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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.

Winograd, B. (2014). Black Psychoanalysts Speak. PEP Video Grants, 1(1):1.

(2014). PEP Video Grants, 1(1):1

Black Psychoanalysts Speak

Director and Producer:
Basia Winograd

Executive Producer:
Richard Reichbart, Ph.D.

Associate Producer:
Michael Moskowitz, Ph.D., Anton H. Hart, Ph.D.

Line Producer:
Ramon Morillo

Cinematography by:
Derek Aspenberg

Additional Cinematography by:
Adel Benbella, Ramon Morillo, Christina Cervantes

Transcribed by:
Jasmine Francis, Carina Schorske, Trevor Crown

An Interview with:
C. Jama Adams, Ph.D., Janice O. Bennett, Ph.D., Anton H. Hart, Ph.D., Dorothy Evans Holmes, Ph.D., Annie Lee Jones, Ph.D., Dolores O. Morris, Ph.D., ABPP, Michael Moskowitz, Ph.D., Craig K. Polite, Ph.D., Richard Reichbart, Ph.D., Cheryl Thompson, Ph.D., Kirkland Vaughans, Ph.D., Cleonie White, Ph.D. and Kathleen Pogue White, Ph.D.

This film comprises material from the IPTAR hosted Black Psychoanalysts Speak Conference of 2012, and the IPTAR and The William Alanson White Institute hosted Black Psychoanalysts Speak Conference in 2013, also hosted by the Clinical Psychology Department of the New School for Social Research (with the support of NYU Post Doctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis). The film features interviews of the eleven Black psychoanalysts who participated in the conferences as well as two other participants. The film is intended to raise awareness of the need for greater openness and understanding of cultural and ethnic pressures in psychoanalytic training, in transferential and countertransferential interactions, and in the recruitment of people of coulour into psychoanalytic training.

These participants contend that psychoanalysis has a long history as a progressive movement devoted to the common good. Psychoanalysis asks us to examine the processes of self deception that perpetuate both individual unhappiness and social structures that are inequitable and oppressive. Yet psychoanalytic education has for the most part focused on training and treating the relatively privileged. The Black psychoanalysts here examine this dilemma and engage in a vibrant and thought provoking discussion about race, culture, class and the unrealized promise of psychoanalysis.

[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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