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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 324 for your search on "Psychoanalytic Quarterly; Volume 26":

1. 
(1957). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXIX, 1956: The Effects of Mother-Child Separation: A Follow-Up Study. John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Mary Boston, and Dina Rosenbluth. Pp. 211-247.. Psychoanal Q., 26:591. […]
 
2. 
(1957). Psychosomatic Medicine. XVIII, 1956: Influence of Symbolic Processes on the Role of Instincts in Human Behavior. Lawrence S. Kubie. Pp. 189-208.. Psychoanal Q., 26:588-589. […]
 
3. 
Lander, J. (1957). Psychoanalytic Review. XLIII, 1956: Ulcerative Colitis as an Anniversary Symptom. Bernhard Bressler. Pp. 381-387.. Psychoanal Q., 26:587-587. […]
 
4. 
(1957). Psychoanalytic Review. XLIII, 1956: The Dynamic You-and-I Relationship With a Borderline Personality. Gerald Hill. Pp. 320-336.. Psychoanal Q., 26:586. […]
 
5. 
(1957). Psychoanalytic Review. XLIII, 1956: Black Magic and Superego Formation. Stanley Rosenman. Pp. 272-319.. Psychoanal Q., 26:585-586. […]
 
6. 
(1957). Psychoanalytic Review. XLIII, 1956: The Psychodynamism of the Analytic Process. Durval Marcondes. Pp. 261-271.. Psychoanal Q., 26:585. […]
 
7. 
(1957). Psychoanalytic Review. XLIII, 1956: A Comparative Study of Symbol Formation in the Rorschach Test and the Dream. Rose Palm. Pp. 246-251.. Psychoanal Q., 26:585. […]
 
8. 
(1957). Psychoanalytic Review. XLIII, 1956: Externalization of the Toxic Introject. Marie L. Coleman. Pp. 235-242.. Psychoanal Q., 26:585-585. […]
 
9. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: On Some Vicissitudes of Insight in Psychoanalysis. Ernst Kris. Pp. 445-455.. Psychoanal Q., 26:581. […]
 
10. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Re-Evaluation of the Process of Working Through. Phyllis Greenacre. Pp. 439-444.. Psychoanal Q., 26:581. […]
 
11. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: The Meaning and Genesis of Fetishism. Angel Garma. Pp. 414-415.. Psychoanal Q., 26:580. […]
 
12. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: The General Theory of Sexual Perversion. W. H. Gillespie. Pp. 396-403.. Psychoanal Q., 26:579. […]
 
13. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: On Transference. D. W. Winnicott. Pp. 386-388.. Psychoanal Q., 26:579. […]
 
14. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Transference: The Analytical Setting and Its Prototype. René A. Spitz. Pp. 380-385.. Psychoanal Q., 26:578-579. […]
 
15. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Transference and Transference Neurosis. W. Hoffer. Pp. 377-379.. Psychoanal Q., 26:578. […]
 
16. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Introduction to the Discussion on Problems of Transference. Robert Waelder. Pp. 367-368.. Psychoanal Q., 26:578. […]
 
17. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Normal Countertransference and Some of Its Deviations. R. E. Money-Kyrle. Pp. 360-366.. Psychoanal Q., 26:578-578. […]
 
18. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: The Theory of Instinctual Drives. Jeanne Lampl-de Groot. Pp. 354-359.. Psychoanal Q., 26:577. […]
 
19. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Repetition and Repetition Compulsion. Walter Toman. Pp. 347-350.. Psychoanal Q., 26:577. […]
 
20. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Development of Schizophrenic Thought. W. R. Bion. Pp. 344-346.. Psychoanal Q., 26:577. […]
 
21. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Depression in the Schizophrenic. Hanna Segal. Pp. 339-343.. Psychoanal Q., 26:576-577. […]
 
22. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: The Contribution of Psychoanalysis to Forensic Psychiatry. Gregory Zilboorg. Pp. 318-324.. Psychoanal Q., 26:576-576. […]
 
23. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: On the Oral Basis of a Case of Male Homosexuality. Alfred Winterstein. Pp. 298-302.. Psychoanal Q., 26:575. […]
 
24. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: The Reality of the Object and Economic Point of View. F. Pasche and M. Renard. Pp. 282-285.. Psychoanal Q., 26:574. […]
 
25. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: The Transference in Symbolic Realization. M. A. Sechehaye. Pp. 270-277.. Psychoanal Q., 26:573-574. […]
 
26. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Psychoanalytic Reflections on the Development of Ball Games, Particularly Cricket. Adrian Stokes. Pp. 185-192.. Psychoanal Q., 26:573. […]
 
27. 
(1957). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXVII, 1956: Notes on Symbolism. Emilio Rodrigué. Pp. 147-158.. Psychoanal Q., 26:572. […]
 
28. 
Biernoff, J. (1957). The Functions of Social Conflict: By Lewis A. Coser. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1956. 188 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 26:555-557. […]
 
29. 
Nathan, W. (1957). The Doctor, his Patient and the Illness: By Michael Balint, M.D. Foreword by Maurice Levine, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1957. 355 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 26:553-555. […]
 
30. 
Deutsch, F. (1957). Edward E. Hitschmann—1871-1957. Psychoanal Q., 26:536-538. […]
 
 
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