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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.

Reik, T. (1921). The Unconscious. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:73-75.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:73-75

The Unconscious

Theodor Reik

Bibliography

1.   Adler, Alfred Die Rolle des Unbewuten in der Neurose Zentralbl. f. Psa. III S. 169 [→]

2.   Bjerre, Poul Bewutsein kontra Unbewutes Imago V S. 687

3.   Bleuler, Eugen Unbewute Gemeinheiten 1916

4.   Bleuler, Eugen Zur Kritik des Unbewuten Zeitschr. f. d. ges. Neurol. u. Psych. 1919 Bd. 53

5.   Bloch, E. ber das noch nicht bewute Wissen Die Weien Bltter 1919 II S. 355

6.   Eitingon, M. ber das Unbewute bei Jung Int. Zeitschr. f. Psa. 1914 II S. 99

7.   Federn, Paul Lust-Unlustprinzip und Realittsprinzip Int. Zeitschr. f. Psa. II S. 492 [→]

8.   Fischer, Aloys Untergrnde und Hintergrnde des Bewutseins Deutsche Schule XIX

9.   Freud, Sigm. Das Unbewute Int. Zeitschr. f. Psa. III S. 189, 257

10.  Freud, Sigm. Die Verdrngung Int. Zeitschr. f. Psa. III S. 129

11.  Freud, Sigm. Vorlesungen zur Einfhrung in die Psychoanalyse I. Teil: Die Fehlhandlungen, 1916

12.  Freud, Sigm. Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens Fnfte, verm. Aufl, 1917 sechste, verm. Aufl, 1919

13.  Freud, Sigm. Vorlesungen zur Einfhrung in die Psychoanalyse Drei Teile. 1918 (especially Vorlesg. 18. S. 309).

14.  Friedmann, Hugo Bewutsein und bewutseinsverwandte Erscheinungen Zeitschr. f. Philos. u. philos. Kritik. Bd. 139 1910 S. 34

15.  Ganz, Hans Das Unbewute bei Leibnitz in Beziehung zu modernen Theorien 1917

16.  Hinrichsen, Otto Zur Psychologie des Unbewuten Zentralbl. f. Psa. 1914 IV S.

[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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