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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 11 (2016)

Issue 1
Psychoanalysis and the Arts
Adrienne Rich’s “Transcendental Etude”: The Poetics of Self-Transformation  1
Hilary Maddux, L.C.S.W.
The Transformation From Non-Being to Being: A Discussion of Hilary Maddux’s “Adrienne Rich’s ‘Transcendental Etude’: The Poetics of Self-Transformation”  22
Elizabeth Corpt, L.I.C.S.W.
Essential Others and Spontaneous Recovery in the Life and Work of Emily Carr: Implications for Understanding Remission of Illness and Resilience  28
Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D.
Two Reciprocal Selfobject Variants in Systems of Pathological Accommodation: Illustrations From the Movies Shine and Black Swan  50
David Garfield, M.D., Lauren Jacker, M.D., Jeffrey Mirksy, M.D. and Mark Richardson, Pys.D.
General Articles
The Interplay Between Empathy and Authenticity in Moments of Clinical Disjunction  60
Janna Sandmeyer, Ph.D.
“Call Me Johanna:” The Challenge of Building Intimacy Between Two Complex Trauma Survivors Within An Analytic Dyad  75
Johanna Tiemann, Ph.D.
Book Reviews
Intimate Relationship as Developmental Matrix: A Review of Phillip Ringstrom’s A Relational Approach to Couples Psychotherapy  89
David Shaddock, Ph.D., M.F.T.
An Antidote to Fear and Loathing of the Empty Page: Suzi Naiburg’s Structure and Spontaneity in Clinical Prose  93
Joye Weisel-Barth, Ph.D., Psy.D.
Issue 2
Original Articles
Kohut Memorial Lecture: Race, Place, and Selfie  97
Tessa Philips, Ph.D.
Courting the “Real” and Stumbling in “Reality”: Confusions and Hazards of Relational Practice  115
Joye Weisel-Barth, Ph.D., Psy.D.
Complexity and Risk in Relational Therapy: Discussion of Joye Weisel-Barth’s “Courting the ‘Real’ and Stumbling in ‘Reality’”  126
Steven Stern, Psy.D.
Thinking About Our Psychoanalytic Stories: Response to Steven Stern  136
Joye Weisel-Barth, Ph.D., Psy.D.
Social Media as Organizing But Not Transforming Self-Experience  142
Risa Muchnick, Psy.D. and Peter Buirski, Ph.D., ABPP
Establishing the Therapeutic Impact of Empathy Through “Affect Sharing”  152
Bruce Herzog, M.D.
The Ever-Emerging New Us: The Developing Therapeutic System  169
Lynn Preston, M.A., M.S., L.P. and Ellen Shumsky, L.C.S.W., L.P.
Experiencing Selfhood Is Not “A Self”  183
Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D. and George E. Atwood, Ph.D.
Film Review
A Review of Whiplash: Double Crosses, Triple Binds, and the Search for Aliveness  188
Marcia Steinberg, L.C.S.W.Psy.D.
Issue 3
Original Articles
Between the Familiar and the Stranger: Attachment Security, Mutual Desire, and Reclaimed Love  193
Jill Gentile, Ph.D.
Desire and Secure Attachment: An Adaptive Dialectic—Discussion of Jill Gentile’s “Between the Familiar and the Stranger: Attachment Security, Mutual Desire, and Reclaimed Love”  216
Malcolm Owen Slavin, Ph.D.
Discussion of Gentile’s “Between the Familiar and the Stranger: Attachment Security, Mutual Desire, and Reclaimed Love”  226
Philip A. Ringstrom, Ph.D., Psy.D.
The Erotically Reconceived Familiar Stranger: Reply to Ringstrom and Slavin  239
Jill Gentile, Ph.D.
Beyond Kohut: From Empathy to Affection  248
Daniel Perlitz, M.D.
Encounters on the Yellow Brick Road: Navigating Mutual Experiences of Fear, Shame, and Destructuralization Along the Therapeutic Path  263
Bruce Bradfield, M.A.Ph.D.
Self Psychology and Psychoanalytic Supervision: Some Thoughts on a Contextualized Perspective  276
C. Edward Watkins, Jr., Ph.D.
Book Reviews
What Is a Life Well Lived? A Review of Looking Back: Memoir of a Psychoanalyst by Paul Ornstein With Helen Epstein  293
Joye Weisel-Barth, Ph.D., Psy.D.
A Review of Mutuality, Recognition, and the Self: Psychoanalytic Reflections by Christine C. Kieffer  300
Philip A. Ringstrom, Ph.D., Psy.D.
Opening Our Tent Flaps to Broaden the Reach of Psychoanalysis? Some Musings on Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Integration: An Evolving Synergy, Edited by Jill Bresler and Karen Starr  310
Judith Guss Teicholz, ED.D.
Issue 4
Editorial Board Page EOV  0
Original Articles
The End of Comparative Psychoanalysis? Blurring the Boundaries Between Contemporary Theories  325
Judith Guss Teicholz, ED.D.
Racializing Kohut’s “Guilty Man” and “Tragic Man”: Serious Play in the Service of Inclusiveness  340
Lynne Jacobs, Ph.D., Psy.D.
From Theory to Clinical Practice: Psychoanalytic Complexity Theory and the Lived Experience of Complexity  349
Margy Sperry, Psy.D., M.F.T.
Thinking About Change: Discussion of Margy Sperry’s “From Theory to Clinical Practice: Psychoanalytic Complexity Theory and the Lived Experience of Complexity”  363
Carol Mayhew, Ph.D., Psy.D.
From Self-Protection to Relational Protectiveness: The Modification of Defensive Structures  368
Richard A. Geist, ED.D.
The Self as a Process of Transformation  381
Shmuel Gerzi, M.A.
Book Review
A Novelist’s Sensibility in Chris Jaenicke’s The Search for a Relational Home: An Intersubjective View of Therapeutic Action  398
Joye Weisel-Barth, Ph.D., Psy.D.
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