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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 9 (1972, 1973)

Issue 1
The Power Theme in the Obsessional  1
John L. Schimel, M.D.
Discussion  16
Edward S. Tauber, M.D.
Discussion  19
Leon Salzman, M.D.
Discussion  23
Miltiades L. Zaphiropoulos, M.D.
Reply to Drs. Tauber, Salzman and Zaphiropoulos  26
John L. Schimel, M.D.
Catatonic Behavior in Schizophrenia  29
Otto Allen Will, Jr., M.D.
Discussion  58
Silvano Arieti, M.D.
Fusion and Rheumatoid Arthritis  63
Jay Lefer, M.D.
Discussion  78
Amnon Issacharoff, M.D.
Theoretical and Graphological Aspects of Compulsive Illnesses  83
Herbert Binswanger, M.D.
Radical Counterpoint or Pragmatic Craft  94
Herbert J. Schulman, M.D.
L'Chayim  106
Marianne Horney Eckardt, M.D.
Koro, Susto, Windigo  112
E. D. Wittkower, M.D.
Comments and Criticisms  118
James M. McMahon, Ph.D.
Comments and Criticisms  119
Wayne Clark Hudson
Issue 2
On Communication of Ideas  121
Rose Spiegel, M.D.
Is the Future Here?  124
Earl G. Witenberg, M.D.
Psychoanalytic Theories and Images of Man—Structure of Psychoanalysis  127
Benjamin Wolstein, Ph.D.
Sullivan's Concepts of Unique Individuality  130
Ralph M. Crowley, M.D.
Symbolization and the Sapir—Whorf Hypothesis  133
Edwin A. Weinstein, M.D.
Comments from the Floor  135
Concepts of the Patient—Psychoanalytic Goals: Fact or Fantasy  153
Miltiades L. Zaphiropoulos, M.D.
Growth and Change: The Patient's Experience and the Analyst's View  158
Albert Bryt, M.D.
Preconceptions in the Psychotherapy of Children  162
Maurice R. Green, M.D.
Psychoanalytic Intervention with Children  166
Stanley Spiegel, Ph.D.
Comments from the Floor  171
Strindberg's Inferno and Sullivan's "Extravasation of Meaning"  190
Donald L. Burnham, M.D.
Discussion  208
Evert Sprinchorn
Discussion  213
Edmund Braun, M.D.
Reply to Professor Sprinchorn  219
Donald L. Burnham, M.D.
On the Apprehension of Beauty  224
Donald Meltzer, M.D.
Symbiotic Pairings in Adults  230
Alfred B. Lewis, Jr., M.D. and Bernard Landis, Ph.D.
Discussion  249
David E. Schecter, M.D.
The Analyst as Artist  252
Robert Redinger, M.D.
Discussion  258
Arthur H. Feiner, Ph.D.
Sigmund Freud and Bertrand Russell  263
Harry Guntrip, Ph.D.
Societal Factors in Dreaming  282
Montague Ullman, M.D.
Cannibalistic Tenderness in Nongenital Sensuality  294
M. Masud R. Khan
Bisexual Fantasy and Group Process  303
John J. Hartman, Ph.D. and Graham S. Gibbard, Ph.D.
Discussion  322
Amnon Issacharoff, M.D.
Oedipus in Hindu Dreams, Gandhi's Life and Erikson's Concepts  327
Alan Grey, Ph.D.
Cognitive Changes in Psychotherapy: A Case Illustration  356
Edna Ortof, Ph.D.
Discussion  365
Ruth Moulton, M.D.
Discussion  367
Irvin Rock, Ph.D.
Discussion  371
Paul L. Wachtel, Ph.D.
The Biologic Basis for Sex Role Stereotypes  374
Miriam Rosenberg, M.D.
On the Seashore of Endless Worlds, Children Play  392
Richard A. Gardner, M.D.
Comments and Criticisms  401
Comments and Criticisms  403
Significance of Patient's Work in the Therapeutic Process  405
Francis Bartlett, M.S.
Momentary Deity and Personal Myth  417
Harley C. Shands, M.D.
On Lacan: Psychoanalysis, Language, and Communication  445
Anthony Wilden, Ph.D.
Comments on Interaction in Psychotherapy  471
E. H. Rosenberg, Ph.D. and G. Medini, Ph.D.
Magical Thought and the Integration of Psychoanalytic and Anthropological Theory  481
Eric D. Wittkower, M.D. and Hazel Hitson Weidman, Ph.D.
Family Therapy as a Parameter of Individual Psychotherapy  502
Robert M. Counts, M.D.
Discussion  514
Miltiades L. Zaphiropoulos, M.D.
Discussion  517
Leonard Siegel, M.D. and Alice Harrell, R.N.
Fathers and Daughters: A Study of Three Poems  526
Mae Maskit Lord, Ph.D. and Carole Stone, Ph.D.
Seal Unbroken  540
Harley C. Shands, M.D.
Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

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