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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 160 for your search on "Reik, Theodor":

Reik, T. (1912). Prof. Dr. Adolf Meyer, Heidelberg: Träumen, Denken und Dichten. Gegenwart. Nr. 9. 2. März 1912.. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 2(10-11):613-614. […]
Reik, T. (1911). Aus Gustav Flauberts Werken. Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, 1(10-11):501-503. […]
Reik, T. (1945). PSICOLOGIA Y DESPERSONALIZACION. Rev. psicoanál., 2(3):443-483. […]
Reik, T. Zohn, H. (1978). On the Effect of Unconscious Death Wishes. Psychoanal. Rev., 65(1):38-67. […]
Reik, T. (1968). The Psychological Meaning of Silence. Psychoanal. Rev., 55(2):172-186. […]
Reik, T. (1959). New Ways in Psychoanalytic Technique. Psychoanal. Rev., 46C(3):51-64. […]
Reik, T. (1933). Das junge Mädchen und die alte Dame: Aus einem unveröffentlichten Buche „Das Tragische im Komischen”. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 5(6):513-519. […]
Reik, T. (1933). Lachen, dessen man sich schämt. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 5(3):257-262. […]
Reik, T. (1932). Grenzland des Witzes. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 4(4):289-322. […]
Reik, T. (1932). Psychologische Erkenntnis und Leiden. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 4(3):251-255. […]
Reik, T. (1932). Die Kraniche des Ibykus und die Fliegen des Mr. Breese. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 4(2):172-182. […]
Reik, T. (1932). Der Mut, nicht zu verstehen. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 4(1):12-17. […]
Reik, T. (1930). Wir Freud-Schüler. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 2(5):512-519. […]
Reik, T. (1930). Der Weg allen Fleisches. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 2(2):123-132. […]
Reik, T. (1930). Notiz zu Freuds Arbeit „Ein religiöses Erlebnis”. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 2(1):14-24. […]
Reik, T. (1929). Die zweifache Überraschung. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 1(3):212-227. […]
Reik, T. (1929). Anspielung und Entblößung. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 1(2):127-134. […]
Reik, T. (1929). Erfolg und unbewußte Gewissensangst: Zur analytischen Schicksalsforschung. Psychoanalytische Bewegung, 1(1):51-66. […]
Reik, T. (1914). Ästhetik, Literatur, Kunst. Jahrbuch für psychoanalytische und psychopathologische Forschung, 6(1):387-392. […]
Reik, T. (1916). Beitrag zur psychoanalytischen Affektlehre. Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 4(3):148-153. […]
Reik, T. (1937). Das Kind im Manne: Aus einer Sammlung „Der ferne Klang“. Imago, 23(1):14-23. […]
Reik, T. (1930). Gebetmantel und Gebetriemen der Juden: Ein psychoanalytischer Beitrag zur hebräischen Archäologie. Imago, 16(3-4):389-434. […]
Reik, T. (1930). Zu Freuds Kulturbetracktung: (»Das Unbehagen in der Kultur«). Imago, 16(2):232-245. […]
Reik, T. (1930). Zwei analytische Werke über Verbrechen und Strafe. Imago, 16(1):138-144. […]
Reik, T. (1930). Endphasen des religiösen und des zwangsneurotischen Glaubens: Eine vorläufige Mitteilung. Imago, 16(1):23-38. […]
Reik, T. (1929). Warum verließ Goethe Friederike? Eine psychoanalytische Monographie. Imago, 15(3-4):400-537. […]
Reik, T. (1929). Freuds Studie über Dostojewski. Imago, 15(2):232-242. […]
Reik, T. (1929). Künstlerisches Schaffen und Witzarbeit. Imago, 15(2):200-231. […]
Reik, T. (1929). Zur Psychoanalyse des jüdischen Witzes. Imago, 15(1):63-88. […]
Reik, T. (1928). Bemerkungen zu Freuds „Zukunft einer Illusion“ Referat in der Vorstandssitzung der „Wiener Psychoanalytischen Vereinigung“ im Dezember 1927. Imago, 14(2-3):185-198. […]
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