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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 (1977)

Issue 1
l'analisi dei processi psichici nel “gruppo”  1
Berta Neumann
psicoanalisi e socioanalisi: un vertice per la polis  13
Luigi Pagliarani
rapporto sadomasochistico e gravidanza responsabile  22
Roberto Speziale-Bagliacca
teoria e tecnica del gruppo eterocentrato  25
Franco Borgogno
NOTA REDAZIONALE  38
 
Issue 2
psicoanalisi e ideologia  1
Anna Maria Guerrieri
note sul contributo delle conoscenze psico-dinamiche in un servizio psichiatrico territoriale  6
Renata Gatti e Cesare Piccini
una esperienza di riabilitazione in ospedale pichiatrico  11
Corrado Bizzarri, Vincenzo Scalfari e in collaborazione con D. Pioli
relazioni familiari, difese interpersonali e schizofrenia  21
Juan Salinas Roses e traduzione di P. M. Furlan
Issue 3
diversità tipiche fra membri della piccola borghesia tedesca meridionale e svizzera una indagine etnopsicoanalitica  1
Goldy Parin Matthey e Paul Parin
riflessioni sul suicidio nell'istituzione psichiatrica  12
Giovanni Braidi e Raffaele Meo
la trama e il suo dominio  16
Giorgio Riva
quale cultura? sempre a proposito dell'articolo di Cremerius  40
Carlo Nocentini
ERRATA CORRIGE  43
 
Issue 4
antipsichiatria: critica della sua critica  1
Domenico de Salvia
la nascita della psichiatria: il mito di Pinel  18
Roberto Ghirardelli e Ivana Pozzoli
psicopatologia dell'espressione e arte terapia ad una svolta  21
Gustavo Gamna
il concetto di “relazione” nella pratica socio-sanitaria-educativa la formazione dell'operatore attraverso lo psicodramma triadico  27
Maurizio Pasotti
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