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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 15 (1995)

Issue 1 - Feminine and Masculine Gender Identity
Issue Editor: F. Diane Barth, C.S.W.
Dedication: ROBERT J. STOLLER, M.D., 1924-1991  1
Jos. D. Lichtenberg, Editor-in-Chief
Prologue  2
F. Diane Barth, M.S.W.
Gender Identity Disorder in Boys: The Interface of Constitution and Early Experience  6
Susan W. Coates, Ph.D. and Sabrina M. Wolfe, Ph.D.
Clinical Perspectives on Gender Role/Identity Disorder  39
Morton Shane, M.D. and Estelle Shane, Ph.D.
Gender and Emerging Autonomy in Development  60
Joann L. Robinson, Ph.D. and Zeynep Biringen, Ph.D.
Traversing Young Adulthood: The Male Journey from 20 to 40  75
Calvin A. Colarusso, M.D.
Maternal Lines of Development: An Aspect of Gender Identity  92
Patsy Turrini, M.S.S. and Dale Mendell, Ph.D.
Oedipus or Orestes? Aspects of Gender Identity Development in Homosexual Men  112
Scott J. Goldsmith, M.D.
Sameness and Difference: Toward an “Overinclusive” Model of Gender Development  125
Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.
Epilogue  143
F. Diane Barth, M.S.W.
Issue 2 - Psychoanalytic Supervision
Issue Editors: Joshua Levy, Ph.D. and Alan R. Kindler, M.B.B.S.
In Memoriam: Merton Gill, M.D., 1914-1994  147
Jos. D. Lichtenberg, M.D.
Prologue  149
Joshua Levy, Ph.D. and Alan Kindler, M.B.B.S. Issue Editor
Learning to Learn, Learning to Teach  153
Jonathan Schindelheim, M.D.
Analytic Stalemate and Supervision  169
Joshua Levy, Ph.D.
Supervision for Fun and Profit: Or How to Tell If the Fun is Profitable  190
Herbert J. Schlesinger, Ph.D.
Multiple Interactive Processes in Psychoanalytic Supervision  211
Eva P. Lester, M.D. and Brian M. Robertson, M.D.
Un-American Activities and Other Dilemmas Experienced in the Supervision of Candidates  226
Morton Shane, M.D. and Estelle Shane, Ph.D.
Supervision and Its Discontents: A Discussion of the Foregoing Papers  240
Jerome B. Katz, M.D.
How to Supervise Without Doing Harm: Comments on Psychoanalytic Supervision  252
Ernest S. Wolf, M.D.
Epilogue  268
Joshua Levy, Ph.D. and Alan Kindler, M.B.B.S. Issue Editor
Issue 3 - The Relevance of the Couch in Contemporary Psychoanalysis
Issue Editor: Greg Moraitis, M.D.
Prologue  275
George Moraitis, M.D.
Forty-Five Years of Psychoanalytic Experiences On, Behind, and Without the Couch  280
Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D.
Channels of Communication and the Analytic Setup  294
John E. Gedo, M.D.
The Analytic Couch: Facilitator or Sine Qua Non?  304
Jacob G. Jacobson, M.D.
Brief Notes on Using the Couch  314
Ernest S. Wolf, M.D.
The Couch, Psychoanalytic Process, and Psychic Change: A Case Study  324
Alvin Frank, M.D.
The Analytic Couch as Transference Object  338
Richard M. Waugaman, M.D.
“May I Bring My Newborn Baby to My Analytic Hour?”: One Analyst's Experience With This Request  358
Maxine K. Anderson, M.D.
The Couch: Reflections From an Interactional View of Analysis  369
Roy N. Aruffo, M.D.
Looking, Listening, and the Couch  386
Leo Sadow, M.D.
A Reassessment of the Couch in Psychoanalysis  396
James S. Grotstein, M.D.
The Couch as a Protective Shield for the Analyst  406
George Moraitis, M.D.
Epilogue  413
George Moraitis, M.D.
Issue 4 - Essays Simulated by Joseph Lichtenberg's Psychoanalysis and Motivation
Issue Editors: Estelle Shane, Ph.D. and Morton Shane, M.D.
Prologue  415
Estelle Shane, Ph.D., Editor and Morton Shane, Ph.D., Editor
An Expansion of Motivational Theory: Lichtenberg's Motivational Systems Model  421
James L. Fosshage, Ph.D.
Main Meaning and Motivation  437
Lawrence Friedman, M.D.
Lichtenberg's Theory of Therapy  461
Joseph Weiss, M.D.
On the Psychobiology of Motivation  470
John E. Gedo, M.D.
The Application of Lichtenberg's Five Motivational Systems to the Analysis of Mother-Infant Interaction  481
B. Kay Campbell, Ph.D., Donald Silver, M.D., Kerry Kelly Novick, Jack Novick, Ph.D., Mary Mittlestaedt, Ph.D. and Anne Walton, BA
Exploring the Model Scene: Finding the Focus in an Intersubjective Approach to Brief Psychotherapy  493
Philip A. Ringstrom, Ph.D.
Generativity versus Personal Ambition: The Feminine Dilemma Seen in the Light of New Motivational Systems  514
Estelle Shane, Ph.D. and Morton Shane, M.D.
An Appreciative Response  529
Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D.
Epilogue  544
Estelle Shane, Ph.D., Editor and Morton Shane, M.D., Editor
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