Researchers all claim Impact Factor is meaningless - for other researchers, anyway. The blockade put up by corporate publishing hinges on Impact Factor alone so if it were truly unimportant, convincing government funding agencies would be trivial and all studies would be freely available for taxpayers to read.
Once the cultural hurdle, bolstered by lobbyists for corporate media, is overcome, true Open Publication, not subsidized by scientists like in the open access movement or subsidized by subscribers like in the legacy journal industry, could take hold. Publication is one of the four pillars of the original Science 2.0 vision. One other pillar is collaboration. Like making Impact Factor irrelevant in publishing, researchers say collaboration tools are great - for someone else. Fearing that the market is not there despite claims, Science 2.0 has not created a collaboration tool - but other people are making strides.
London-based Mendeley wants to make collaboration a little more manageable and now they have tackled Impact Factor also - their new dashboard analyzes research activity and its presence globally in real time - basically instantaneous Impact Factor. It doesn't get rid of Impact Factor completely, instead it allows more people to use it in faster time than the lag before Thomson-Reuters releases its results.
Mendeley's Institutional Edition allows research institutions to see detailed analytics of the journals their academics are reading, the journals they are publishing in, and how many readers those publications have. The data is mined from Mendeley's research community who use it for document management, discovery, and collaboration. Dr. Victor Henning, CEO and co-founder of Mendeley, wrote in an email to me they have 1.8 million users and 250 million research documents, so that is not a trivial dataset. In the official statement, he also said, "I'm excited that after receiving scientific validation from the research community, our data is now helping some of the world's best universities work more efficiently and get to life-changing discoveries faster. My inner nerd is going: Wow, this is freaking amazing."
This is terrific news. University libraries and corporate publishers can engage in their death roll and scientists will have a way to engage in discovery a little bit faster, without having to think about where something is published and how long it will take before they can know how it performed.