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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.

Anagnostaki, L. Kollia, I. Layiou-Lignos, E. (2019). Implementation of a brief early intervention in times of socio-economic crisis: effects on parental stress. J. Child Psychother., 45(1):55-70.

(2019). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 45(1):55-70

Implementation of a brief early intervention in times of socio-economic crisis: effects on parental stress

Lida Anagnostaki, Ira Kollia and Effie Layiou-Lignos

The paper investigates the effect of brief early intervention on parental stress in the midst of a socio-economic crisis, such as the one that struck Greece in the past decade. During this period, a psychoanalytically oriented prevention programme with parents and their infants/young children, named ‘Early Intervention Programme’, was designed and implemented in the Department of Child Psychiatry at ‘Aghia Sophia’ Children’s Hospital in Athens, Greece. The families that attended the programme were asked to participate in a research study regarding its effectiveness; data were collected from 102 mothers and 73 fathers. This paper presents the statistical findings regarding parental stress, mainly because it is a factor that has systematically been shown to negatively influence several aspects of a child’s development, but also because our hypothesis was that parental stress would be influenced by the negative external conditions. The results showed that both mothers’ and fathers’ stress levels were high before their participation to the programme (with fathers’ Total Stress scores falling within the clinical range), while they decreased to a statistically significant level after the completion of the programme. These findings are discussed in conjunction with some illustrative clinical material. Based on these, it is argued that the implementation of a psychoanalytically oriented brief early intervention programme with parents and infants/young children can alleviate parental stress, and thus support the parental capacity to efficiently deal with the high demands of early development, even in periods of economic crisis where the tensions for young parents are significant and the available mental health resources are scarce.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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