Informal Contacts in Science: A Probabilistic Model for Communication Processes

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Science  09 Jul 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3992, pp. 164-166
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3992.164


Significant contacts among scientists within research specialties are generally infrequent and are distributed as an essentially random process, the pattern of most contacts conforming to a Poisson distribution. Extremely productive persons in a specialty, however, seem to form a separate distribution; they have a considerably higher number of contacts.