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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.

Suzuki, T. Kitayama, O. (2016). Chronicling the history of Japan Psychoanalytic Society. PEP Videostream, 1(7):17.

(2016). PEP Videostream, 1(7):17

Chronicling the history of Japan Psychoanalytic Society

Speaker
Tomomi Suzuki

Osamu Kitayama

Narrated by:
Kenichiro Okano

In 1930, Freud gave his permission to psychologist Yaekichi Yabe for the setting up of a Tokyo Branch of the IPA and he opened in Tokyo, the Psychoanalytic House operated by the Japan Branch of the IPA. In 1933, Freud also granted his authorization to psychiatrist Kiyoyasu Marui to establish the Sendai Branch of the IPA.

In 1955, psychiatrist Heisaku Kosawa integrated the IPA branches to form the Japan Branch of the IPA, and founded Japan Psychoanalytic Society (JPS) as only psychoanalytic organization, authorized by IPA and JPS has been playing a leading role in Japan’s psychoanalysis.

JPS’s activities include setting up of a course for certifying psychoanalytic psychotherapists as the Society’s original qualification and relevant stipulated training method in compliance with IPA’s regulations and active international exchange by a large number of mid-career and young psychoanalysts, in addition to psychoanalytic study and psychoanalytic clinical practice, which has been the purpose of JPS.

[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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