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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.

Goldblatt, M.J. Briggs, S. Lindner, R. Schechter, M. Ronningstam, E. (2015). Psychodynamic psychotherapy with suicidal adolescents. Psychoanal. Psychother., 29(1):20-37.
   

(2015). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 29(1):20-37

Psychodynamic psychotherapy with suicidal adolescents

Mark J. Goldblatt, Stephen Briggs, Reinhard Lindner, Mark Schechter and Elsa Ronningstam

Although the treatment of suicidal adolescents is complex and may be daunting to many clinicians, it continues to play an important role in suicide prevention. In this paper, we use case material to address questions that arise in psychotherapy, including the contending priorities of understanding the suicidal act in order to prevent repetition, versus connecting emotionally with the patient in the therapeutic relationship; and the use of an evolving understanding of the complexity of suicide that develops over time as patient and therapist engage in a deepening relationship which fosters life-sustaining development and psychic change. We present a case description of a patient in later adolescence, who began intensive psychoanalytic psychotherapy after a suicide attempt and explore key components of therapeutic action. From this discussion we emphasise the relational aspects of the transference and countertransference that enables interpretation and increased therapeutic receptivity through collaborative interaction. We conclude that collaborative interaction is foundational for therapeutic action with suicidal adolescents.

[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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