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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 29 (2003)

Issue 1
Editorial  1
Paul Barrows and Hamish Canham
The Relevance of the Oedipus Myth to Fostered and Adopted Children  5
Hamish Canham
Some Oedipal Problems in Work with Adopted Children and their Parents  21
Pamela Bartram
Oedipal Aspirations and Phallic Fears: On Fetishism in Childhood and Young Adulthood  37
Ann Horne
Coming into One's Own: The Oedipus Complex and the Couple in Late Adolescence  53
Margot Waddell
The Mythic Significance of Risk-Taking, Dangerous Behaviour  75
Janet Anderson, CFCS
Where is Home? An Essay on Philip Pullman's Northern Lights: (Volume 1 of His Dark Materials)  93
Margaret Rustin and Michael Rustin
Attachment Theory and Psychoanalysis Peter Fonagy New York: Other Press, 2001. 261 pp., £22.50  109
Issue 2
Editorial  125
Paul Barrows and Hamish Canham
Guest Editorial  127
Miriam Steele
The Research Agenda: The Vital Need for Empirical Research in Child Psychotherapy  129
Peter Fonagy, FBA
Research in the Consulting Room  137
Michael Rustin
Childhood Depression: Work in Progress: Individual child therapy and parent work  147
Judith Trowell, Maria Rhode, Gillian Miles and Ildiko Sherwood
Attachment Representations in School-Age Children: The Development of the Child Attachment Interview (CAI)  171
Mary Target, Ph.D., Peter Fonagy and Yael Shmueli-Goetz, Ph.D.
Attachment Representations and Adoption: Associations between Maternal States of Mind and Emotion Narratives in Previously Maltreated Children  187
Miriam Steele, Jill Hodges, Jeanne Kaniuk, Saul Hillman and Kay Henderson
Clinical Research: The Inner World of the Mother and Her New Baby — Born in the Shadow of Death  207
Marguerite Reid
A New Kind of Friendship — An Essay on Philip Pullman's The Subtle Knife: (Volume 2 of His Dark Materials)  227
Margaret Rustin and Michael Rustin
Review Essay
Conversations at the Frontier of Dreaming Thomas H. Ogden London: Karnac, 2002. 257 pp., £22.50  243
Margot Waddell
The Myth of the First Three Years John T. Bruer New York: The Free Press, 1999. 244 pp., $25.00/£l4.05  257
Penelope Leach
Infantile Sexuality and Attachment Daniel Widlcher (ed.) Susan Fairfield (trans.) New York: Other Press, 2001. 166 pp., £29.99  259
Nicholas Midgley
Ordinary People and Extra-Ordinary Protections Judith L. Mitrani Hove: Brunner-Routledge, 2001 186 pp., £17.99  261
Maria Rhode
Introduction to the Work of Donald Meltzer Silvia Fano Cassese London: Karnac, 2002. 124 pp., £15.99  263
Andrea Watson
The Cradle of Thought Peter Hobson Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2002 274 pp., £20  265
Sandra Ramsden
Community Based Psychotherapy with Young People: Evidence and Innovation in Practice Geoffrey Baruch (ed.) London: Brunner-Routledge, 2001 199 pp., £40.00 hbk; £15.99 pbk  269
Charlotte Jarvis
Correspondence  273
Judith Edwards
Issue 3
Life Time ‘Es ist der alte Bund’ (JS Bach, Cantata BWV 106)  279
Hamish Canham
Editorial  281
Paul Barrows and Janine Sternberg
Obituary  282
Paul Barrows
Change in Parent — Infant Psychotherapy  283
Paul Barrows
Post Natal Depression, the Mother's Conflict and Parent — Infant Psychotherapy  301
Meira Likierman
From Interactions to Mental Representations: Psychodynamic Parent — Infant Therapy in a Case of Severe Eating and Sleep Disorders  317
von Kai Klitzing, M.D.
‘Thomas Looking for George,’ a Premature Twin Emerging from the Effects of Early Trauma  335
Kate Carling
Mindful Parenting: A Group Approach to Enhancing Reflective Capacity in Parents and Infants  357
Diane Reynolds
Breaking Ground, Hitting Ground: A Sure Start Rapid Response Service for Parents and Their Under Fours  375
Cathy Urwin
The Roominess of Language: Mothers’ Descriptions of Their Infants and a Discourse Analysis Approach to Reflective Function  393
Robin Balbernie
Learning to Say Goodbye an Essay on Philip Pullman's the Amber Spyglass Volume 3 of His Dark Materials  415
Margaret Rustin and Michael Rustin
Affect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of the Self Peter Fonagy, Gyorgy Gergely, Elliot L. Jurist, Mary Target New York: Other Press, 2002. 547 pp. £45 ($65)  431
Neil Altman
The Social Toddler Helen Dorman, Clive Dorman, Elliot L. Jurist Richmond: CP Publishing, 2002. 304 pp. £15.99  435
Hazel Douglas
Therapeutic Care for Refugees—No Place like Home Renos Papadopoulos (ed.)Tavistock Clinic Series London: Karnac, 2002. 319 pp. £16.99  437
Hilary Dawson
The Legacy of Winnicott, Essays on Infant and Child Mental Health Brett Kahr (ed.) London: Karnac, 2002. 160 pp. £18.99  439
Evanthe Blandy
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