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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.

(2005). Bibliographical Note. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(2):269.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(2):269

Bibliographical Note

The editors of The Collected Works of C. G. Jung are Herbert Read († 1968), Michael Fordham († 1995) and Gerhard Adler († 1988) (Executive Editor, William McGuire) and the translator (except for Volume 2, translated by Leopold Stein in collaboration with Diana Riviere) is R. F. C. Hull († 1974). Supplementary Volume A is translated by Jan van Heurck and Volume B by Beatrice M. Hinkle. The volumes are published simultaneously by Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, for the Bollingen Foundation (being No. XX in the Bollingen series), and by Routledge, London.

Reference to these volumes is made in the Journal by the abbreviation CW, followed by the volume number.

The edition is complete as follows:


1. Psychiatric studies. 1957; 2nd edn, 1970.

2. Experimental researches. 1973.

3. The psychogenesis of mental disease. 1960.

4. Freud and psychoanalysis. 1961.

5. Symbols of transformation. 1956; 2nd edn, 1966.

6. Psychological types. 1971.

7. Two essays on analytical psychology. 1953; 2nd edn, 1966.

8. The structure and dynamics of the psyche. 1960; 2nd edn, 1969.

9. i. The archetypes and the collective unconscious. 1959; 2nd edn, 1968.

ii. Aion. 1959; 2nd edn, 1968.

10. Civilization in transition. 1964.

11. Psychology and religion: west and east. 1958; 2nd edn, 1969.

12. Psychology and alchemy. 1953; 2nd edn, 1968.

13. Alchemical studies. 1967.

14. Mysterium coniunctionis. 1963; 2nd edn, 1970.

15. The spirit in man, art and literature. 1966.

16. The practice of psychotherapy. 1954; 2nd edn, 1966.

17. The development of personality. 1954.

18. The symbolic life: miscellaneous writings. 1976.

19. General bibliography of C. G. Jung's writings. 1979; 2nd edn, 1992.

20. General index to the Collected Works. 1979.

A The Zofingia Lectures, 1983.

B Psychology of the unconscious. 1992.

The above volumes correspond in all essential respects with the Gesammelte Werke, published by Rascher Verlag, Zürich until 1970 and, after its dissolution, by Walter Verlag, Olten. They are edited by Franz Riklin M.D. († 1969), Marianne Niehus-Jung († 1965) and Lena Hurwitz-Eisner († 1965); and from 1965 onwards by Lilly Jung-Merker († 1983) and Elisabeth Rüf, Ph.D. (until 1986) and currently by Dr Leonie Zander. Volumes A and B are edited by William McGuire.

[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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