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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 31 - 60 of 419 for your search on "Volume 89":

Civitarese, G. (2008). ‘Caesura’ as Bion's Discourse on Method. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(6):1123-1143. […]
(2008). Reviewers for 2008. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(6):1103-1105. […]
Avron, O. (2008). Un singuller pluriel. La psychanalyse à l'épreuve du groupe by René Kaës Dunod, Paris, 2007; 239 pp; €26. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(5):1093-1097. […]
Brenner, C. (2008). Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis by George Makari HarperCollins, New York, 2007; 624 pp; $32.50. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(5):1086-1088. […]
Ferro, A. (2008). The Vancouver Interview by Franco Borgogno Borla, Rome, 2007; 71 pp; €12. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(5):1057-1059. […]
Green, A. (2008). Freud's Concept of Temporality: Differences with Current Ideas. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(5):1029-1039. […]
Sechaud, E. (2008). The Handling of the Transference in French Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(5):1011-1028. […]
Gentile, J. (2008). Between Private and Public: Towards a Conception of the Transitional Subject. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(5):959-976. […]
Ferro, A. (2008). A Beam of Intense Darkness by James S. Grotstein Karnac Books, London, 2007, 382 pp; $58.50.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(4):867-884. […]
Baranger, M. Baranger, W. (2008). The Analytic Situation as a Dynamic Field. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(4):795-826. […]
Churcher, J. (2008). Some Notes on the English Translation of The Analytic Situation as a Dynamic Field by Willy and Madeleine Baranger. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(4):785-793. […]
Sirois, F. (2008). Transference Symptom. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(4):759-771. […]
Parsons, M. (2008). On: Raiding the Inarticulate: The internal Analytic Setting and Listening Beyond Countertransference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(3):662-662. […]
Kernberg, O.F. Yeomans, F.E. Clarkin, J.F. Levy, K.N. (2008). Transference Focused Psychotherapy: Overview and Update. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(3):601-620. […]
Gurevich, H. (2008). The Language of Absence. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(3):561-578. […]
Hinshelwood, R.D. (2008). Repression and Splitting: Towards a Method of Conceptual Comparison. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(3):503-521. […]
Brearley, M. (2008). Encounters with Melanie Klein: Selected Papers of Elizabeth Spillius by Elizabeth Spillius Routledge, London, 2007; 264 pp; £21.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):448-452. […]
Brearley, M. Sabbadini, A. (2008). The Truman Show: How's it Going to End?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):433-440. […]
Aguayo, J. (2008). On Projective Identification: Back to the Beginning. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):423-425. […]
Will, H. (2008). Part Two: Transfer of Theories and Institutional Regulations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):417-419. […]
Will, H. (2008). Part One: Transfer of Theories and Institutional Regulations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):413-416. […]
Tuckett, D. Taffler, R. (2008). Phantastic Objects and the Financial Market's Sense of Reality: A Psychoanalytic Contribution to the Understanding of Stock Market Instability. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):389-412. […]
Angelini, A. (2008). History of the Unconscious in Soviet Russia: From its Origins to the Fall of the Soviet Union. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):369-388. […]
Zepf, S. Zepf, F.D. (2008). Trauma and Traumatic Neurosis: Freud's Concepts Revisited. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):331-353. […]
Garella, A. (2008). Ethics in the termination of analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):313-330. […]
Kernberg, O.F. (2008). The Destruction of Time in Pathological Narcissism. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):299-312. […]
Nissen, B. (2008). On the Determination of Autistoid Organizations in Non-Autistic Adults,. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):261-277. […]
Apfelbaum, L. (2008). Some Comments on ‘Break Point’ by Stella M. Yardino. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):249-252. […]
Schwartz, H. (2008). Projected Shadows: Psychoanalytic Reflections on the Representation of Loss in European Cinema edited by Andrea Sabbadini New Library of Psychoanalysis Routledge, London and New York, 2007; 190 pp; £21.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(1):225-229. […]
Marion, P. (2008). Un lungo sogno [A Long Dream] by Domenico Chianese Angeli, Milan, 2006; 138 pp; €16.00. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(1):219-225. […]
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