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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.

Lobo, F.L. (1956). ELEMENTOS PARA LA AVALUACIÓN DEL CURSO DEL TRATAMIENTO PSICOANALÍTICO. Rev. psicoanál., 13(4):527-535.

(1956). Revista de Psicoanálisis, 13(4):527-535

ELEMENTOS PARA LA AVALUACIÓN DEL CURSO DEL TRATAMIENTO PSICOANALÍTICO

Fabio Leite Lobo

Decenas de colegas se habrán formulado, al principio de sus actividades psicoanalíticas, innúmeras preguntas sobre el significado de signos, actitudes, reacciones psicosomáticas, etc., en sus pacientes. Y como yo en igual época, habrán tropezado con enormes dificultades en su intento de hallar en trabajos sistematizados, respuestas a aquello que deberá constituir la semiología psicoanalítica.

No me ocuparé aquí de la sintomatología neurótica o psicótica, harto tratada en gran número de obras. Tampoco me extenderé en consideraciones sobre la transferencia, el indicador por excelencia, el punto de apoyo obligatorio, el fulcro, en suma, de toda labor psicoanalítica, tema de elección de muchos y notables trabajos. Igualmente respecto a la contratransferencia, asunto en el orden del día de la actualidad psicoanalítica, poco he de decir. Por último, apenas mencionaré los episodios (sociales, familiares e individuales), de gran valor pero que también trascienden el marco del presente trabajo.

Quiero atenerme a otros elementos, elementos menores, sin duda, captables a través de los sentidos del analista y que a veces pueden resultar decisivos para el diagnóstico o el pronóstico. Opino que —al revés de lo que hace el buen clínico— nosotros no explotamos la plenitud de nuestros sentidos en la actividad psicoanalítica.

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