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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.

Search Results
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Results 1 - 30 of 1,000 (from 16,955 total) for your search on "Psychoanalytic Quarterly":

Ogden, T.H. (2017). Dreaming the Analytic Session: A Clinical Essay. Psychoanal Q., 86(1):1-20. […]
Abella, A. (2016). Psychoanalysis and the Arts: The Slippery Ground of Applied Analysis. Psychoanal Q., 85(1):89-119. […]
Wilson, E. (2015). Revue Française De Psychanalyse, Translated and Abstracted by Emmett Wilson, Volume LXXIII, Number 5 (2009): L'Après-Coup. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):1049-1079. […]
Di Donna, L. (2015). Wilfred Bion: Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision. Edited by Joseph Aguayo and Barnet Malin. London: Karnac, 2013. 156 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):1039-1045. […]
Silverman, M.A. (2015). Freud, Psychoanalysis and Death. By Liran Razinsky. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013. 303 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):1031-1039. […]
Pinsky, E. (2015). Traumatic Ruptures: Abandonment and Betrayal in the Analytic Relationship. Edited by Robin A. Deutsch. New York/Hove, UK: Routledge, 2014. 236 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):1023-1031. […]
Adelman, A. (2015). Rupture of Serenity: External Intrusions and Psychoanalytic Technique. By Aisha Abbasi. London: Karnac, 2014. 208 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):1015-1023. […]
Falit, H.H. (2015). The Play within the Play: The Enacted Dimension of Psychoanalytic Process. By Gil Katz. Hove, UK/New York: Routledge, 2014. 208 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):1011-1015. […]
Jacobs, T.J. (2015). The Play Within the Play: The Enacted Dimension of Psychoanalytic Process. By Gil Katz. Hove, UK/New York: Routledge, 2014. 208 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):1009-1011. […]
Barnaby, A. (2015). “After the Event”: Freud's Uncanny and the Anxiety of Origins. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):975-1006. […]
Elkins, J. (2015). Motility, Aggression, and the Bodily I: An Interpretation of Winnicott. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):943-973. […]
Bergstein, A. (2015). Attacks on Linking or a Drive to Communicate? Tolerating the Paradox. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):921-942. […]
White, R.S. (2015). Hansel and Gretel: A Tale of Terror. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):893-920. […]
Haft, J. (2015). “I Hear My Voice, but Who is Talking?”: Understanding Depersonalization. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):867-892. […]
Brown, L.J. (2015). Ruptures in the Analytic Setting and Disturbances in the Transformational Field of Dreams. Psychoanal Q., 84(4):841-865. […]
Newman, S. (2015). The Psychology of Beauty: Creation of a Beautiful Self. By Ellen Sinkman. Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2013. 173 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):813-817. […]
Reichbart, R. (2015). Revenge: Narcissistic Injury, Rage, and Retaliation. Edited by Salman Akhtar and Henri Parens. Lanham, MD/Plymouth, UK: Jason Aronson, 2014. 200 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):806-813. […]
Lieberman, J. (2015). Shame and Humiliation: A Dialogue between Psychoanalytic and Systemic Approaches. By Carlos Guillermo Bigliani, Rodolfo Moguillansky, and Carlos E. Sluzki. London: Karnac, 2013. 207 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):797-801. […]
Zeavin, L. (2015). Independent Psychoanalysis Today. Edited by Paul Williams, John Keene, and Sira Dermen. London: Karnac, 2012. 448 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):789-797. […]
Balter, L. (2015). Adventures in Psychoanalytic Concepts and Treatment: A Psychoanalytic Odyssey: Painted Guinea Pigs, Dreams, and other Realities. By Eugene J. Mahon. London: Karnac, 2014. 256 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):745-773. […]
Simoglou, V.N. (2015). On Love and Melancholia in Marguerite Duras's Autofiction. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):719-744. […]
Steiner, J. (2015). The Use and Abuse of Omnipotence in the Journey of the Hero. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):695-717. […]
Grossman, L. (2015). The Object-Preserving Function of Sadomasochism. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):643-664. […]
Kernberg, O.F. (2015). Narcissistic Defenses in the Distortion of Free Association and Their Underlying Anxieties. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):625-642. […]
Gentile, J. (2015). Parrhesia, Phaedra, and the Polis: Anticipating Psychoanalytic Free Association as Democratic Practice. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):589-624. […]
Balsam, R.H. (2015). Oedipus Rex: Where are We Going, Especially with Females?. Psychoanal Q., 84(3):555-588. […]
Tessier, H. (2015). Annuel De L'Association Psychanalytique De France (APF), 2014: “Le langage malgré tout: J.-B. Pontalis, la NRP et l'APF”. Psychoanal Q., 84(2):539-553. […]
Frankel, J. (2015). Psychoanalytic Reflections on Politics: Fatherlands in Mothers' Hands. By Eszter Salgó. New York: Routledge, 2014. 190 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(2):527-537. […]
Gibbs, P.L. (2015). Depression as a Psychoanalytic Problem. By Paolo Azzone. Lanham, MD/Plymouth, UK: University Press of America, 2013. 134 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(2):523-526. […]
Graham, G.D. (2015). The Parts Left Out. By Thomas H. Ogden. London: Karnac, 2014. 199 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 84(2):517-523. […]
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