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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.

List of Articles

Volume 5 (1996)

Issue 1 - States of the Self
Editorial  1
Jan Stensson, Ph.D.
Borderline Desire  5
Christopher Bollas, Ph.D.
Transsexualism: Some Considerations on Aggression, Transference and Countertransference  11
Miguel Angel Gonzalez Torres, M.D., Ph.D.
The Splitting between Separate and Symbiotic States of the Self in the Psychodynamic of Schizophrenia  23
Maurizio Peciccia, M.D. and Gaetano Benedetti, M.D.
Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, Loneliness and Deafness  39
Ann-Louise S. Silver, M.D.
The Psychoanalytic Dream. Some theoretical aspects  47
Steinar Lorentzen, M.D.
Comments on The Psychoanalytic Dream by Steinar Lorentzen. Some Theoretical Aspects  56
Bengt Warren, Psych.
On the Child of Psychoanalysis: A Structural Perspective  59
Silvia Abu-Jamra Zornig, Dipl. Psych.
Mexican Time: A Point of View  65
Salvador Millán, M.D.
Reports and Brief Communications  70
Marco Conci
Congress Calendar  72
Issue 2 - Behind the Scenes: Freud in Corrospondence
Editorial: Freud in Correspondence  73
Jan Stensson, Ph.D.
Whose Freud Is It? Some Reflections on Editing Freud's Correspondence  77
Ernst Falzeder, Ph.D.
Images of Freud: from his Correspondence  87
Alain de Mijolla, Ph.D.
The Circular Letters (Rundbriefe) as a Means of Communication of the “Secret Committee” of Sigmund Freud  111
Gerhard Wittenberger, Dr Phil.
Why Did Freud Choose Medical School?  123
Marco Conci, M.D.
The Beginnings of a Troubled Friendship: Freud and Ferenczi 1908-1914  133
Michael Schröter, Dr. phil. in Sociology.
Congress Calendar  150
Paul Roazen, How Freud worked. First-hand accounts of patients.: Northvale, NJ: Aronson, 1995.  151
Marco Conci, M.D.
Reports and Brief Communications  154
Ellen Gussaroff, DSW
Issue 3 - Behind the Scenes: Freud in Corrospondence (Continued)
Editorial  155
Carlo Bonomi, Ph.D.
What Correspondence between Freud and Ferenczi?  159
André Haynal, M.D.
Mute Correspondence  165
Carlo Bonomi, M.D.
The Brunhilde Fantasy Freud's Countertransference in the Analysis of Elma  191
Agustín Genoves Candioti, M.D. and Luis J. Martín Cabré, Ph.D.
In Defense of Sabina Spielrein  203
Zvi Lothane, M.D.
The Freud-Jones Letters  219
Paul Roazen, Ph.D.
“Should this Remain?” Anna Freud's Misgivings Concerning the Freud-Jung Letters  227
Sonu Shamdasani
Letters of Two Remarkable Women: The Anna Freud—Lou Andreas-Salomé Correspondence  233
Daria A. Rothe,, Ph.D.
Mitchell, Stephen A. and Black, Margaret J. Freud and Beyond. A history of modern psychoanalytic thought. Basic Books 1995.  247
Jan Stensson, Ph.D.
Reports and Brief Communications  249
Monica Anderson
Congress Calendar  250
Issue 4 - Psychoanalysis, Society and Politics
Editorial: Psychoanalysis, Society and Politics  251
Jan Stensson, Ph.D.
The Psychoanalytical Movement: A Difficult History  255
Michele Ranchetti, Ph.D.
Dreaming of Freud: Ferenczi, Freud, and An Analysis Without End  265
Ernst Falzeder, Ph.D.
The Scientific Association of the Lake of Constance Psychiatrists 1919-1932: Psychoanalytic Contributions to the Treatment of Psychoses  271
Klaus Hoffmann, M.D.
Karl Landauer and the South West German Psychoanalytic Study Group  277
Hans-Joachim Rothe, M.D.
The Fate of the Totalitarian Object  289
Michael Šebek, Ph.D.
Psychoanalysis and Politics  295
Horst-Eberhard Richter, M.D., phil., Prof., Dr.
Trauma and Processes of Separation from Parental Figures  301
Marika Lindbom-Jakobson and Lena Lindgren
Is There Any New Utopia in Sight?  307
Christer Sjödin, M.D.
Congress Calendar  316
Peter Kutter, ed. Psychoanalysis International: A Guide to the World of Psychoanalysis. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1992, 1995, Vol. 1: Europe, Vol. 2: America, Asia, Australia; further European Countries.  317
Johannes Reichmayr
Reports and Brief Communications  322
Rómulo Aguillaume
Erratum  332
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