Altmetrics are data that can explain both the volume and nature of attention that research receives online. Certain kinds of altmetrics are also indicators for potential downstream impact.
Altmetrics are complementary to citation-based metrics (citation counts, Journal Impact Factor, etc.,) and distinct from social media metrics (which don’t measure the attention paid specifically to research online; instead they measure the overall reach of and engagement with social media accounts) and usage statistics (which showcase only the volume of attention research has received).
High-quality altmetrics make the underlying source data available (i.e. who is saying what about research) as a measure to ensure against gaming and provide context for the numbers using disciplinary and time-based percentiles ("What are altmetrics?" website, 3-11-21).
Altmetric Explorer for Institutions - A dashboard that allows users to browse, search, and query Altmetric data about "mentions" on the web of publications and other research outputs associated with researchers and departments at the University of Michigan and elsewhere. This tool can be used to understand and communicate about online engagement with the work of any given researcher or department, or to see which research is most often mentioned in the news, cited in policy, etc. (L)