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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 - 22 of 22 for your search on "Kavaler-Adler, Susan":

Kavaler-Adler, S. (1996). Review Of The Compulsion To Create: A Psychoanalytic Study Of Women Artists. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:825. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1992). Anaïs Nin and the Developmental Use of the Creative Process. Psychoanal. Rev., 79(1):73-88. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1992). Mourning and Erotic Transference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 73:527-539. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2009). Object Relations Perspectives on “Phantom of the Opera” and its Demon Lover Theme: The Modern Film. Am. J. Psychoanal., 69(2):150-166. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2006). From Neurotic Guilt to Existential Guilt as Grief: The Road to Interiority, Agency, and Compassion through Mourning. Part II. Am. J. Psychoanal., 66(4):333-350. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2006). From Neurotic Guilt to Existential Guilt as Grief: The Road to Interiority, Agency, and Compassion through Mourning. Part I. Am. J. Psychoanal., 66(3):239-260. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1993). Object Relations Issues in the Treatment of the Preoedipal Character. Am. J. Psychoanal., 53(1):19-34. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1991). Emily Dickinson and the Subject of Seclusion. Am. J. Psychoanal., 51(1):21-38. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2000). The Divine, The Deviant and the Diabolical: A Journey Through An Artist's Paintings During Her Participation in a Creative Process Group: An Evolution of “Developmental Mourning”. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 9(1-2):97-111. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1995). Women, the Instinctual Self, and the Demon Lover. Am. J. Psychoanal., 55(1):74-81. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1993). The Conflict and Process Theory of Melanie Klein. Am. J. Psychoanal., 53(3):187-204. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1991). Some More Speculations on Anna O.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 51(2):161-171. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1990). Charlotte Bronte and the Feminine Self. Am. J. Psychoanal., 50(1):37-43. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2006). “My Graduation is My Mother's Funeral”: Transformation From the Paranoid-Schizoid to the Depressive Position in Fear of Success, and the Role of the Internal Saboteur. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 15(2):117-130. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2004). Anatomy of Regret: A Developmental View of the Depressive Position and a Critical Turn Toward Love and Creativity in the Transforming Schizoid Personality. Am. J. Psychoanal., 64(1):39-76. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2010). Seduction, date rape, and aborted surrender. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 19(1):15-26. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2005). The Case of David: On the Couch for Sixty Minutes, Nine Years of Once-a-Week Treatment. Am. J. Psychoanal., 65(2):103-134. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2007). Pivotal Moments of Surrender to Mourning the Internal Parental Object. Psychoanal. Rev., 94(5):763-789. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2003). Lesbian Homoerotic Transference in Dialectic with Developmental Mourning: On the Way to Symbolism From the Protosymbolic. Psychoanal. Psychol., 20(1):131-152. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2005). From Benign Mirror To Demon Lover: An Object Relations View Of Compulsion Versus Desire. Am. J. Psychoanal., 65(1):31-52. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (1995). Opening up Blocked Mourning in the Preoedipal Character. Am. J. Psychoanal., 55(2):145-168. […]
Kavaler-Adler, S. (2018). The beginning of heartache in character disorders: On the way to relatedness and intimacy through primal affects and symbolization. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 27(4):207-218. […]
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