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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 10 (1994)

Acknowledgment  v
 
Introduction  xi
Mark J. Gehrie, Ph.D.
I The Selfobject Reconsidered
Chapter 1 The Selfobject Concept: Clinical Implications  1
Michael Franz Basch, M.D.
Chapter 2 Reformulations of the Concept of Selfobject: A Misalliance of Self Psychology with Object Relations Theory  9
Crayton E. Rowe, Jr., M.S.W.
Chapter 3 The Selfobject Relationship in Psychoanalytic Treatment  21
Howard A. Bacal, M.D.
Chapter 4 Selfobjects Throughout the Life Span: Research with Nonclinical Subjects  31
Helen D. Gilbert, Ph.D.
II Clinical Papers from Homosexuality to Conjoint Therapy
Chapter 5 Homosexuality and the Struggle for Coherence  55
R. Dennis Shelby, Ph.D.
Chapter 6 Teaching, Learning, and Supervision  79
Paula B. Fuqua, M.D.
Chapter 7 Dr. Kohut and Mr. Z: Is This a Case of Alter Ego Countertransference?  99
Doris Brothers, Ph.D.
Chapter 8 The Legacy of Hypnosis: Freud and Subjectivity  115
Mary Newsome, M.D.
Chapter 9 Trauma, Memory, and Psychic Continuity  131
Anna Ornstein, M.D.
Chapter 10 Conjoint Therapy: An Intersubjective Approach  147
Jeffrey L. Trop, M.D.
Chapter 11 An Intersubjective Approach to Conjoint Therapy  159
Philip A. Ringstrom, Ph.D.
Chapter 12 The Development of a Self-Psychological Theory of Dreams: Historical and Clinical Considerations  183
Stewart Gabel, M.D.
III A Dialogue on Self Psychology
Chapter 13 Heinz Kohut's Self Psychology  197
Merton M. Gill, M.D.
Chapter 14 Comments on Merton Gill's “Heinz Kohut's Self Psychology”  213
Robert J. Leider, M.D.
Chapter 15 Kohut, Gill, and the New Psychoanalytic Paradigm  221
Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.
Chapter 16 Response to Discussion of Self Psychology Paper  227
Merton M. Gill, M.D.
IV A Discussion of the “Contexts of Being”
Chapter 17 The Myth of the Isolated Mind  233
Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D. and George E. Atwood, Ph.D.
Chapter 18 Discussion of Stolorow and Atwood's “The Myth of the Isolated Mind”  251
Mark J. Gehrie, Ph.D.
Chapter 19 Discussion of “The Myth of the Isolated Mind”  257
Morton Shane, M.D. and Estelle Shane, Ph.D.
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