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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.

Nollmann, J.E. (1958). Elisabeth R. Geleerd: A CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF PSYCHOSIS IN CHILDHOOD. (Una contribución al problema de las psicosis en la infancia). “The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child”, vol. II,. pág. 271. Universities Press New York, 1948. Rev. psicoanál., 15(1-2):125-126.

(1958). Revista de Psicoanálisis, 15(1-2):125-126

Elisabeth R. Geleerd: A CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF PSYCHOSIS IN CHILDHOOD. (Una contribución al problema de las psicosis en la infancia). “The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child”, vol. II,. pág. 271. Universities Press New York, 1948

Review by:
Jorge E. Nollmann

El objeto de este trabajo lo sintetiza la autora diciendo que quiere llamar la atención acerca de la existencia de niños que sin llegar a ser realmente psicóticos presentan trastornos lo suficientemente acentuados como para hacer un pronóstico grave y para someterlos a un tratamiento especial con el objeto de prevenir la aparición de trastornos más graves aún.

Destaca una serie de manifestaciones más frecuentes en tales niños con el objeto de que quien se encuentre con casos semejantes pueda actuar precozmente en ayuda del enfermito, y a la vez separarlo de los niños sanos sobre los cuales ejerce una mala influencia.

Entre tales defectos se puede observar:

a)   Dificultad para controlar la agresividad;

b)   Poca capacidad para controlar sus impulsos anales y sexuales;

c)   Incapacidad de soportar una frustración;

d)   Dificultad para conectarse con otros niños;

e)   Mucho interés por animales;

f)   Preferencia por temas de cloacas, motores, explosiones, etc.;

g)   Trastornos de la alimentación, sueño, funciones excretorias;

h)   Fobias, miedos, pesadillas, convulsiones o tics.

Sostiene que la causa esencial en todos estos trastornos está en el hecho de que ya sea por circunstancias externas, ya por internas, tales niños no han estructurado un Yo adecuado para regular las relaciones entre su vida instintiva y la realidad.

[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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