Altmetrics, also known as Alternative Metrics, are designed to measure the impact of a research output in online activities. The research output can be a journal article, book chapter, or an unconventional output such as a dataset and presentation slides.
The online activities in the context of altmetrics refer to social media interactions, references in news, blog posts, policy documents, Wikipedia, bookmarks in reference managers, and the like. Tracking these activities allow authors to understand the impact of their research arising from the academic community beyond the traditional scope of citation counts.
Altmetric, PlumX, and Impactstory are the major providers of altmetrics.
|When you look for evidence to showcase your research impact, you may use altmetrics to supplement traditional citation counts and metrics. While citations take time to accumulate in peer-review journals, altmetrics track online activities in webpages and the impact is shown instantly.|
Although altmetrics providers may offer a quantitative score for the research output, it is important to understand the qualitative data as well. For example, on the Altmetric detail page, you can find out who has mentioned your research in which channel, hence you can understand who are the audience and why they are interested in your research.