Altmetrics attempt to paint a fuller picture of the communication and impact of research outputs beyond the traditional article, such as datasets and software.
Altmetrics can be measures such as news coverage, blog posts, tweets and other forms of measureable social media sharing. They also include longer term markers such as download statistics for articles, conference presentation views on SlideShare, dataset downloads and inclusion in online reference management systems.
Altmetrics can be applied at the journal, researcher and article level. Altmetrics are defined by the source of the data, not their granularity.
Altmetrics tools are often downloadable web-based applications. Some are free and others are commercial products.