Altmetrics are “alternative metrics” to measure the influence and reach of scholarly output on the Web through peer-review counts, influential news sites and blog posts, citation manager bookmarks such as Mendeley, Wikipedia citations, and social media mentions on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Altmetrics go beyond the traditional citation metrics to take into consideration how scholarly output such as journal articles and research datasets are being cited and shared by others on the Web in order to measure influence. They are meant to complement traditional metrics, not replace them.
Altmetrics counts (and scores) are updated much more quickly than traditional citation counts so are especially helpful with “hot topics” getting mainstream attention where citation counts can lag by months and even years.
Altmetrics measure the influence an article has by analyzing citations and sharing activity. The higher the altmetrics score, the wider the dissemination of the work.
Altmetrics are basically counts of mentions and links to scholarly journals and datasets from reputable news sites (and aggregators) and blogs, peer-reviewed sites, reference managers, and major social media sites.
The company Altmetric uses a weighted score with a news article counting 8 points, a blog post counts 5, a Wikipedia link is 3, and a Twitter post counts as 1 point. Sources counting less than 1 point include Facebook and YouTube at 0.25 point and LinkedIn at 0.5.
Other altmetrics sources use a simple count of "mentions" with no weighting applied. Score from different sources aren't directly comparable, but a higher score generally means a more influential scholarly work.
On the EAGLEsearch search results page, you might see altmetrics scores by Altmetric, Scopus, or Web of Science.
In 2016 altmetrics became available in EAGLEsearch. If available, search results in EAGLEsearch will show an Altmetric score. Hovering over this button (see below) shows more detailed counts. This same information can be displayed by expanding the "More information..." section. You can click through to see the complete altmetrics details page.
If the article is indexed in Scopus, Summon will display a score. Scopus uses its own method to weigh the sources but it includes "citations, scholarly activity, scholarly commentary, mass media and social activity" to determine the score. Summon does not offer a way to see the details, users must visit Scopus and search for the article there to view them.
Web of Science gives a simple unweighted score for articles it indexes. The score represents the number of times the article was cited in the Web of Science Core Collection. Click on the score to view a list of citing articles in Web of Science.