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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.

(1961). NOTAS Y COMENTARIOS. Rev. psicoanál., 18(3):304-315.

(1961). Revista de Psicoanálisis, 18(3):304-315

NOTAS Y COMENTARIOS

SYMPOSIUM EN HOMENAJE A MELANIE KLEIN

Se desarrolló durante los días 30 de junio y 1° de julio en un clima de gran cordialidad y elevado nivel científico. Numerosas personas llenaron constantemente los salones, tanto durante la lectura de los relatos por las mañanas como en las presentaciones de trabajos cortos por las tardes. Las sesiones ocurrían simultáneamente en tres aulas y la concurrencia se repartía en las mismas para escuchar el tema de su agrado. Sin embargo en más de una oportunidad habríamos deseado estar por lo menos en dos lugares a la vez.

Con no menor entusiasmo fueron seguidas las mesas redondas que clausuraron cada uno de los días del Symposium. En la del viernes, presidida por el Dr. León Grinberg, actuando como secretario el Dr. Simón Wencelblat, fueron discutidos los trabajos de revisión de la obra de M. Klein realizados por la Dra. Arminda Aberastury y el Dr. Ángel Garma y en la del sábado, presidida por el Dr. Fidias R. Cesio, con tema libre, se discutió esencialmente la línea de nuestra formación analítica.

CONGRESO DE EDIMBURGO

Durante los días 30 de julio a 3 de agosto se realizó en Edimburgo el 229 Congreso Internacional de Psicoanálisis, al que asistieron varios miembros de nuestra Asociación.

El martes 15 de agosto ppdo., la Dra. María Langer y el Dr.

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