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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.

Strachey, J. (1953). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (First Part). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (First Part), i-xiii. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-analysis, London.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (First Part)

Strachey, J. (1953). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (First Part), i-xiii. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-analysis, London.

[SED0a1]The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (First Part) Next

Translated from the German under the General Editorship of James Strachey

In Collaboration with:
Anna Freud

Assisted by:
Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson

The Frontispiece is a reproduction of the title-page of the First Edition

- ii -

[SED0a2]Contents

VOLUME FOUR
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS (1900)
  page
EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION xi
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION xxii
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION xxv
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION xxvii
PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION xxviii
PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION xxix
PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION xxix
PREFACE TO THE EIGHTH EDITION xxxi
PREFACE TO THE THIRD (REVISED) ENGLISH EDITION xxxii
 
Chapter
  I THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE DEALING WITH THE PROBLEMS OF DREAMS 1
    (A) The Relation of Dreams to Waking Life 7
    (B) The Material of Dreams—Memory in Dreams 11
    (C) The Stimuli and Sources of Dreams 22
      (1) External Sensory Stimuli 23
      (2) Internal (Subjective) Sensory Excitations 30
      (3) Internal Organic Somatic Stimuli 33
      (4) Psychical Sources of Stimulation 39
    (D) Why Dreams are Forgotten after Waking 43
    (E) The Distinguishing Psychological Characteristics of Dreams 48
    (F) The Moral Sense in Dreams 66
    (G) Theories of Dreaming and its Function 75
    (H) The Relations between Dreams and Mental Diseases 88
    Postscript, 1909 93
    Postscript, 1914 95

- v -

  page
Chapter
  II THE METHOD OF INTERPRETING DREAMS: AN ANALYSIS OF A SPECIMEN DREAM
96
  III A DREAM IS THE FULFILMENT OF A WISH
122
  IV DISTORTION IN DREAMS
134
  V THE MATERIAL AND SOURCES OF DREAMS 163
    (A) Recent and Indifferent Material in Dreams 165
    (B) Infantile Material as a Source of Dreams 189
    (C) The Somatic Sources of Dreams 220
    (D) Typical Dreams 241
      (α) Embarrassing Dreams of Being Naked 242
      (β) Dreams of the Death of Persons of whom the Dreamer is Fond 248
      (γ) Other Typical Dreams 271
      (δ) Examination Dreams
273
  VI THE DREAM-WORK 277
    (A) The Work of Condensation 279
    (B) The Work of Displacement 305
    (C) The Means of Representation in Dreams 310
The Frontispiece is a reproduction of the title-page of the First Edition

- vii -

Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Strachey, J. (1953). [SED0a1]The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (First Part). i-xiii. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-analysis, London.

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