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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.

List of Articles

Volume 80 (2020)

Issue 1
The Morality of Evolution and a Return to Subjectivity  1
Mario Rendón, M.D.
Selfless Self-Transcendence in the Clinical Setting as a Source of Self-Enhancement  16
Bnaya Amid, M.A., Lewis Aron, Ph.D. and Eytan Bachar, Ph.D.
Realizational Perspectives: Bion's Psychoanalysis and Dogen's Zen  37
Seiso Paul Cooper
“I-Ness” and the Dissociative Process. Working with Defensive and Creative Dissociations in the Analytic Process  53
Andrea Gaddini, M.D. and Giuseppe Riefolo, M.D.
An Inheritance of Terror: Postmemory and Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma in Second Generation Jews after the Holocaust  69
Judith Harris, Ph.D.
The Will to Truth, the Death Drive and the Will to Power  85
Shai Frogel, Ph.D.
Book Reviews
Meaning and Melancholia: Life in the Age of Bewilderment, by Christopher Bollas, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 130 pp.  94
Molly Castelloe, Ph.D.
Trauma and Primitive Mental States: An Object Relations Perspective, by Judy K. Eekhoff, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2019, 122 pp.  98
Endre Koritar, M.D., FRCP(C), FIPA
A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Body in Today's World, edited by Vaia Tsolas and Christine Anzieu-Premmereur, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 212 pp.  103
Luba Kessler, M.D.
Freud's Jaw and other Lost Objects: Fractured Subjectivity in the Face of Cancer, by Lana Lin, Fordham University Press, New York, 2017, 224 pp.  107
Marco Bacciagaluppi, M.D.
The Future of Psychoanalysis: The Debate About the Training Analyst System, edited by Peter Zagermann, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 378 pp.  110
Mark Finn, Ph.D.
In Memoriam
André Haynal, MD, August 13, 1930-November 7, 2019  113
Christina Griffin
Issue 2
A Psychoanalytic View of Reactions to the Coronavirus Pandemic in China  119
Jerome S. Blackman, M.D.
Resistance Revisited: Disillusionment, Hierarchies and the Brain  133
Joan S. Lentz, Ph.D.
On Being Able to Paint: The Revival of Aesthetic Imagination through the ‘Dyadic Psychoanalytic Artist’  151
Moshe Halevi Spero
Mysteries of the Psychoanalytic Process: Reflections on Chaos, Complexity, and Emergence  176
John S. Turtz, Ph.D.
Bound Together: How Psychoanalysis Diminishes Inter-Generational DNA Trauma  196
Roberto Colangeli, Ph.D.
Book Reviews
The Essential Writings of Sabina Spielrein: Pioneer of Psychoanalysis, edited and translated by Ruth Cape and Raymond Burt, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2019, 178 pp.  219
Howard Covitz, Ph.D., ABPP, NCPsyA
Ghosts in the Human Psyche: The Story of A “Muslim Armenian,” by Vamik D. Volkan, Phoenix, Oxfordshire, 2019, 96 pp.  223
Molly Castelloe, Ph.D.
On the Daily Work of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, by Ian Miller and Alistair D. Sweet, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 228 pp.  227
Robert M. Prince, Ph.D., ABPP
Beyond Psychotherapy: On Becoming a (Radical) Psychoanalyst by Barnaby B. Barrett, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2019, 281 pp.  231
Louis Rothschild, Ph.D.
Learning Along the Way: Further Reflections on Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, by Patrick Casement, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2019, 156 pp.  235
Cuneyt Iscan, M.D.
Issue 3
Repression: A Critical Assessment and Update of Freud's 1915 Paper  241
Salman Akhtar, M.D.
Spinoza's Announcement of Psychological Practice  259
Ian S. Miller, Ph.D.
Sabina Spielrein: From Being a Psychiatric Patient to Becoming an Analyst Herself  281
Francisco Balbuena, Ph.D.
The Father and the Paternal Function in the Psychoanalytical Process: Theoretical and Clinical Issues  309
Rui Aragão Oliveira, Ph.D.
Psychoanalysis as a Two-Person Meditation: Free Association, Meditation and Bion  331
Axel Hoffer
Bound by Infinities: Technology, Immediacy and our Environmental Crisis  342
Michael L. Melmed, Psy.D.
Book Reviews
Uncovering the Resilient Core: A Workbook on the Treatment of Narcissistic Defenses, Shame, and Emerging Authenticity, by Patricia Gianotti and Jack Danielian, Routledge, New York and Abingdon, 2017, 203 pp.  354
Patricia DeYoung, M.S.W., Ph.D.
De-Idealizing Relational Theory: A Critique From Within edited by Lewis Aron, Sue Grand and Joyce Slochower, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 239 pp.The Unobtrusive Relational Analyst: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Companioning by Robert Grossmark, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 207 pp.  358
Virginia Rachmani, M.A., LCSW
Silent Virtues: Patience, Curiosity, Privacy, Intimacy, Humility, and Dignity, by Salman Akhtar, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2019, 192 pp.  362
Jerome S. Blackman, M.D., FIPA
Psychoanalysis Listening to Love: Passion and Bonds, by Simonetta Diena, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 206 pp.  371
Marco Bacciagaluppi
Nonlinear Psychoanalysis: Notes from Forty Years of Chaos and Complexity Theory, by Robert M. Galatzer-Levy, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2017, 273 pp.  375
John Turtz, Ph.D.
The Challenge of Being Human, by Michael Eigen, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2018, 146pp.  379
Merle Molofsky
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