Altmetrics, or alternative metrics, are new measures that take into account online reader behavior, network interactions with content, and social media. Altmetrics are meant to complement, not completely replace, traditional impact measures and are measures of online attention and engagement.
Examples of Altmetrics include:
Strengths of Altmetrics
Scopus is a large, interdisciplinary article database that is a good source of traditional impact measures (citation counts, author impact, journal impact). Scopus has incorporated article-level altmetrics via a third-party application. A summary of article-level metrics displays in the right sidebar of an article's detail page (the page you see when you click the linked title in the search results). The summary includes field-weighted benchmarking and a link to an expanded view of the metrics.
Here is an example from Scopus: At the time of this writing, this article, Thelwall M, Haustein S, Larivière V, Sugimoto CR. Do Altmetrics Work? Twitter and Ten Other Social Web Services. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(5), had been cited 84 times and had the following altmetrics: