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Altmetrics let us measure and monitor the reach and impact of scholarship and research through online interactions. Altmetrics stands for "alternative metrics." The "alternative" part references traditional measurements of academic success such as citation counts, journal prestige (impact factor), and author H-index. Altmetrics are meant to compliment, not totally replace, these traditional measures.
Supporters of the altmetrics movement believe that doing so will give a more complete picture of how research and scholarship is used.
Simply, altmetrics are metrics beyond traditional citations.
Nearly everything on the internet is tracked. What you click can be used to inform website design, serve targeted adds, or as a simple measure of popularity. Altmetrics uses this ability to track interaction with online items as a way of measuring research impact and reach.
Altmetrics can answer questions such as:
Altmetrics offer a lot of information. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when using and analyzing altmetrics data.