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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.

Dunn, J. (1997). The Dutch Annual of Psychoanalysis. II, 1995-1996. Am I My Brother's Keeper? On the Partners of Persons Who Were in Hiding During the Occupation. Hendrika C. Halberstadt-Freud. Pp. 126-137.. Psychoanal Q., 66:366-367.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Dutch Annual of Psychoanalysis. II, 1995-1996. Am I My Brother's Keeper? On the Partners of Persons Who Were in Hiding During the Occupation. Hendrika C. Halberstadt-Freud. Pp. 126-137.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 66:366-367

The Dutch Annual of Psychoanalysis. II, 1995-1996. Am I My Brother's Keeper? On the Partners of Persons Who Were in Hiding During the Occupation. Hendrika C. Halberstadt-Freud. Pp. 126-137.

Jonathan Dunn

The author discusses her impressions of the psychodynamic makeups of non- Jewish wives of men who as children were in hiding during the Nazi occupation. The wife may have unconscious needs to make reparation and to rescue; falling out of love, leaving their husbands, or failing to make them happy for whatever reasons may carry an extra burden of guilt for these women. Masochistic enactment, in which the wife's suffering can never equal that of her husband's, may make any acknowledgment of her aggression extremely difficult—all she is permitted to do is comfort and serve, even if this means being an object into which he may project his rage, guilt, fear, misery, blame, regressive longings, etc. Other difficult issues in these relationships include: 1) the “foster-child” husband always feeling unaccepted, thus arousing the wife's insecurity; 2) the husband's entrenched sense of obligation and gratitude to those protecting him by “taking him in”; 3) the husband's entrenched passivity or constant activity from tremendous fear of being passively overtaken; 4) inflexibility in dealing with the natural changes of life; 5) the husband's shifts from autonomy and pride to dependency and humiliation; 6) lack of self-worth and depression; and 7) deep-seated rage which comes out only at home—a sense of exceptional entitlement to reparation from his family. The author also discusses the effects of hiding on the man's fathering capacities and on his offspring. One possible pitfall for the wife is that her husband will eventually find prideful freedom and pleasure in regaining his

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Jewish identity, while she feels alone and exploited because he no longer needs her as he did.

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Article Citation

Dunn, J. (1997). The Dutch Annual of Psychoanalysis. II, 1995-1996.. Psychoanal. Q., 66:366-367

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