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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.

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Results 1 - 30 of 45 for your search on ""Rosen, V.H."":

Rosen, V.H. (1973). Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. I, 1972: Two Studies on the Process of Negative Modification. David Salter and Valerie Haycock. Pp. 337-348.. Psychoanal Q., 42:317. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1972). American Imago. XXVIII, 1971: Piagetian Measures of Cognitive Development for Children up to Age Two. Albert Mehrobian and Martin Williams. Pp. 113-126.. Psychoanal Q., 41:478. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1964). Intervention. Rev. fr. psychanal., 28(4):567-573. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1955). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 24:325-326. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1955). Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 24:166-167. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1963). Creativity and Intelligence. Explorations with Gifted Students: By Jacob W. Getzels and Philip W. Jackson. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1962. 293 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 32:423-425. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1961). The Child's Conception of Geometry: By Jean Piaget, Bärbel Inhelder, and Alina Szeminska. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1960. 411 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 30:125-127. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1955). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: Defensive Aspects of Orality. Lawrence J. Friedman. Pp. 304-312.. Psychoanal Q., 24:309. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1967). Unobtrusive Communication. Essays in Psycholinguistics: By Joost A. M. Meerloo. Assen: Koninklijke van Gorcum & Co. N. V., 1964. 198 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 36:615-617. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1968). Classics in Semantics: Edited by Donald E. Hayden and E. P. Alworth. New York: Philosophical Library, 1965. 382 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 37:149-151. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1964). Psychology: A Study of a Science. Study II. Empirical Substructure and Relations with Other Sciences. Volume 6. Investigations of Man as Socius: Their Place in Psychology and the Social Sciences: Edited by Sigmund Koch. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1963. 791 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 33:448-450. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1963). The Psychology of Aggression: By Arnold H. Buss. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1961. 307 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 32:106-108. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1962). Creativity and the Individual. Summaries of Selected Literature in Psychology and Psychiatry: By Morris I. Stein and Shirley J. Heinze. Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, Inc., 1961. 428 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 31:271-272. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1954). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 23:156-157. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1954). The Making of a Scientist: By Anne Roe. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1952. 244 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:132-133. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1953). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 22:316-317. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1953). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: A Contribution to the Study of the Dream Screen. Charles Rycroft. Pp. 178-184.. Psychoanal Q., 22:296-296. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1970). Introducción a la mesa redonda sobre lenguaje y psicoanálisis. Rev. psicoanál., 27(1):27-34. […]
Loomie, L.S. Rosen, V.H. Stein, M.H. (1958). Ernst Kris and the Gifted Adolescent Project. Psychoanal. St. Child, 13:44-57. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1955). Strephosymbolia: An Intrasystemic Disturbance of the Synthetic Function of the Ego. Psychoanal. St. Child, 10:83-99. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1975). Some Aspects of Freud's Theory of Schizophrenic Language Disturbance: A Re-examination in the Light of Linguistic Theories of Meaning. Psychoanal. Contemp. Sci., 4(1):405-422. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1974). The Nature of Verbal Interventions in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Contemp. Sci., 3(1):189-209. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1964). Some Effects of Artistic Talent on Character Style. Psychoanal Q., 33:1-24. […]
Rosen, V.H. Edelheit, H. (1970). Panel on 'Language and Psychoanalysis'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:237-243. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1969). Sign Phenomena and their Relationship to Unconscious Meaning. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:197-207. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1969). Introduction to Panel on Language and Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:113-116. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1966). Comment on Dr Morgenthaler's Paper. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 47:210-211. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1965). Ego and Reality in Psychoanalytic Theory: By Robert W. White. Psychological Issues, Vol. III, No. 3. Monograph 11. (New York: Int. Univ. Press, 1963. Pp. 210. $4.50.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 46:256-258. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1961). The Relevance of 'Style' to Certain Aspects of Defence and the Synthetic Function of the Ego. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 42:447-457. […]
Rosen, V.H. (1967). Disorders of Communication in Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 15:467-490. […]
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