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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.

Fairbairn, W.D. (1952). Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality. London: Tavistock Publications Limited.

Fairbairn, W.D. (1952). Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality. , 1-297. London: Tavistock Publications Limited.

Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality

W. Ronald D. Fairbairn, M.A., M.D., Dipl. Psych. (Edin.), F.R.S.E., F.R.A.I., F.B.Ps.S.

Contents

Preface to "Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality" v
Introduction ix
Part One: An Object-Relations Theory of the Personality 3
Chapter I: Schizoid Factors in the Personality (1940) 3
Chapter II: A Revised Psychopathology of the Psychoses and Psychoneuroses (1941) 28
Chapter III: The Repression and the Return of Bad Objects (with special reference to the ‘War Neuroses) (1943) 59
Chapter IV: Endopsychic Structure Considered in Terms of Object-Relationships (1944) 82
Chapter V: Object-Relationships and Dynamic Structure1 (1946) 137
Chapter VI: Steps in the Development of an Object-Relations Theory of the Personality1 (1949) 152
Chapter VII: A Synopsis of the Development of the Author's Views Regarding the Structure of the Personality (1951) 162
Part Two: Clinical Papers 183
Chapter I: Notes on the Religious Phantasies of a Female Patient (1927) 183
Chapter II: Features in the Analysis of a Patient with a Physical Genital Abnormality (1931) 197
Chapter III: The Effect of a King's Death Upon Patients Undergoing Analysis (1936) 223
Part Three: Miscellaneous Papers 233
Chapter I: The Sociological Significance of Communism Considered in the Light of Psychoanalysis (1935) 233
Chapter II: Psychology as a Prescribed and as a Proscribed Subject (1939) 247
Chapter III: The War Neuroses—Their Nature and Significance (1943) 256
Chapter IV: The Treatment and Rehabilitation of Sexual Offenders (1946) 289
List of Works to which Reference is made in the Text 297

Preface to "Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality"

Dr.

[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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