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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 3 (1958)

Issue 1
Editorial Note  3
The Trickster Figure in Schizophrenia  5
Philip Metman
Note on the Autonomous Psyche and the Ambivalence of the Trickster Concept  21
John Layard
The Dangers of Unrecognized Counter-Transference  29
W. P. Kraemer
Analytical Psychology: A “Modern” Science  43
L. Stein
Research Into Personality: The Horns of A Dilemma  51
Ann Tatlow
Religion and the Psychology of Jung by Raymond Hostie S.J. Translated by G. R. Lamb London and New York, Sheed and Ward, 1957. pp. 249. 16s.  59
Alfred Torrie
Psychiatric Studies, by C. G. Jung. Translated by R. F. C. Hull. Collected Works, Vol. 1. Bollingen Series 20. New York, Pantheon, $3.75; London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957. pp. 269. 255.  71
D. Stafford-Clark
Discussions on Child Development, Vol. II, edited by J. M. Tanner (London) and Bärbel Inhelder (Geneva). London, Tavistock Publications, 1957. New York, International Universities Press, pp. 271. 28s.  74
A. Plaut
Journey into Self, by M. Esther Harding. London and New York, Longmans, 1956. pp. 301. 375. 6d. and $5.00.  79
Kenneth Lambert
The Transcendent Function, by C. G. Jung, translated by A. R. Pope. Zürich, Students' Association, C. G. Jung Institute, 1957. pp. 23. 55.  81
Michael Fordham
Developments in the Rorschach Technique, Volume I by Bruno Klopfer, Mary D. Ainsworth, Walter G. Klopfer, Robert R. Holt, pp. 726; Volume II by Bruno Klopfer and others, pp. 828. London, George G. Harrap & Co.  81
F. H. Strauss
Amor and Psyche, by E. Neumann, translated by R. Manheim. Bollingen Series 54. New York, Pantheon, 83.00; London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1956. pp. 181. 155.  83
Frieda Fordham
Women and Sometimes Men, by Florida Scott-Maxwell. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957. pp. 200. 155.  85
Amy I. Allenby
Group Psychotherapy: the Psycho-analytic Approach, by S. H. Foulkes and E. J. Anthony. Harmondsworth, Pelican Psychology Series, 1957. pp. 263. 35. 6d.  87
Michael Rosenthall
Schizophrenia: Somatic Aspects. Ed. Derek Richter. London, New York, Paris, Pergamon Press, 1957. pp. 181. 405.  88
Michael Fordham
Issue 2
The Process of Individuation: A Study in Developmental Psychology  95
Jolande Jacobi
Individuation and Ego Development  115
Michael Fordham
The Enigma of Moby Dick  131
James Kirsch
On Ego Development  149
Dorothy Tate
The Fear of Death: Part I. The Avoidance of the Fear of Death  157
Mary Williams
New Developments in Analytical Psychology by Michael Fordham. Forward by C G. Jung. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957. pp. 214. 25s.  167
Bruno Klopfer
Envy and Gratitude, A Study of Unconscious Sources, by Melanie Klein. London, Tavistock Publications, 1957. pp. 91. 125. 6d.; New York, Basic Books.  172
M. Fordham and R. Gordon
A Short History of Psychotherapy, by Nigel Walker. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957. pp. 185. 255.  177
M. Jackson
Schools of Psycho-analytic Thought, by Ruth L. Munroe. Hutchinson, 1957. pp. 670. 425.  178
M. Jackson
Erna Rosenbaum: 1897-1957  180
Heinz Westmann
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