In September of 2016, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) published the collaboratively produced Recommended Practice, NISO RP-25-2016, Outputs of the Alternative Assessment Metrics Project. Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the project sought to establish a consensus among stakeholders whose activities require robust and precise tools for gauging the impact and reach of scholarship in a globally networked research environment—more robust than were available from impact factor and other such measures.

Contributions to this effort came from an international population via one-on-one interviews, satellite meetings at conferences, and numerous teleconference gatherings. Based on those inputs, working group efforts coalesced around the need for a consensually derived definition of terms, the development of use cases illustrating the anticipated applications for such metrics, and the crafting of a code of conduct aimed at establishing benchmarks for improving the quality of altmetric data through a focus on transparency, replicability, and accuracy.