"In many disciplines this pattern is called a Pareto distribution. As a practical example, suppose that a researcher has five core scientific journals for his or her subject. Suppose that in a month there are 12 articles of interest in those journals. Suppose further that in order to find another dozen articles of interest, the researcher would have to go to an additional 10 journals. Then that researcher's Bradford multiplier bm is 2 (i.e. 10/5). For each new dozen articles, that researcher will need to look in bm times as many journals. " --

" What it means is that for each specialty it is sufficient to identify the "core publications" for that field and only stock those; very rarely will researchers need to go outside that set.

However its impact has been far greater than that. Armed with this idea and inspired by Vannevar Bush's famous article As We May Think, Eugene Garfield at the Institute for Scientific Information in the 1960s developed a comprehensive index of how scientific thinking propagates. His Science Citation Index (SCI) had the effect of making it easy to identify exactly which scientists did science that had an impact, and which journals that science appeared in. It also caused the discovery, which some did not expect, that a few journals, such as Nature and Science, were core for all of hard science. The same pattern does not happen with the humanities or the social sciences. "