In the world of academia, the number of citations an article receives means money at grant review time, and that means career success.
However, with the emergence of new article metrics, researchers are increasingly looking to usage data (downloads and article views) and other article-level metrics, such as social media mentions, to understand a paper's impact. Last year, Elsevier ran a pilot for a new initiative designed to meet the demand for alternative metrics: the Article Usage Report. Based on the positive results of that pilot, the decision has been taken to offer it to all journals on ScienceDirect this autumn.
The Article Usage Reports complement their existing CiteAlert service, which comes into effect once an author's article has been cited.
Link: Article Usage Reports enable authors to track downloads and views