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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.

Lemma, A. (2014). The Body of the Analyst and the Analytic Setting: Reflections on the Embodied Setting and the Symbiotic Transference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(2):225-244.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(2):225-244

The Body of the Analyst and the Analytic Setting: Reflections on the Embodied Setting and the Symbiotic Transference Language Translation

Alessandra Lemma

(Accepted for publication 18 June 2013)

In this paper the author questions whether the body of the analyst may be helpfully conceptualized as an embodied feature of the setting and suggests that this may be especially helpful for understanding patients who develop a symbiotic transference and for whom any variance in the analyst's body is felt to be profoundly destabilizing. In such cases the patient needs to relate to the body of the analyst concretely and exclusively as a setting ‘constant’ and its meaning for the patient may thus remain inaccessible to analysis for a long time. When the separateness of the body of the analyst reaches the patient's awareness because of changes in the analyst's appearance or bodily state, it then mobilizes primitive anxieties in the patient. It is only when the body of the analyst can become a dynamic variable between them (i.e. part of the process) that it can be used by the patient to further the exploration of their own mind.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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