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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 790 for your search on "Sources citing: </b>Strachey, J. (1966). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume I (1886-1899): Pre-Psycho-Analytic Publications and Unpublished Drafts. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume I ( 1886-1899): Pre-Psycho-Analytic Publications and Unpublished Drafts, 1-411. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.<b>":

1. 
Reeder, J. (2012). The Empty Core: Metapsychological Reflections Upon the Lost Object, an Ethical Order, and the Inevitable Void at the Center of Our Existence. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 35(1):35-44. […]
 
2. 
Vincent, M. (2015). Early Insomnia: Insomnia during the First Six Month of Life. Rom. J. Psychoanal., 8(2):82-100. […]
 
3. 
Bergstein, A. (2014). Beyond the Spectrum: Fear of Breakdown, Catastrophic Change and the Unrepressed Unconscious. Rivista Psicoanal., 60(4):847-868. […]
 
4. 
Barale, F. (1993). Transfert: dalle origini al caso di Dora. Rivista Psicoanal., 39(3):481-498. […]
 
5. 
Šebek, M. Šebková, J. (2003). Separace a dospělý svět. Rev. psychoanal. psychoter., 5(1):15-21. […]
 
6. 
Grubrich-Simitis, I. (1989). Zur Geschichte der deutschsprachigen Freud-Ausgaben: Fortsetzung und Schluß. Psyche – Z Psychoanal., 43(10):889-917. […]
 
7. 
Mahon, E. (1998). A Parapraxis in Hamlet: A Note on the Aesthetic Genius of William Shakespeare. Psychoanal. St. Child, 53:276-281. […]
 
8. 
Yorke, C. (1996). Diagnosis in Clinical Practice: Its Relationship to Psychoanalytic Theory. Psychoanal. St. Child, 51:190-214. […]
 
9. 
Parson, E.R. (1995). Post-Traumatic Stress and Coping in an Inner-City Child: Traumatogenic Witnessing of Interparental Violence and Murder. Psychoanal. St. Child, 50:272-307. […]
 
10. 
Neubauer, P.B. (1994). The Role of Displacement in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. St. Child, 49:107-119. […]
 
11. 
Blum, H.P. (1994). The Conceptual Development Of Regression. Psychoanal. St. Child, 49:60-79. […]
 
12. 
Ornston, D. (1978). On Projection—A Study of Freud's Usage. Psychoanal. St. Child, 33:117-166. […]
 
13. 
Loewald, H.W. (1971). On Motivation and Instinct Theory. Psychoanal. St. Child, 26:91-128. […]
 
14. 
Khan, M.R. (1963). The Concept of Cumulative Trauma. Psychoanal. St. Child, 18:286-306. […]
 
15. 
Katz, J. (1963). On Primary Gain and Secondary Gain. Psychoanal. St. Child, 18:9-50. […]
 
16. 
Christiansen, A. (1996). Masculinity and its Vicissitudes: Reflections on Some Gaps in the Psychoanalytic Theory of Male Identity Formation. Psychoanal. Rev., 83(1):97-124. […]
 
17. 
Halperin, S. Shakow, C.S. (1989). The Development of Identification in Freudian Theory. Psychoanal. Rev., 76(3):353-374. […]
 
18. 
Hertzmann, L. (2011). Lesbian and gay couple relationships: When internalized homophobia gets in the way of couple creativity. Psychoanal. Psychother., 25(4):346-360. […]
 
19. 
Schwartz, A. (1992). Prologue. Psychoanal. Inq., 12(3):371-373. […]
 
20. 
Agger, E.M. (1988). Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Sibling Relationships. Psychoanal. Inq., 8(1):3-30. […]
 
21. 
Stein, C. (1984). Being Alone with One's Mother: The Horror of Incest. Psychoanal. Inq., 4(2):269-290. […]
 
22. 
Montrelay, M. (1984). On Folding and Unfolding: An Example of Dream Interpretation in Analysis. Psychoanal. Inq., 4(2):193-219. […]
 
23. 
Meers, D. (1982). Object Relations and Beyond Pleasure Principle Revisit. Psychoanal. Inq., 2(2):233-254. […]
 
24. 
Jaffe, D.S. (1982). Aggression: Instinct, Drive, Behavior. Psychoanal. Inq., 2(1):77-94. […]
 
25. 
Coburn, W.J. (2012). Search Yourself: Commentary on Paper by Kenneth A. Frank. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(3):328-340. […]
 
26. 
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. […]
 
27. 
Rolnik, E.J. (2015). Before Babel: Reflections on Reading and Translating Freud. Psychoanal Q., 84(2):307-330. […]
 
28. 
Diamond, M.J. (2015). The Elusiveness of Masculinity: Primordial Vulnerability, Lack, and the Challenges of Male Development. Psychoanal Q., 84(1):47-102. […]
 
29. 
Reis, B. (2014). Some Questions regarding Reality, Subjectivity, and Psychoanalytic Theory Construction. Psychoanal Q., 83(4):939-948. […]
 
30. 
Hanly, C. (2014). The Interplay of Deductive and Inductive Reasoning in Psychoanalytic Theorizing. Psychoanal Q., 83(4):897-915. […]
 
 
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