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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.

Serafini, B. (1991). Autocoscienza e psicogenesi: riflessioni sul nascere dello psichismo. Rivista Psicoanal., 37(3):599-623.
   

(1991). Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 37(3):599-623

Autocoscienza e psicogenesi: riflessioni sul nascere dello psichismo Language Translation

Bruno Serafini

1. Una breve premessa

Nel corso delle analisi di pazienti maschi, aventi in comune agiti o fantasie omosessuali, mi sono imbattuto in sintomi, sogni, immagini e fantasie che mi hanno stimolato alcune riflessioni sulla funzione del narcisismo primario e dell'esperienza narcisistica nell'originarsi dello psichismo e nello strutturarsi dell'apparato mentale. A partire dall'analisi di alcune ipotesi sul rapporto tra nascita della funzione simbolizzatrice e costituzione del sé, questo lavoro si propone qualche idea in vista dell'ampliamento della ricerca relativa al complesso problema della relazione mente-corpo. I nuclei narcisistici, così profondamente implicati nel versante dell'omosessualità agita, o anche soltanto fantasticata, hanno finito col costituire il referente cardinale delle mie riflessioni sul problema della nascita dello psichismo. Trattandosi di uno scritto essenzialmente teorico, i pochi frammenti clinici riportati sono in veste di semplici suggerimenti rispetto alle considerazioni qui esposte.

[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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