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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.

Gwynn, N. Roose, S.P. (2004). Medication Management During Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 52(4):1243-1244.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Medication Management During Psychoanalysis

(2004). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 52(4):1243-1244

Medication Management During Psychoanalysis

Naomi Gwynn and Steven P. RooseAuthor Information

The use of psychotropic medication represents the most prevalent and dramatic change in psychoanalytic technique in the last thirty years. When the psychoanalyst prescribes medication, he or she assumes

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a second role and the two functions, psychoanalyst and psychopharmacologist, employ different theoretical frameworks, clinical data, and technical procedures. For example, the appropriate use of psychotropic medication relies on a phenomenologically based diagnostic system and a more traditional doctor-patient relationship.This is obviously different from psychoanalytic metapsychology and technique. Most of the literature has focused on the impact of prescribing medication on the function of the analyst; little has been written about the impact of the analytic situation on the practice of psychopharmacology.

This study reviews the medication management during 77 candidate analytic cases begun at the Columbia University Center for Psycho-analytic Training and Research between 1994 and 1999. At the beginning of analysis, 52% of analytic cases (40/77) had a current Axis I mood or anxiety disorder; 39% (30/77) were on medication at some point during analysis.

Narrative summaries were created for all of the 77 cases from documentation in patients' charts of affective symptoms, Axis I diagnosis, and medication treatment. The narrative summaries illustrate the basis for the candidates' decisions about medication treatment. These narrative summaries suggest that pharmacological decisions during analysis were often based on inadequate or inappropriate data, or on countertransference, or were unduly influenced by theoretical struggles or conflicts between supervisor and candidate.

Overall, this study suggests that medication management during psychoanalysis is often not optimal.

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Gwynn, N. and Roose, S.P. (2004). Medication Management During Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 52(4):1243-1244

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