Altmetrics are qualitative data that are complementary to citation-based metrics. They can be used to measure how scholarly work is shared, used, and discussed online. There are several providers of altmetric data that aim to capture the potential impact and showcase visibility of scholarly work within and outside of academia. They do this by tracking a variety of data sources such as news, blogs, social media, Wikipedia, policy papers, patents, and more.
See two examples of altmetric captures and scores for selected journal articles: (1) a Plum print from PlumX Metrics and (2) a donut from Altmetric Explorer:
Watch this 3 minute video for an overview of understanding altmetrics:
Why use altmetrics?
How can altmetrics help scholars?
How can altmetrics help institutions like UVic?