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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.

Khan, M.R. (1953). Schizophrenic Art: Its Meaning in Psychotherapy: By Margaret Naumberg. (London: William Heinemann. Price £3 10 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 34:164.

(1953). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 34:164

Schizophrenic Art: Its Meaning in Psychotherapy: By Margaret Naumberg. (London: William Heinemann. Price £3 10 s.)

Review by:
M. Masud R. Khan

The author of this book is known to the readers of this Journal from her previous publication, Studies of the 'Free' Art Expression of Behaviour Problem Children and Adolescents as a Means of Diagnosis and Therapy. In the present volume she has extended her researches and observations to patients suffering from psychotic mental illnesses.

She has introduced her clinical material, which makes the bulk of the book, with an interesting and adequate survey of the literature on psychotic and neurotic art. Her personal emphasis is on the importance of symbolism, and she has tried with eclectic objectivity to compare the attitude towards it of psycho-analysts and Jungian analysts. The author stresses the view that 'an interior experience of imaged symbols consistently reduced to words' loses some of its dynamic vitality. This leads Miss Naumberg to emphasize the clinical value of encouraging patients to make their own interpretations of their material: 'for it is on the basis of each patient's response to his own symbolic creations that the importance of using spontaneous art projections as a primary mode of therapy can be established'.

Miss Naumberg considers the symbolic crystallization of the patient's inner experience and its expression through painting, the chief therapeutic agent in these treatments. Her approach to the understanding of the symbols is essentially 'archetypal' in character. She exploits their content towards the understanding of the patient's problem and neglects the dynamics of the chaotic experience and emotions achieving the solid shape of symbols.

[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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