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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.

Ross, M. (1973). Some Clinical and Theoretical Aspects of Working Through. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 54:331-343.

(1973). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 54:331-343

Some Clinical and Theoretical Aspects of Working Through

Manuel Ross

The purpose of this paper is to pursue a hypothesis that working through, in an operational and theoretical sense, can best be construed as a developmental system or organizational nexus which is eventually incorporated under the synthetic and integrative functions of the ego. Defined in this way, it would find its roots in all structures of the psyche and therefore be too broad a concept to lie within the definition of an ego function. With this assumption, phenomena such as transference and resistance would be subsumed as interdependent items falling within the envelope of the working through system and become an obvious part of an adaptive metapsychology. Termination, for example, would not be determined solely by symptomatic improvement, resolution of the transference, or structural changes such as in the superego. It would be on the basis of whether the analysand had incorporated or revised a model of working through which showed signs of autonomy from the actual analytic situation. Problems of analytic technique would be defined in terms of how working through is different within the analytic situation and without. Although sounding ponderous, the phrase 'working through neurosis' would have an analogous focusing effect comparable to that of the term 'transference neurosis'.

For an outline, the first section of the paper will be divided into two parts: one centring on the difficulties of definition, and the other on the quantitative or economic factor. In the second section I will discuss some factors that I think are common to all analytic situations, especially as they relate to working through.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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