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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.

 
Discussions
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1. 
Nogueira, M. (2013). International Psychoanalysis 150 years after the Birth of Freud. The Philoctetes Ctr. Videostream, 1(1):1.
 

Roundtable discussion March 17 2006 on International Psychoanalysis. A spontaneous discussion on how the panelists see Psychoanalysis today and in the future.

2. 
(2017). Irma Brenman Pick on her 80th birthday: British Psychoanalytic Society Scientific Meeting. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):16.
 

Irma Brenman Pick is a Distinguished Fellow, Supervising and Training Analyst and former President of the British Psychoanalytical Society. In this video she talks with Michael Brearley about her experience of prejudice in 1950s London. She goes on to share her memories of Esther Bick, Herbert Rosenfeld, Wilfred Bion and Melanie Klein, and their influence on her psychoanalytic practice. The event took place in June 2015 and was organised by the British Psychoanalytical Society.

3. 
Sandler, A.M. Miqueu-Baz, C. Navaratnem, K. (2011). Meeting Anne Marie Sandler: From the Series Encounters Through Generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):14.
 

This project was set up to create a dialogue between old and new generations of psychoanalysts, and record them looking back over their professional careers. Anne Marie Sandler is interviewed in her London home.

4. 
O'Shaughnessy, E. (2011). Meeting Edna O'Shaughnessy: From the Series Encounters Through Generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):13.
 

This project was set up to create a dialogue between old and new generations of psychoanalysts, and record them looking back over their professional careers. Edna O'Shaughnessy is interviewed in the library of The Institute of Psychoanalysis. Edna O’Shaughnessy is interviewed in the library of the Institute of Psychoanalysis - London

5. 
Segal, H. (2010). Meeting Hanna Segal: From the Series Encounters Through Generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):11.
 

An interview with Hanna Segal and candidates and young analysts of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. The interview is held in the British Institute of Psychoanalysis at Byron House, London.

6. 
Sohn, L. Minne, C. (2011). Meeting Leslie Sohn: From the Series Encounters Through Generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):10.
 

An interview with Leslie Sohn. A project of the British Institute of Psychoanalysis.

7. 
Brenman, E. Harvey, N. (2010). Meeting Eric Brenman: From the Series Encounters Through Generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):9.
 

An interview with Eric Brenman and candidates and young analysts of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. The interview recorded in Hampstead, London.

8. 
Steiner, J. (2015). Meeting John Steiner: Encounters Through Generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):8.
 

In this latest Encounters Through the Generations we speak to John Steiner, psychoanalyst and training psychoanalyst and supervisor at the British Psychoanalytical Society.

9. 
Duncan, D. (2015). Meeting Dennis Duncan: Encounters Through Generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):7.
 

An interview with Dr. Dennis Duncan and candidates and young analysts of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. The interview is held in the British Institute of Psychoanalysis Library at Byron House, London.

10. 
Joseph, B. (2015). Meeting Betty Joseph: From the Series Encounters Through Generations(an extract). Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):6.
 

An interview with Betty Joseph and candidates and young analysts of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. The interview is held in the British Institute of Psychoanalysis Library at Byron House, London.

11. 
(2013). Encounters through generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):1.
 

Panelists Hannah Segal, Betty Joseph, Anne Marie Sandler, Edna O'Shaugnessy, Eglé Laufer and Elizabeth Spillius discuss what it means to be a psychoanalyst and the qualities required both in training and in their on-going practice if they are to be effective. The panel also discusses the current approach to psychoanalysis in the UK and at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, and what it is in the British Society that contributes to the global psychoanalytical scene. Lastly the panel deliberates the future of Psychoanalysis and the challenges it faces in the 21st century..

12. 
Nogueira, M. (2013). Psychoanalysis in the United States: 150 years after the Birth of Freud. The Philoctetes Ctr. Videostream, 1(1):2.
 

Roundtable discussion February 17, 2006 on Psychoanalysis in the United States. A spontaneous discussion on how the panelists see Psychoanalysis today and in the future.

13. 
Steiner, J. (2017). Melanie Klein’s Technique Then and Now. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):15.
 

John Steiner’s presentation, ‘Melanie Klein’s Technique Then and Now’, given at West Lodge in June 2015, with contributions from the event’s chair, Priscilla Roth, and discussion panel members Ron Britton and Michael Feldman, plus an audience question and answer session. In his presentation, Steiner explores the content of Melanie Klein’s six (then) unpublished lectures on technique, which Klein originally presented in 1936. He describes the development of Klein’s play technique, her thoughts on of the ‘analytic attitude’, her ideas about the deep connection between the positive and negative transference, and her view on the fundamental importance of transference and the exploration of unconscious phantasies within psychoanalytic technique. Steiner discusses two issues that remain controversial: how to understand countertransference and use it in the pursuit of understanding the patient, and to what extent the analyst should remain in the ‘here and now’ of the session or make links with the patient’s unconscious via the patient’s early history. He also draws on a transcript of a seminar Klein held in 1958 with young analysts of the British Psychoanalytical Society, to demonstrate developments in Klein's thinking during the intervening years.

14. 
Spillius, E. (2011). Meeting Elizabeth Spillius: From the Series Encounters Through Generations. Instit. Psa UK AV Proj. Videostream, 1(1):12.
 

This project was set up to create a dialogue between old and new generations of psychoanalysts, and record them looking back over their professional careers. Elizabeth Spillius is interviewed in her London home.

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