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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 34 for your search on "De Saussure, Raymond":

De Saussure, R. (1952). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XIII, 1949: Narcissism. H. G. van der Waals. Pp. 501–526.. Psychoanal Q., 21:592. […]
De Saussure, R. (1921). Examen Des Aliénés: Par André Barté. (Masson et Cie. éditeurs, 177 pages.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:467. […]
De Saussure, R. (1953). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XIV, 1950: Diagnosis of Infantile Neurosis. Serge Lebovici. Pp. 581-595.. Psychoanal Q., 22:313. […]
De Saussure, R. (1953). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XIV, 1950: Therapeutic Incidences Upon the Perception of Penis Envy in the Feminine Obsessional Neurosis. Maurice Bouvet. Pp. 215–243.. Psychoanal Q., 22:140. […]
De Saussure, R. (1947). Éléments De Psycho-Physiologie: By Henri Roger. Paris: Masson et Cie, Editeurs, 1946. 428 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 16:425. […]
De Saussure, R. (1948). Les Phénomènes Hallucinatoires Passagers Causés Par La Captivité (Transitory Hallucinations Due to Captivity). Les Phénomènes Hallucinatoires Persistants Des Psychoses De Captivité (Persistent Hallucinations in Psychoses Due to Captivity): Maurice Bachet. Le Bulletin Médical (Paris), LIX, No. 18, August 21, 1945.. Psychoanal Q., 17:137. […]
De Saussure, R. (1949). Dictators and Disciples. From Caesar to Stalin: By Gustav Bychowski. New York: International Universities Press, 1948. 264 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:94-95. […]
De Saussure, R. (1948). Introduction À La Psychiatrie Neurologique: By Ferdinand Morel. Paris: Masson & Cie., 1947. 298 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 17:548-549. […]
de Saussure, R. (1922). MEILLET: Linguistique Historique et Linguistique Générale.〈 Champion, Paris 1921.〉. Imago, 8(4):508-509. […]
de Saussure, R. (1921). GEORGES DWELSHAUVERS: »La psychologie française contemporaine«. Paris 1920. Alcan.. Imago, 7(2):216-217. […]
De Saussure, R. (1921). Introduction À La Psychologie: (L'instinct etl'émotion.) Par J. Larguier des Bancels, Prof. à l'université de Lausanne. (Paris, Payot, 1921. 282 pages.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:244-244. […]
De Saussure, R. (1921). La Psychologie Française Contemporaine: Par Georges Dwelshauvers. (Alcan, 1920.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:242-243. […]
de Saussure, R. (1936). Jean Vinchon : Les Névroses. Paris, Maloine, 1936, 164 p.. Rev. fr. psychanal., 9(2):321-322. […]
de Saussure, R. (1951). Reflexiones sobre Psicodinamia. Rev. psicoanál., 8(2):280. […]
de Saussure, R. (1922). L'Année psychologique. Tome XXI. (1914-1919. Paris. Masson 1920. 523 p.).. Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 8(3):383-384. […]
de Saussure, R. (1921). J. Larguler des Bancels, Professor an der Universität Lausanne: Introduction àlapsychologie. L'instinct et l'émotion (Paris, Payot 1921, 282 Seiten.). Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 7(3):375. […]
De Saussure, R. (1946). J. B. Felix Descuret. Psychoanal. St. Child, 2:417-424. […]
De Saussure, R. (1949). L'Angoisse Et La Pensée Magique (Anxiety and Magic Thinking): By Charles Odier. First Volume. Neuchâtel and Paris: Delachaux and Niestle, 1948. 248 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:503-508. […]
De Saussure, R. (1943). Transference and Animal Magnetism. Psychoanal Q., 12:194-201. […]
De Saussure, R. (1942). A History of Medical Psychology: By Gregory Zilboorg, M.D., in collaboration with George W. Henry. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1941. 606 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 11:96-98. […]
de Saussure, R. (1926). Zur psychoanalytischen Auffassung der Intelligenz. Imago, 12(2-3):238-248. […]
De Saussure, R. (1955). Charles Odier. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 36:215-217. […]
De Saussure, R. (1954). Mechanisms of Defence and their Place in Psycho-Analytic Therapy: Discussion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 35:199-201. […]
De Saussure, R. (1921). Fêtes Et Chansons De L'Ancienne Chine: Par Granet. (Paris, Leroux, 1920.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:470-473. […]
De Saussure, R. (1921). Traité De Pathologie Médicale Et De Thérapeutique Appliquée. (Maloine et Fils, Paris). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:464-467. […]
De Saussure, R. (1921). Les Médications Psychologiques: Par Pierre Janet. (3 vol., 1144 p. Paris, Alcan, 1919.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:137-141. […]
De Saussure, R. (1920). Litterature Française. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 1:424-426. […]
de Saussure, R. (1965). Les sources subjectives de la théorie du narcissisme chez Freud. Rev. fr. psychanal., 29(5-6):475-483. […]
de Saussure, R. (1949). Réflexions sur la psychodynamique. Rev. fr. psychanal., 13(3):391-396. […]
de Saussure, R. (1936). Ed. Pichon : Le développement psychique de l'enfant et de l'adolescent. Masson, 1936, 374 pages.. Rev. fr. psychanal., 9(2):316-321. […]
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