Altmetrics, abbreviated from "Alternative Metrics", was first proposed by Jason Priem in 2010, and further detailed in a manifesto.
Altmetrics provides various non-traditional indicators, e.g. download or view usage, comments, shares, captures, etc., visualizing whether and how impacts are generated through different online media. It is considered as Complementing, but not replacing the traditional Bibliometrics. As soon as any scholarly outputs are made available on the internet, Altmetrics tracks timely in the following aspects:
- Downloads, clicks and views from online repositories and databases
- Sharing through social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter)
- Review, comments, rating, and mentions (e.g. in Reddit and YouTube)
- Saves, bookmarking, likes, tweets
- Citations and discussions in blogs and wikis
- Holdings in library collections
- Capture elements of societal impact - Altmetric data can inform researchers of elements of the societal impact of their research, e.g. how their research is being interacted with by other researchers or the general public.
- Complement traditional metrics - Altmetrics provide a wider range of data, which can be presented in a more detailed and comprehensive context.
- Offer Speed and Discoverability - Altmetrics provides more immediately metrics than the traditional bibliometrics, informing if a scholarly output is catching any attention.
- Lack of Standard - not yet reaching an authoritative definition nor common data standard for Altmetrics.
- Time-Dependent - Altmetrics captured data for more recent outputs (mostly 2011- onwards)
More about Altmetrics:
- Altmetrics: a manifesto (28 September 2011)
- Users, narcissism and control: Tracking the impact of scholarly publications in the 21st century. (Utrecht: SURF foundation, 2012).
- NISO Altmetrics Standards Project White Paper (Draft 4, 6 June 2014)
- Special issue of Research Trends on altmetrics (Issue 37, June 2014)
- The Metric Tide: Literature Review (Supplementary Report I to the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management). London: HEFCE, 2015)
- Altmetrics Conference. See papers from 2AM Conference celebrating 5 years of altmetrics. Amsterdam, 2015