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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.

Freud, S. (1996). GESAMMELTE WERKE: VIII: WERKE AUS DEN JAHREN 1909 – 1913. GESAMMELTE WERKE: VIII, 1-479. Imago Publishing Co., Ltd., London.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: GESAMMELTE WERKE: VIII: WERKE AUS DEN JAHREN 1909 – 1913

Freud, S. (1996). GESAMMELTE WERKE: VIII, 1-479. Imago Publishing Co., Ltd., London.


Sigm. Freud



[GWH0a4]Werke aus den Jahren 1909-1913

Über Psychoanalyse 1
Zur Einleitung der Selbstmord-Diskussion 62
Beiträge zur Psychologie des Liebeslebens 64
Beiträge zur Psychologie des Liebeslebens 66
Die psychogene Sehstörung in psychoanalytischer Auffassung 94
Die zukünftigen Chancen der psychoanalytischen Therapie 104
Über »wilde« Psychoanalyse 118
Eine Kindheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci 128
Über den Gegensinn der Urworte 214
Brief an Dr. Friedrich S. Krauss über die »Anthropophyteia« 224
Beispiele des Verrats pathogener Phantasien bei Neurotikern 228
Formulierungen über zwei Prinzipien des psychischen Geschehens 230
Psychoanalytische Bemerkungen über einen autobiographisch beschriebenen Fall von Paranoia (Dementia Paranoides) 240
Nachtrag 317
Über neurotische Erkrankungstypen 322
Zur Einleitung der Onanie-Diskussion. Schlusswort 332
Schlusswort der Onanie-Diskussion 334
Die Bedeutung der Vokalfolge 348
Die Handhabung der Traumdeutung in der Psychoanalyse 350
»Gross ist die Diana der Epheser« 360
Zur Dynamik der Übertragung 364
Ratschläge für den Arzt bei der psychoanalytischen Behandlung 376
Erster Teil 390
Zweiter Teil 403
Zwei Kinderlügen 422
Einige Bemerkungen über den Begriff des Unbewussten in der Psychoanalyse 430
Die Disposition zur Zwangsneurose 442
Zur Einleitung der Behandlung 454
Bibliographische Anmerkung 479

Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Freud, S. (1996). [GWH0a1]GESAMMELTE WERKE: VIII. 1-479. Imago Publishing Co., Ltd., London.

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