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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 - 23 of 23 for your search on "Notman, Malkah T.":

Notman, M.T. Lester, E.P. (2003). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 23(4):642. […]
Notman, M.T. Lester, E.P. (2003). Prologue. Psychoanal. Inq., 23(4):555-557. […]
Notman, M.T. (1983). Women's Sexual Development: Explorations of Inner Space: Edited by Martha Kirkpatrick, M.D. New York: Plenum Publishing Co., 1980. 298 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:111-113. […]
Notman, M.T. (2015). Is There a War on Women in Psychoanalysis? The Disappearance of a Group of Women Leaders. Psychoanal. St. Child, 69:146-152. […]
Notman, M.T. (2011). Some Thoughts About the Psychological Issues Related to Assisted Reproductive Technology. Psychoanal. Inq., 31(4):380-391. […]
Notman, M.T. (2006). Mothers and Daughters as Adults. Psychoanal. Inq., 26(1):137-153. […]
Notman, M.T. (2003). The Female Body and Its Meanings. Psychoanal. Inq., 23(4):572-591. […]
Notman, M.T. (2002). Changes in Sexual Orientation and Object Choice in Midlife in Women. Psychoanal. Inq., 22(2):182-195. […]
Lester, E.P. Notman, M.T. (1988). Pregnancy and Object Relations: Clinical Considerations. Psychoanal. Inq., 8(2):196-221. […]
Notman, M.T. Lester, E.P. (1988). Pregnancy: Theoretical Considerations. Psychoanal. Inq., 8(2):139-159. […]
Notman, M.T. Nadelson, C.C. (2004). Gender in the Consulting Room. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 32(1):193-200. […]
Notman, M.T. Zilbach, J.J. Baker-Miller, J. Nadelson, C.C. (1986). Themes in Psychoanalytic Understanding of Women: Some Reconsiderations of Autonomy and Affiliation. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 14(2):241-253. […]
Notman, M.T. (1989). Psychoanalysis and Women: Contemporary Reappraisals: Edited by Judith Alpert. Hillsdale, New Jersey and London: The Analytic Press. 1986. Pp. 336.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 16:511-513. […]
Nadelson, C.C. Notman, M.T. (1979). Psychoanalytic Considerations of the Response to Rape. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 6:97-103. […]
Notman, M.T. (2006). The quiet revolution in American psychoanalysis: Selected papers of Arnold M. Cooper Edited by Elizabeth L. Auchincloss New York: Routledge (New Library of Psychoanalysis series). 2005 277 p.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 87(6):1732-1736. […]
Lester, E.P. Notman, M.T. (1986). Pregnancy, Developmental Crisis and Object Relations: Psychoanalytic Considerations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 67:357-365. […]
Notman, M.T. (2009). Working with Eva: The Value of Collaboration. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 17(2):231-237. […]
Notman, M.T. (2004). Being a Woman Analyst from the 1960s into the Next Century: Some Reflections. Ann. Psychoanal., 32:161-165. […]
Lester, E.P. Notman, M.T. (2009). The Complexity and Plasticity of Female Sexual Choice. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 17(2):220-230. […]
Notman, M.T. (2014). Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders. By Barbara Schildkrout. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011, xii + 292 pp., $64.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 62(5):918-923. […]
Lester, E.P. Notman, M.T. (2000). The Complexity and Plasticity of Female Sexual Choice. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 9(2):125-136. […]
Notman, M.T. (1993). Feminism and Psychoanalytic Theory: By Nancy Chodorow. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1989, 286 pp., $25.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:826-829. […]
Notman, M.T. (2014). Reflections on Widowhood and its Effects on the Self. Psychodyn. Psych., 42(1):65-88. […]
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