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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.

(1960). NOTAS PARA UNA SEMÁNTICA PSICOANALÍTICA. Rev. psicoanál., 17(2):250-252.

(1960). Revista de Psicoanálisis, 17(2):250-252

NOTAS PARA UNA SEMÁNTICA PSICOANALÍTICA

ENVIBIA (de in: dentro de, y videre, ver). Es la desagradable sensación que surge al comprobar que otra persona posee y disfruta algo deseado y de lo cual se carece. El impulso envidioso es el de quitar al otro lo deseado o destruirlo. La envidia es constitucional y es la expresión de impulsos orales y anales sádicos.

La envidia primaria se refiere a la que siente el niño hacia el pecho de la madre. La envidia secundaria surge en el curso ulterior del desarrollo y tendrá relación con los procesos de identificación masculina y femenina: la envidia del pene, símbolo de actividad hacia afuera y de penetración, y la envidia al interior del cuerpo de la madre, poseedora del pene del padre, de la capacidad de crear y de amamantar. La envidia está en relación con los mecanismos de proyección de lo bueno en el otro. Cuando es excesiva se dificultan o imposibilitan los procesos de reintroyección del objeto bueno perdido y la capacidad de gozar. Es la base del sentimiento de culpa. Un yo débil, es decir, un yo no capacitado para elaborar la culpa, siente la envidia como ansiedad persecutoria ya que lo envidiado se transforma en perseguidor. La envidia aumenta la voracidad pero a su vez estimula las fantasías genitales, viéndose en ellas las posibilidades de lograr otro medio de gratificación. Existe una estrecha relación entre envidia, voracidad, odio, celos y rivalidad, si bien unos implican una relación bipersonal y otros una relación tripersonal o sea edípica.

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