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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 8 (1999)

Issue 1 - Trauma and Basic Trust
Editorial: Trauma and Basic Trust  1
Jan Stensson, Ph.D.
New Cover  3
Christer Sjödin, Ph.D. and Jan Stensson, Ph.D.
Vocation of Exile: Psychoanalysis and Judaism  7
Betty Bernardo Fuks, Ph.D.
Frieda Fromm-Reichmann: On Her Contribution to Psychoanalytic and Psychiatric Theory, with a Note on Erich Fromm's Estimate of Her Work in The USA  13
Klaus Hoffmann, M.D. and Norman Elrod, Ph.D.
Frieda Fromm-Reichmann and Erich Fromm  19
Ann-Louise S. Silver, M.D.
Reply to the Discussion by Ann-Louise Silver  24
Klaus Hoffmann, M.D.
Effects of Severely Disturbed Parents on Early Parent-Infant Interaction  25
Prof. Dr. Christiane Ludwig-Körner, Ph.D.
A Contribution to the Settlement of the Historical Antinomy between Conflict and Defects in the Self  33
Maria Luisa Tricoli, Ph.D.
The Dream Unbound  41
Valerie Tate Angel, M.S.W.
A Case of Primary Vaginismus  49
Anna Coppini
Peter Hartwich & Michael Grube: Psychosen-psychotherapie. Tiefenpsychologisch fundiertes Handeln in Klinik und Praxis. (Psychotherapy of Psychoses. Practicing psychotherapy in Clinic and with Outpatients—based on psychodynamic psychotherapy). Steinkopf, Darmstadt, 1999, ISBN 3-7985-1126-8  53
Axel Triebel, Dr phil., Dipl. Psych.
Congress Calendar  54
Reports and Short Communications  55
Judith Dupont
Issue 2 - Psychoanalysis in Germany
Editorial: Psychoanalysis in Germany  57
Prof. Michael Ermann, M.D.
Modern Families: The Nazi Past and “Fatherlessness”  61
Prof. Michael B. Buchholz, M.D., Ph.D.
Telling Dreams and Transference: The Interactional Function of Dreams as Free Associations  75
Prof. Dr., Michael Ermann, M.D.
Basic and Central Relational Wishes  87
Prof. Dr Karl König, M.D.
Work on Transference? Work in Transference!  93
Prof. Jürgen Körner, Dr. disc. pol.
Affects, Regulation of Relationship, Transference and Countertransference  103
Prof. Dr. Rainer Krause, Ph.D. and Jörg Merten, Ph.D., Dipl. Psych.
The Struggle for Empathy: Attempting to Interpret Masochistic Fantasy Enactments  115
Prof. Dr. Christa Rohde-Dachser, Dr. Rer. Soc.
Outcomes of Psychoanalytic Therapies  125
Prof. Dr. Gerd Rudolf, M.D., Rolf Manz and Christina Öri
Acting Out, Interpretation and Unconscious Communication  135
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Streeck, M.D.
Issue 3-4
Editorial: Experiences from Mexican Psychoanalysis  145
Jan Stensson
The Perennial Freud: Method versus Myth and the Mischief of Freud Bashers  151
Zvi Lothane, M.D.
Little Jeremy's Struggle with Autism, Schizophrenia and Paranoïa  172
Luiz Eduardo Prado de Oliveira, Ph.D.
The Pleasure of Thought during the Session  189
Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor, Ph.D.
A Meaningful Intercourse: Some Thoughts about Thinking  196
Christer Sjödin, M.D.
The Return of Narcissism: Heinz Kohut in the Context of the History of Ideas  211
Petri Meronen, M.A.
Discussion of Petri Meronen's paper, The Return of Narcissism: Heinz Kohut in the Context of the History of Ideas  221
Ronald N. Puddu, C.S.W.
Narcissistic Vulnerability in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Supervisees: Ego Ideals, Self-Exposure and Narcissistic Character Defenses  227
Susan Gill, Ph.D., C.S.W.
Interpretation in the Context of Supervision  234
Mario Rendon, M.D.
Sigmund Freud's Racial Vocabulary and Related Fragments from the Analyses of Clarence P. Oberndorf and Smiley Blanton  243
Lawrence M. Ginsburg, J.D.
Sándor Ferenczi's First Paper Considered as a “Calling Card”  249
Franco Borgogno, Ph.D.
Considering Androgyny: Another Dimension of Ferenczi's Disagreement With Freud  257
Judith E. Vida, M.D.
The Quest for Freedom and Human Concern: A Subjective Perspective on the Early History of the Swedish Society for Holistic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and Its Relation to IFPS.  263
Jan Stensson, Ph.D.
IFPS: Is There a Difference?  268
Javert Rodrigues, M.D.
Prado de Oliveira LE, ed.: Schreber et la parano;ïa. Le meurtre de l'âme. Paris: L'Harmattan. 1996. 319 pp. ISBN 2-7384-4780-5. Prado de Oliveira LE: Freud et Schreber. Les sources écrites du délire, entre psychose et culture. Ramonville Saint-Agne: Érès. 1997. 142 pp. ISBN 2-86586-479-0.  273
Patrick Luyten
Molino, A, ed. Freely associated encounters in psychoanalysis with Christopher Bollas, Joyce McDougall, Michael Eigen, Adam Phillips, Nina Coltart Free Associations Books/London/New York 1997  276
Pina Antinucci
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