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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.

Quinodoz, J. Rocha Barros, E.M. (2000). A Report of the 9Th Pre-Congress on Training, Santiago, 1999: Clinical Approaches to the Termination of the Training Analysis—Clinical Dilemmas of Training Analysts. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81(6):1213-1219.

(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(6):1213-1219

A Report of the 9Th Pre-Congress on Training, Santiago, 1999: Clinical Approaches to the Termination of the Training Analysis—Clinical Dilemmas of Training Analysts

Jean-Michel Quinodoz and Elias Mallet da Rocha Barros

The IPA Conferences on Training began in 1965. They take the form of small group meetings, usually with no more than one training analyst from each society. The aim in setting them up was to maintain awareness and consideration of the problems relating to psychoanalytic education.

The termination of an analysis is a powerful emotional experience both for the analyst and the patient and it always presents the analyst with some dilemmas. These dilemmas are even more crucial in a training analysis because of the institutional involvement. Many questions were raised about institutional involvement and its impact on the outcome of training analysis and the actuality of the tripartite model in the small group discussions.

Jean-Michel Quinodoz began his introductory remarks with a reminder that the 1985 Conference was mainly concerned with the termination of the training analysis and psychoanalytic institutions. At this conference, he said, he wanted to emphasise the clinical dilemmas facing the training analyst. He listed some thought-provoking questions aimed at inviting the audience to share their experience of these issues, all of which, he added, were facets of the following principal questions: from a clinical point of view, what characterises a training analysis and, more particularly, what characterises its termination?

He then made the important comment that: ‘our questions today are probably more important than ever, because after focusing at length on highly technological scientific research, the contemporary world is now rediscovering that our patients need us to care for them, and that it is necessary to train people to do this, and do it well.

[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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