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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.

Strachey, J. (1963). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVI (1916-1917): Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (Part III). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVI (1916-1917): Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (Part III), i-vi. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVI (1916-1917): Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (Part III)

Strachey, J. (1963). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVI (1916-1917): Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (Part III), i-vi. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London.

[SEP0a1]The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVI (1916-1917): Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (Part III) Next

Translated from the German under the General Editorship of James Strachey

In Collaboration with:
Anna Freud

Assisted by:
Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson

[SEP0a2]Contents

VOLUME SIXTEEN
INTRODUCTORY LECTURES ON PSYCHO-ANALYSIS (1916-1917 [1915-1917])
PART III. GENERAL THEORY OF THE NEUROSES (1917 [1916-17])
Lecture   page
XVI Psycho-Analysis and Psychiatry 243
XVII The Sense of Symptoms 257
XVIII Fixation to Traumas—The Unconscious 273
XIX Resistance and Repression 286
XX The Sexual Life of Human Beings 303
XXI The Development of the Libido and the Sexual Organizations 320
XXII Some Thoughts on Development and Regression—Aetiology 339
XXIII The Paths to the Formation of Symptoms 358
XXIV The Common Neurotic State 378
XXV Anxiety 392
XXVI The Libido Theory and Narcissism 412
XXVI Transference 431
XXVII
Analytic Therapy 448
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND AUTHOR INDEX
464
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
477
INDEX OF PARAPRAXES
478
INDEX OF DREAMS
480
INDEX OF SYMBOLS
481
GENERAL INDEX 483*

* [SEP0a3]Not Available in PEP

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This Page Left Intentionally Blank

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[SEP0a4]List of Abbreviations

[SEP0a5]G.S. = Freud, Gesammelte Schriften (12 vols.), Vienna, 1924-34

[SEP0a6]G.W. = Freud, Gesammelte Werke (18 vols.), London, from 1940

[SEP0a7]C.P. = Freud, Collected Papers (5 vols.), London, 1924-50

[SEP0a8]Standard Ed. = Freud, Standard Edition (24 vols.), London, from 1953

[SEP0a9]P.E.L. = Freud, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Standard Ed., Vols. IV and V

[SEP0a10]I. of D. = Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, Standard Ed., Vol. VI

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Strachey, J. (1963). [SEP0a1]The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVI (1916-1917): Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (Part III). i-vi. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London.

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