The second presentation was at the British Libraries "Talk Science" series, for some background see the forum on Nature Network. There will be a podcast available of this presentation. In her introduction to my talk, Sarah Kemmitt quoted from a recent paper by Antonio G. Valdecasas ([JACC]1175-5326:1820@41 where he described Vagabundia sci:
Vagabundia comes from the Spanish word 'vagabundo' that means 'wanderer'. It is a feminine substantive; sci refers to Science Citation Index. We pointed out some time ago (Valdecasas et al. 2000) that the popularity of the Science Citation Index (SCI) as a measure of ‘good’ science has been damaging to basic taxonomic work. Despite statements to the contrary that SCI is not adequate to evaluate taxonomic production (Krell 2000), it is used routinely to evaluate taxonomists and prioritize research grant proposals. As with everything in life, SCI had a beginning and will have an end. Before it becomes history, I dedicate this species to this sociological tool that has done more harm than good to taxonomic work and the basic study of biodiversity. Young biologists avoid the 'taxonomic trap' or becoming taxonomic specialists (Agnarsson & Kuntner 2007) due to the low citation rate of strictly discovery-oriented and interpretative taxonomic publications. Lack of recognition of the value of these publications, makes it difficult for authors to obtain grants or stable professional positions.
My own feeling is that SCI probably does a reasonable job of ranking the impact of taxonomic publication, the real task is to broaden our notion of what gets cited.