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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.

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Results 1 - 30 of 33 for your search on "Bollas, Christopher":

Bollas, C. (1998). Origins of the Therapeutic Alliance. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 21(1):24-36. […]
Bollas, C. (2015). La psicoanalisi nell'epoca dello smarrimento: sul ritorno dell'oppresso. Rivista Psicoanal., 61(2):411-434. […]
Bollas, C. (2013). Brief Account on Writing. Rivista Psicoanal., 59(4):913-914. […]
Bollas, C. (1978). Melvilles verlorenes Selbst: Bartleby. Psyche – Z Psychoanal., 32(2):155-164. […]
Bollas, C. (2007). Cyberspace. Psychoanal. Rev., 94(1):7-10. […]
Bollas, C. (2006). Perceptive Identification. Psychoanal. Rev., 93(5):713-717. […]
Bollas, C. (1994). Aspects of the Erotic Transference. Psychoanal. Inq., 14(4):572-590. […]
Bollas, C. (1986). Who Does Self Psychology Cure?. Psychoanal. Inq., 6(3):429-435. […]
Bollas, C. (2001). Freudian Intersubjectivity: Commentary on Paper by Julie Gerhardt and Annie Sweetnam. Psychoanal. Dial., 11(1):93-105. […]
Bollas, C. (1996). Figures And Their Functions: On The Oedipal Structure Of A Psychoanalysis.. Psychoanal Q., 65:1-20. […]
Bollas, C. (1997). Sexualität in ‘Wording’ und ‘Telling’. Jahrb. Psychoanal., 38:22-30. […]
Bollas, C. (1982). The Tragic Effect: By Andre Green. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979. Pp. 264. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 9:109-111. […]
Bollas, C. (1980). Metaphor: A Psychoanalytic View. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 7:117-119. […]
Bollas, C. (2015). Psychoanalysis in the Age of Bewilderment: On the Return of the Oppressed†. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(3):535-551. […]
Bollas, C. Diatkine, G. (2010). Shuttle Analysis in the Han-Prakken Psychoanalytic Institute for Eastern Europe (PIEE). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 91(5):1250-1253. […]
Bollas, C. (1997). Wording And Telling Sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:363-367. […]
Bollas, C. (1984). Moods and the Conservative Process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 65:203-212. […]
Bollas, C. (1982). On the Relation to the Self as an Object. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 63:347-359. […]
Bollas, C. (1981). Treatment of Primitive Mental States. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 62:251-255. […]
Bollas, C. (1979). The Transformational Object. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 60:97-107. […]
Bollas, C. (2015). Psicoanálisis en la edad del asombro: el retorno de lo oprimido†. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. Es., 1(3):581-604. […]
Bollas, C. (2015). An Interview with Arne Jemstedt. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 24(3):182-188. […]
Bollas, C. (2000). Architecture and the Unconscious. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 9(1-2):28-42. […]
Bollas, C. (1996). Borderline Desire. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 5(1):5-9. […]
Bollas, C. Marra, P. (2007). Conversations with Clinicians. Fort Da, 13(2):51-66. […]
Bollas, C. (1983). Expressive Uses of the Countertransference—Notes to the Patient from Oneself. Contemp. Psychoanal., 19:1-33. […]
Bollas, C. (2003). Confidentiality and Professionalism in Psychoanalysis. Brit. J. Psychother., 20(2):157-176. […]
Bollas, C. (1984). Loving Hate. Ann. Psychoanal., 12:221-237. […]
Bollas, C. (1978). The Aesthetic Moment and the Search for Transformation. Ann. Psychoanal., 6:385-394. […]
Bollas, C. (1974). Melville's Lost Self: Bartleby. Am. Imago, 31(4):401-411. […]
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