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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.

Soussumi, Y. (2006). Center for Studies and Research in Neuro-Psychoanalysis (CEINP), São Paulo, Brazil. Neuropsychoanalysis, 8(1):112.

(2006). Neuropsychoanalysis, 8(1):112

Center for Studies and Research in Neuro-Psychoanalysis (CEINP), São Paulo, Brazil

Yusaku Soussumi

Edited by:
Irène Matthis

This is a summary of our many different activities in São Paulo:

1.   During the fall of 2005, RUKHA-CEINP finalized a survey of the situation of 170 street children. This included raising data on their housing conditions, living area, educational level (if any), family structure, and socioeconomic condition, as well as looking into their street activities (selling candies, selling flowers, juggling, begging at traffic light sites, etc.). Based on an analysis of these data, a psychosocial program is now being implemented trying to help the children (and their families) to create a life project aiming at autonomy. The program will include the areas of education, health, and professional training, as well as the development of their living conditions. If the families agree with the terms of the proposal, they will receive an allowance and guidance. This work is done in collaboration with eight other NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and the Social Service of the Municipal Council. The program also aims to develop a model for the management process related to social assistance.

2.   The interdisciplinary clinical work with brain-injured patients continues, as related in earlier reports in this journal.

3.   The Videogame Project (see earlier reports) has just finished a preproduction phase and is proceeding with the development of the instrument.

4.   An interdisciplinary team has been initiated with the goal of conceiving a Counseling Service for Needy Pregnant Women in downtown São Paulo. During the spring of 2006, the work is being evaluated before deciding on future goals. This work is done in collaboration with NGO HABITARE, and, together with them, CEINP also sponsor a course in maternal care.

5.   An introductory course in neuropsychoanalysis is being offered during spring 2006 for clinical trainees.

6.   Several papers have been published and/or presented during the fall of 2005 by Yusaku Soussumi, related to the field of neuropsychoanalysis and psychoanalysis, and Eliana Nogueira do Vale presented papers at two conferences in Brazil.

7.   In June 2005 a Study Group on Mind-Body Relations was initiated by the Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society of São Paulo, and some members of CEINP-RUKHA are taking part in these monthly meetings.

[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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