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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 60 (1979)

Editorial  1
Tom Hayley
The Two Analyses of Mr Z  3
Heinz Kohut
Being with a Psychotic Child a Psycho-Analytical Approach to the Problems of Parents of Psychotic Children  29
Salo Tischler
Psychosexuality and the Representational World  39
Robert D. Stolorow
The Drama of the Gifted Child and the Psycho-Analyst's Narcissistic Disturbance  47
Alice Miller
Some Observations and Hypotheses about the Psychoanalytic Theory of Adult Development  59
Calvin A. Colarusso and Robert A. Nemiroff
On the Metapsychology of Schizophrenia  73
Simo Salonen
Aloneness and Borderline Psychopathology: The Possible Relevance of Child Development Issues  83
Gerald Adler and Dan H. Buie, Jr.
The Transformational Object  97
Christopher Bollas
Childhood Seduction, Parental Pathology and Hysterical Symptomatology: The Genesis of an Altered State of Consciousness  109
Austin Silber
Counter-Reactions and Countertransference  117
Charles Chediak
Filiations: By Wladimir Granoff. Paris: Editions de Minuit. 1974. Pp. 551. La Pensee et le Feminin. By Wladimir Granoff. Paris: Editions de Minuit. 1975. Pp. 469.  131
Marie Moscovici
The Piggle. An Account of the Psycho-Analytic Treatment of a Little Girl: By D. W. Winnicott. London: The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1978. (The International Psycho-Analytical Library No. 107). pp. 201.  137
Martin James
31st International Psycho-Analytical Congress, New York, 1979  140
The Harold S. Rosenberg Memorial Prizes  140
Correction  140
Further Exploration of the Schizophrenic Regression to the Undifferentiated State—A Study of the 'Assessment of the Unconscious'  145
Maurits Katan
The Psychopathology of Feeling and Thinking in a Schizophrenic  177
Rachel Rosser
Oedipal Conflicts in Narcissistic Personality Disorders  189
Arnold Rothstein
Defensive and Arrested Developmental Aspects of Death Anxiety, Hypochondriasis and Depersonalization  201
Robert D. Stolorow
An Addendum to 'The Advantages of Freud's Technique as Shown in his Analysis of the Rat Man'  215
Samuel D. Lipton
Dimensions of a Single Word-Association in the Analyst's Reverie  217
John G. Flannery
On the Pathology of the Separation–Individuation Process as Manifested in Later Clinical Work: An Attempt at Delineation  225
Fred Pine
The Development of Time Sense—From Birth to Object Constancy  243
Calvin A. Colarusso
The Analysis of a Male Patient by a Female Analyst: The Problem of the Negative Oedipal Transference  253
Laila Karme
The Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review: Edited by Bo Larsson. Sweden: Universitetsforlaget. 1978, Volume 1.  263
Michael Conran
Clinical Essay Prize 1978  266
Herbert Rosenfeld, M.D.
Maurice Bouvet Prize 1979  266
Pierre Marty
Ernest Jones Centenary  271
A Sketch of E. J.'s Personality  271
Katherine Jones
Ernest Jones: The Bonny Fighter  273
William Gillespie
The Contributions of Ernest Jones to the British Psycho-Analytical Society  280
Pearl King
Personal Memories of Ernest Jones  285
Anna Freud
Ernest Jones: Founder of the American Psychoanalytic Association  287
Arcangelo R.T. D'Amore
Critique of Concepts and Therapy in the Action Language Approach to Psychoanalysis  291
W. W. Meissner
Efficacy in Infancy: A Review of Some Experimental Studies and their Possible Implications for Clinical Theory  311
Francis Broucek
Fathering: A Review of Some Psychoanalytic Contributions on Paternity  317
John Munder Ross
Observations on the Role of the Libido in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Severely Depressed Patients  329
Ronald S. Sunshine
Remarks on Transference–Countertransference in Psychotic States  347
Lea Goldberg
On Projective Identification  357
Thomas H. Ogden
The Developmental Approach to 'Working Through' in the Analytic Process  375
Morton Shane
Stage Fright  383
Glen O. Gabbard
The Scientific Importance of Ernest Jones  397
Harold Stewart
The Empirical Bearing of Psychoanalytic Theory  405
Donald McIntosh
A Contribution to the Study of Gender Identity: Follow-Up  433
Robert J. Stoller
Developments in Gender Identity: Gender Differentiation in Girls  443
Irene Fast
Schafer's 'Action Language': A Questionable Alternative to Metapsychology  455
Moss L. Rawn
On the 'Self' Within the Matrix of Analytic Theory—Some Clinical Reflections and Reconsiderations  467
Evelyne Schwaber
Meaning and Mechanism in Psychoanalysis  481
Alan Parkin
Some Metapsychological and Clinical Distinctions Between Borderline and Neurotic Conditions with Special Consideration to the Self Experience  489
Melvin Singer
The Infantile Personality: Orality in the Hysteric Revisited  501
Alan Sugarman
Some Psychoanalytic Observations on Boredom  515
Martin Wangh
Letters to the Editor  529
J. Beà, P. Folch and T. Folch
Letters to the Editor  529
Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D.
Letter to the Editor  531
Mortimer Ostow
Sigmund Freud. His Life in Pictures and Words: Edited by Ernst Freud, Lucie Freud and Ilse Grubrich-Simitis. With a Biographical sketch by K. R. Eissler. Translation by Christine Trollope. Designed by Willy Fleckhaus. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag. 1976. New York: A. Helen and Kurt Wolff Book. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1978. London: André Deutsch. 1978. pp. 350.  533
M. Masud R. Khan
The Innocence of Dreams: By Charles Rycroft. London: The Hogarth Press. 1979. Pp. 184.  535
John Padel
Heinz Hartmann Award  539
Correction  539
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