Traditional citation metrics only count citations to a given article in other peer-reviewed publications. "Altmetrics" attempt to broaden this picture by including citations, quotations, and mentions in other venues. Some of the places altmetrics seek to measure include:
Page views: views or downloads of a paper from a journal website
Social media: mentions on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Citation managers: uses of a paper in citation managers like Mendeley
and more -- altmetrics tools regularly change and refine the spaces they measure
Why include altmetrics?
The authors of "Altmetrics: a manifesto" argue that altmetrics complement traditional citation metrics by providing (1) a broader measure of research impact beyond peer-reviewed publications; (2) quicker and more responsive measurements than traditional citation metrics, which can take months or years to compile; and (3) a richer view of impact by including more context of citations.
Altmetrics do not replace traditional citation metrics, but can provide additional evidence of an article's (or researcher's) impact on the scholarly community.
Does the Library subscribe to a site-wide altmetric tool?
Although the Library does not subscribe to a site-wide altmetric tool like Plum Analytics or Altmetric.com, we continue to monitor altmetric tools for their relevance to the GU scholarly community.