What are altmetrics?

Les Altmetrics, or alternative metrics, provide indicators to measure the impact of research. These indicators are not "traditional" metrics (number of citations, impact factor ...). Altmetrics focus on article level (or chapter of a book, or proceeding) and are based on the social web, and more specifically on the reactions of web users, that is how a particular document has been received in the net, how many times has it been downloaded, has it been released on Twitter or Facebook, has it been exported to Mendeley, has it been shared on Reddit, has it been cited in Wikipedia?
This new way of measuring the influence of scientific production involving web tools has achieved a good acceptance, and there's an increasing number of magazines, databases, catalogs and repositories that include this information in their documents.

Altmetrics in DDD

The Altmetrics counter in the DDD is provided by the Altmetric company, which gathers and summarizes various data in a single indicator called Almetric Attention Score. The counter only works with documents that have a DOI or PubMed ID. It begins to work almost immediately when the system detects and interaction with the document (for example, if the document has been quoted on Twitter).
You will see the account number in the record of each document next to citation counters received in Scopus and Web of Science:
By clicking on See more details you will go to the Altmetric website and you will be able to explore the data in more detail. There you can also see what is known as the "doughnut" of Almetrics, a graphic representation of the metrics designed to ease their understanding.
DDD Altmetrics exemple
(This image are the Altmetrics data for the DDD record: Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea After All! desposited at DDD)

Why Altmetrics? 

Shows impact in real time: : with Altmetrics it's possible to know the influence of the research from its publication date. This is very interesting in disciplines and geographic areas that usually are not included in databases such as Web of Science (WOS) or Scopys, or where the behavior of citations is slow and cites take months or years to appear, as it is the case with Social Sciences or Humanities.

Gives a broader view than metrics based on citations: Almetrics can complement citations and obtain a fuller image of the impact of a document.

Can be applied to non-traditional formats other than books and magazine articles: researchers are increasingly inclined to share data, software, presentations and other academic results online. This means that we can track the use of these formats on the web as easily as we can track the use of other formats such as books and articles.

Metrics at article level: measure the impact of the article or research outcome and not just the impact of the magazine where the article is included.
This metric also has drawbacks. The main one, at present, is that it is not standardized, which makes it difficult to use it in scientific evaluation. it does not harvest blogs, Twitteer or other networks exhaustively and has a marked Anglo-Saxon accent.
If you want to know more about Altmetrics, you can see the guide prepared by the Library of the University of Sevilla.

You can see the use and download statistics of individual documents from their record, by clicking on the "Usage statistics" tab in the upper menu.

As use of a DDD record we understand access to the record, or full text downloading when this is not done from the full record page.

As download we understand access to the file that contains the complete text of a document or, when the document is not a text one, the viewing of any other type of file (photographs, posters ...), this download can be done through the full record page or straight from a search engine. For records that contain more than one file, downloadings are considered together.