicker") is a freeware and freemium reference management software[1][2] that allows researchers to work with thousands of PDFs.[3] It combines PDF reference management tools, a citation manager and a mind map brainstorming tool. It integrates with Microsoft Word XP, 2003, 2007 and 2010 and BibTeX/LaTeX to automatically produce citations and bibliographies in thousands of styles. Researchers and research groups can store, synchronize and collaborate on their PDF documents, annotations, tags and comments using the internet cloud-based Qiqqa Web Libraries.


The development of Qiqqa began in Cambridge, UK, in December 2009. A public alpha was released in April 2010, offering PDF management and brainstorming capabilities. Subsequent releases have seen the incorporation of the Web Library, OCR, integration with BibTeX and other reference managers, and the use of natural language processing (NLP) techniques to guide researchers in their reading.

Shortly after its release, Qiqqa has been noticed by universities [4] and their libraries,.[5]

In 2011 Qiqqa won both the University of Cambridge CUE [6] and CUTEC,[7][8] and the Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-Ups[9] competitions. Qiqqa was an award winner in the 2012 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards.[10]

A 15-minute interview on AffinityDAB radio summarises the history of Qiqqa.[11]

Qiqqa does not seem to have attracted a large user base, compared to other recent reference management programs developed from 2006 to date.[12]


  • Rich PDF viewer supporting annotating, tagging, notes, searching and cross-referencing.
  • Filtering and reporting against tags, autoTags and aiTags.
  • A full-text search across your entire PDF library.
  • The tagging of text annotations and the associated annotation report features enables Qualitative research and Grounded theory methodologies against PDF documents and scans.
  • Automatic extraction of paper metadata and integration with GoogleScholar to automatically build citation metadata.
  • Sync documents, metadata and annotations across multiple computers and to a private online Web Library.
  • Integration with web browsers to support searching of the internet for new PDFs to add to document library.
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) of PDF documents to support text searching of scanned PDFs.
  • Text and image export text export for PDFs (including scanned PDFs)
  • Automatically generate citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word XP, 2003, 2007 and 2010 with support of Citation Style Language (CSL) styles.
  • BibTeX export to allow researchers using LaTeX to format lists of references in a consistent manner, e.g. using LyX.
  • Integrates with the built-in Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010 reference management systems.
  • A brainstorming tool allowing to incorporate ideas, PDF documents, annotations and information on the internet.
  • Import PDFs and metadata from other reference managers.


Qiqqa is a .NET 4 application targeting the Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 platforms. It is available as a standalone Windows setup application or via Microsoft's ClickOnce technology. It runs on Apple OS-X under Parallels.

Qiqqa for Android supports Android 2.2 and up.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Business Weekly (2011-06-07). "CUE finalist Qiqqa picks up pace". Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Lautaro Vargas; Cambridge Business Media (2010-12-15). "Qiqqa provides researchers with fast track to success". Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  3. ^ Julie Swierczek, McKillop Library, Salve Regina University (2011-02-11). "Drowning in information". Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  4. ^ Joanna Dawson (2010-10-25). "Will Qiqqa make me Smarta?". Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  5. ^ Laura James (2010-06-19). "The Arcadia Project:A Wealth of Reference Management". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  6. ^ Business Weekly (2011-06-09). "Journey just beginning for Cambridge University entrepreneurs". Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  7. ^ Ben Fountain, Cabume (2011-06-14). "Cambridge startups getting on with the job off radar". Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  8. ^ Business Weekly (2011-06-09). "Cambridge student entrepreneur books passage to Silicon Valley". Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  9. ^ Cambridge Wireless (2011-12-05). "Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-Ups 2011 Competition". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  10. ^ Santander (2012-07-06). "Santander announces new internship programme for small businesses". Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  11. ^ Chris Berrow (2011-12-18). "AffinityDAB - Discovering Start-Ups 2011". Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  12. ^ "Google Trends: Compare Citavi, Docear, Mendeley, Qiqqa, Zotero - Worldwide - Past five years". 

External links[edit]