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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 - 23 of 23 for your search on "Volkan, Vamik D.":

Volkan, V.D. (2000). Großgruppenidentität und auserwähltes Trauma. Psyche – Z Psychoanal., 54(9-10):931-953. […]
Volkan, V.D. Ast, G. (2001). Curing Gitta's “Leaking Body”: Actualized Unconscious Fantasies and Therapeutic Play. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 10(3-4):567-606. […]
Volkan, V.D. (2009). Large-Group Identity, International Relations and Psychoanalysis. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 18(4):206-213. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1999). Nostalgia as a Linking Phenomenon. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 1(2):169-179. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1999). Psychoanalysis and Diplomacy: Part I. Individual and Large Group Identity. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 1(1):29-55. […]
Volkan, V.D. (2015). Perspectives on Psychoanalysis: Fragments of Trauma and the Social Production of Suffering: Trauma, History, and Memory. Edited by Michael O'Loughlin & Marilyn Charles. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015, viii + 331 pp., $95.00 hardcover. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(5):1031-1036. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1993). Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Edited by Otto F. Kernberg. Psychiat. Clin. N.A., Vol. 12, No. 3. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders, 1989, 776 pp., $32.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:273-276. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1984). Complicated Mourning. Ann. Psychoanal., 12:323-348. […]
Volkan, V.D. (2015). In these Pages … The Intertwining of External and Internal Events in the Changing World. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(4):353-360. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1986). The Narcissism of Minor Differences in the Psychological Gap Between Opposing Nations. Psychoanal. Inq., 6(2):175-191. […]
Volkan, V.D. (2001). Psyche.: LIV, 9/10, 2000: Großgruppenidentität und auserwahltes Trauma.. Psychoanal Q., 70(2):515-516. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1992). The Mourning-Liberation Process. Volumes 1, 2: By George H. Pollock, M.D., Ph.D. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1989. 718 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 61:266-270. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1989). The Psychology of Separation and Loss. Perspectives on Development, Life Transitions, and Clinical Practice: By Jonathan Bloom-Feshbach, Sally Bloom-Feshbach, et al. San Francisco/London: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1987. 587 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 58:484-487. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1990). Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Migration and Exile: By Leon Grinberg and Rebeca Grinberg. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1989. Pp. 230.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:541-543. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1999). Psychoanalysis and Diplomacy: Part III. Potentials for and Obstacles against Collaboration. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 1(4):305-318. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1999). Psychoanalysis and Diplomacy Part II: Large-Group Rituals. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 1(3):223-247. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1995). Guilt And Depression. By Leon Grinberg. London: Karnac Books, 1992, 318 pp., £19.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:938-941. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1994). Repression and Dissociation: Implications for Personality Theory, Psychopathology, and Health: Edited by Jerome L. Singer. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 1990, xxiv + 512 pp., $34.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:301-304. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1987). Psychological Concepts Useful in the Building of Political Foundations Between Nations: Track II Diplomacy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 35:903-935. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1973). Transitional Fantasies in the Analysis of a Narcissistic Personality. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 21:351-376. […]
Itzkowitz, N. Volkan, V.D. (2003). Psychobiography: Terminable and Interminable. Ann. Psychoanal., 31:7-20. […]
Volkan, V.D. (1989). Dr. Volkan's Response. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:1126-1128. […]
Volkan, V.D. (2017). Psychoanalytic Thoughts on the European Refugee Crisis and the Other. Psychoanal. Rev., 104(6):661-685. […]
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