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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.

Search Results
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Results 1 - 30 of 1,000 (from 123,284 total) for your search:

Sharpe, E.F. (1935). Die Loslösung aus dem Familienkreis (Leaving home). Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 9(5-6):329-341. […]
Wälder, J. (1935). Analyse eines Falles von Pavor nocturnus. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 9(1):5-70. […]
Bálint, A. (1932). Die Psychoanalyse des Kinderzimmers. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 6(2-3):49-130. […]
Hoffer, W. (1931). Der Onaniekampf im Tagebuch des Jugendlichen. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 5(1):35-38. […]
Bernfeld, S. (1930). Reliquien und Tagebücher. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 4(10):370-381. […]
Achelis, W. (1929). Heilpädagogik und Stottern. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 3(14-15):468-471. […]
Ellis, H. (1929). Die neue Mutter. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 3(14-15):455-462. […]
Federn, P. (1929). Die Diskussion über „Selbstmord”, insbesondere „Schüler-Selbstmord”, im Wiener Psychoanalytischen Verein im Jahre 1918. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 3(11-13):333-344. […]
Achelis, W. (1929). Das Plattenlaufen. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 3(8-9):279-282. […]
Sadger, I. (1928). Neue Forschungen zum Onanieproblem. Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 2(4-6):121-127. […]
Stekel (1913). Ermakow, L'Epilepsie hystérique. (Archives de Neurologie. Février 1913.). Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 3(12):629. […]
Marcus (1913). M. D. Eder, A case of obsession and hysteria treated by the Freud, Psychoanalytik Method. (The British medical Journal 1911. Vol. II. S. 750.). Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 3(12):625-626. […]
(1913). Eduard Hitschmann: Schopenhauer. Versuch einer Psychoanalyse des Philosophen. (Imago, 2. Bd., S. 101-174.). Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 3(12):612. […]
(1912). Literatur. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(10-11):617-618. […]
Juliusburger, O. (1912). Beitrag zur Psychologie der sogenannten Dipsomanie. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(10-11):551-557. […]
Stekel (1912). Dr. Albert Moll, Handbuch der Sexualwissenschaften. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der kulturgeschichtlichen Beziehungen. Mit 418 Abbildungen und 11 Tafeln. Leipzig, Verlag von F. C. Vogel, 1912.. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(8):459-460. […]
Silberer, H. (1912). III. Lekanomantische Versuche. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(8):438-450. […]
(1912). Über Psychanalyse. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(4):222-224. […]
Freud, S. (1912). I. Zur Dynamik der Übertragung. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(4):167-173. […]
Abraham, K. (1912). III. Über die determinierende Kraft des Namens. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(3):133-134. […]
Stekel, W. (1912). IV. Aus dem Tagebuch eines Neurotikers. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(2):89-90. […]
Stekel, W. (1912). I. Die verschiedenen Formen der Übertragung. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(1):27-30. […]
Stekel, W. (1911). V. Die psychische Behandlung der Epilepsie. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 1(5-6):220-234. […]
Ferenczi (1911). Dr. E. Jendrássik (Budapest). Über den Begriff der Neurasthenie. Orvosi Hetilap 1909.. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 1(3):114-115. […]
Abram, J. (1996). The Language of Winnicott: A Dictionary of Winnicott's Use of Words. Clunie Press. […]
Williams, M.H. (2010). The Aesthetic Development: The Poetic Spirit of Psychoanalysis Essays on Bion, Meltzer, Keats. Karnac Books Ltd.. […]
Williams, M.H. (2005). The Vale of Soulmaking: The Post-Kleinian Model of the Mind and its Poetic Origins. Karnac Books Ltd.. […]
Williams, M.H. (1987). A Strange Way of Killing: The Poetic Structure of Wuthering Heights. Clunie Press. […]
Williams, M.H. Waddell, M. (1991). The Chamber of Maiden Thought: Literary Origins of the Psychoanalytic Model of the Mind. Clunie Press. […]
Sanders, K. (1999). Nine Lives: The Emotional Experience in General Practice. Karnac Books Ltd.. […]
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