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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.

Desai, A. (2017). Panel Report, IPA Congress Buenos Aires 2017: Listening for Echoes of the Child in Adult Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(6):1794-1797.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(6):1794-1797

Panel Report, IPA Congress Buenos Aires 2017: Listening for Echoes of the Child in Adult Psychoanalysis

Anand Desai

Chair: Justine Kalas Reeves (USA)

Panellists: Kerry Kelly Novick (USA) and Jack Novick (USA)

Discussant: Jani Santamaria Linares (Mexico)

Reporter: Anand Desai

This timely and stimulating panel introduced us to the Integrated Training Track (ITT), a didactic curriculum newly approved by the IPA and now available to all component societies and institutes, affording candidates a unified training in child, adolescent and adult psychoanalysis. An overview of an adult analysis was given and then discussed, grounding in clinical work the panelists' developmental, “life-cycle understanding of the psyche” perspective. Ample time was afforded for a lively and wide-ranging discussion, in the course of which the audience was further introduced to the clinical heuristics and terms which Jack and Kerry Kelly Novick have developed over decades, rooted in and building beyond the work of Anna Freud, with reference to recent and forthcoming work in which they present and discuss in greater depth their theoretical and clinical work along the lines sketched out in this panel.

In her opening comments, Justine Kalas Reeves set the tone and situated us within historical, contemporary and future contexts. She began by recalling Anna Freud's unsuccessful attempt, 46 years ago at the international congress in Vienna, to have child psychoanalysts gain membership to the IPA. From issues such as membership decline and training demands, to theoretical and technical cloistering of discourse, Dr.

[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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