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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 87 (2019)

Lo femenino Introducción al tema del monográfico  665
Ana Sánchez Cuadra
La negación [the denial] de la vagina. Contribución al problema de las angustias genitales específicas de las mujeres  685
Karen Horney
Caminos en la formación del superyó femenino  701
Edith Jacobson
Lo fálico femenino  717
Catherine Parat
Transexualidades de hombre a mujer  741
Juan Francisco Artaloytia, Daniel Betancor, José M.ª Erroteta y Rafael Segarra
Bleu. La conquista de la libertad  775
Martina Burdet
Femenino plural: ¿histeria, masoquismo o melancolía?  785
Catherine Chabert
Hacia una deconstrucción de «lo femenino»: discursos, lógicas y poder. Implicancias teórico-clínicas  801
Leticia Glocer Fiorini
Madres de película  819
Lidia Ruiz Casas
Pseudoidentidad masculina y pseudointimidad perversa: fagocitación y expropiación del objeto-mujer  841
Teresa Sánchez Sánchez
Lo femenino, el analista y el niño teórico  871
Dominique Scarfone
Fedra. Consideraciones en torno a la pasión femenina  885
Elina Wechsler
En el umbral de la muerte: clínica de lo irrepresentable  901
Irene Dukes Cohen
Narrativas figuradas: el dibujo en el psicoanálisis con niños  927
Ana Belchior Melícias
Hacia una intervención psicosomática a medida  963
Estibaliz Alonso Undabeitia, Esther Álvarez Fuentes, Eider Amezua Pellés, Mertxe Barranco Jiménez, Amaia Gómez Platas y Mikel Zubiri Cearra
La diferencia sexual en debate. Cuerpos, deseos y ficciones Leticia Glocer Fiorini Lugar Editorial, 2015, Buenos Aires  983
Patricia Aisemberg
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