With the world’s academic output currently standing at 2.5 million articles per year and doubling every 9 years, sifting the relevant from the irrelevant is vital for researchers, publishers, and funding bodies.
Until recently, the influence of a published article would primarily be measured by its citations, a slow process resulting in a long wait before the importance of an article is truly recognized. Views of the article (including PDF and HTML) are another measure of importance, but views can also accumulate slowly. Altmetrics are increasingly recognized tools that aim to measure the real-time reach and influence of an academic article.
Warren HR, Raison N, Dasgupta P. The Rise of Altmetrics. JAMA. 2017;317(2):131-132. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.18346