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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 (1988)

Issue 1 - Sibling Relationships
Issue Editor: Eloise Moore Agger, D.S.W.
Prologue  1
Eloise Moore Agger, D.S.W.
Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Sibling Relationships  3
Eloise Moore Agger, D.S.W.
Siblings in Early Childhood: Some Direct Observational Findings  31
Henri Parens, M.D.
Siblings of Preadolescents: Their Role in Development  51
Paulina F. Kernberg, M.D. and Arlene Kramer Richards, Ed.D.
On Being Good: The Internalized Sibling With Examples from Late Adolescent Analyses  66
Rosemary H. Balsam, M.R.C.P. (Edin.) M.R.C. Psych. (Lond.)
The Sibling Object and Its Transferences: Alternate Organizer of the Middle Field  88
Ian Graham, M.D.
Stendhal as a Replacement Child: The Theme of the Dead Child in Stendhal's Writings  108
Emmett Wilson, Jr., M.D.
Epilogue  134
Eloise Moore Agger, D.S.W. Issue Editor
Issue 2 - Pregnancy
Issue Editors: Donald Silver, M.D., Eva Lester, M.D. and B. Kay Campbell, Ph.D.
Prologue  135
B. Kay Campbell, Ph.D.
Pregnancy: Theoretical Considerations  139
Malkah T. Notman, M.D. and Eva P. Lester, M.D.
Origins of Femininity and the Wish for a Child  160
Adrienne Applegarth, M.D. Ph.D.
Psychoanalysis During Pregnancy: The Effect of Sibling Constellation  177
Ann Halsell Appelbaum, M.D.
Pregnancy and Object Relations: Clinical Considerations  196
Eva P. Lester, M.D. and Malkah T. Notman, M.D.
Failure of Psychological Gestation  222
Donald Silver, M.D. and B. Kay Campbell, Ph.D.
Adolescent Pregnancy and Motherhood: A Psychoanalytical Perspective  234
Dinora Pines, M.D.
Childbearing and Child Rearing  252
Kerry Kelly Novick
On Becoming a Family Man  261
Alan Gurwitt, M.D.
The Impact of the Analyst's Pregnancy on the Course of Analysis  280
Cecile R. Bassen, M.D.
Epilogue  299
Donald Silver, M.D.
Issue 3 - Commentaries on Sander Abend, Michael Porder, and Martin Willick's Borderline Patients: Psychoanalytic Perspectives
Issue Editor: Melvin Bornstein, M.D.
Prologue  301
Melvin Bornstein, M.D.
The Borderline Spectrum and Psychoanalytic Perspectives  305
W. W. Meissner, M.D.
The Many Borders of Borderline: On the Virtues of Modesty in Psychoanalytic Diagnosis  333
Edward M. Weinshel, M.D.
How Useful is the Borderline Concept?  353
Gerald Adler, M.D.
“The Sleeping Giant”: A Dissenting Comment About “Borderline Pathology”  373
Léon Wurmser, M.D.
Bewilderment and the Borderline Phenomenon  398
Peter L. Giovacchini, M.D.
A Critique of Borderline Patients: Psychoanalytic Perspectives  422
James S. Grotstein, M.D.
A Response  438
Sander Abend, M.D., Michael Porder, M.D. and Martin Willick, M.D.
Epilogue  456
Melvin Bornstein, M.D.
Issue 4 - The Intrapsychic and Interpersonal Dimensions: An Unresolved Dilemma
Issue Editors: L. David Levi, M.D. and David E. Scharff, M.D.
Prologue  457
L. David Levi, M.D. and David E. Scharff, M.D.
Character, Dyadic Enactments, and the Need for Symbiosis  459
John E. Gedo, M.D.
The Intrapsychic and the Interpersonal: Different Theories, Different Domains, or Historical Artifacts?  472
Stephen A. Mitchell, Ph.D.
Intrapsychic Versus Interpersonal: The Wrong Dilemma  497
Sander M. Abend, M.D.
The Dialectic Between the “Interpersonal” and the “Intrapsychic”: With Particular Emphasis on the Role of Memory and Representation  505
Daniel N. Stern, M.D.
Case Presentation  513
Case Discussion and Position Statement  524
Herbert J. Schlesinger, Ph.D.
Case Discussion and Position Statement  535
Paulina F. Kernberg, M.D.
Case Discussion and Position Statement  546
Ernest S. Wolf, M.D.
Real Frogs in Imaginary Gardens: Facts and Fantasies in Psychoanalysis  552
Edgar Levenson, M.D.
Commentary  568
Robert Michels, M.D.
Commentary  578
Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D.
Commentary  593
Arnold M. Cooper, M.D.
Epilogue: Countertransference as the Interface Between the Intrapsychic and the Interpersonal  598
David E. Scharff, M.D.
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