From a SPARC Announcement:
SPARC [has] released a new community resource, Article-Level Metrics — A SPARC Primer, delving into Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) an emerging hot topic in the scholarly publishing arena. Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) are rapidly emerging as important tools to quantify how individual articles are being discussed, shared, and used. This new SPARC primer is designed to give campus leaders and other interested parties an overview of what ALMs are, why they matter, how they complement established utilities and metrics, and how they might be considered for use in the tenure and promotion process.
While Article-Level Metrics are not inherently part of the open access movement, they are tools that can be applied in a variety of ways that are of interest to SPARC and its constituents. The community can develop, distribute, and build upon ALM tools in a manner that opens up impact metrics as never before. These community efforts are transparent in the methodologies they use to track impact, as well as the technologies behind the processes. In this manner, ALMs dovetail with not just SPARC’s push for open access but various other “open” movements – open science, open data, and open source chief among them. ALMs that are free to use, modify, and distribute contribute to a world in which information is more easily shared and in which the pace of research and development is accelerated as a consequence.
Direct to Full Text Document (15 pages; PDF)