The service provides a number of indicators for the social impact of published works, including traditional scholarly papers but also blog posts and other more casual publications. It is part of a movement for altmetrics intended to indicate affects of an author's publications on a discipline based on statistics like number of times a work is cited by other authors, how often it is downloaded and saved, and the frequency of conversations in social media outlets about the work. Code embedded in the web version of a work updates the service's statistics when that work is accessed, leading to a cumulative measure of its overall popularity and potential influence.
API methods begin with embedded identifiers for the work and the namespace where it is published. Methods allow retrieval of cumulative influence statistics, or altmetrics, by combining data about the work from a number of tracking services. Methods also support grouping of related individual works into collections to be tracked as a whole.