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Tip: Understanding Rank

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When you do a search, you can sort the results bibliographically alphabetical or by “rank”. What is Rank?

Rank refers to the search engine’s “best guess” as to the relevance of the result to the search you specified. The exact method of ranking used varies a bit depending on the search. In its most basic level, when you specify a single search term, rank looks at the density of the matches for the word in the document, and how close to the beginning of the document they appear as a measure of importance to the paper’s topic. The documents with the most matches and where the term is deemed to have the most importance, have the highest “relevance” and are ranked first (presented first).

When you specify more than one term to appear anywhere in the article, the method is similar, but the search engine looks at how many of those terms appear, and how close together they appear, how close to the beginning of the document, and can even take into account the relative rarity of the search terms and their density in the retrieved file, where infrequent terms count more heavily than common terms.

To see a simple example of this, search for the words (not the phrase, so no quotes):

unconscious communications

Look at the density of matches in each document on the first page of the hits. Then go to the last page of matched documents, and observe the density of matches within the documents.

A more complex search illustrates this nicely with a single page and only 15 matches:

counter*tr* w/25 “liv* out” w/25 enact*

There are a lot of word forms and variants of the words (due to the * wildcards) above that can match, but the proximity (w/25) clause limits the potential for matching. What’s interesting here though is how easily you can see the match density decrease as you view down the short list.

The end result of selecting order by rank is that the search engine’s best “guess” as to which articles are more relevant appear higher on the list than less relevant articles.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Maldonado, J.L. (2007). VICISSITUDES DANS LA VIE ADULTE DES EXPÉRIENCES TRAUMATIQUES DE L'ADOLESCENCE. L'Année Psychanal. Int., 2007:173-190.

(2007). L'Année Psychanalytique Internationale, 2007:173-190

VICISSITUDES DANS LA VIE ADULTE DES EXPÉRIENCES TRAUMATIQUES DE L'ADOLESCENCE Language Translation

Jorge Luis Maldonado

L'auteur traite de la difficulté d'articuler les concepts de trauma et de fantasme. Il évalue les observations freudiennes concernant le hasard et le trauma. Il examine les effets traumatiques du hasard en lien avec la rupture d'un fantasme narcissique d'invulnérabilité. Le récit d'événements traumatiques peut éveiller chez l'analyste une tendance à répéter l'agression, sur le sujet, de ces événements traumatiques. Une interprétation accusatrice peut être l'un des moyens d'opérer cette répétition. l'auteur explore un type de trauma essentiellement lié à la perturbation de la structure qui contient les idéaux du sujet. Cette perturbation est une conséquence de la désillusion résultant de la perte d'un objet dépositaire de ces idéaux. Le trauma entraîne un état de deuil des idéaux perdus. l'auteur décrit des événements traumatiques survenus chez un patient à la puberté; des comportements paradoxaux des parents entraînèrent de nouveaux traumas pour le patient. La réticence à l'exploration des rejetons inconscients et à l'investigation des significations symboliques possibles a constitué le problème central dans l'analyse de ce patient. l'auteur discute la question des troubles de la symbolisation et examine la question des projections identificatoires provenant des objets primaires de ces patients.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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