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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 5 (1936)

Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety  1
Sigmund Freud
The Problem of the Negative Therapeutic Reaction  29
Karen Horney
The Principle of Multiple Function: Observations on Over-Determination  45
Robert Wälder
Two Cases of Fetishism  63
Eduard Kronengold and Richard Sterba
Ego Dangers and Epilepsy  71
Margaret Ribble
An Endocrine Approach to Psychodynamics  87
R. G. Hoskins
A Psychoanalytical Note on Jane Austen  108
Clarissa Rinaker
Roots of Crime: By Franz Alexander and William Healy. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1935. 305 pp.  116
John Dollard
Wayward Youth: By August Aichhorn. With a foreword by Sigmund Freud and a note by the editors. Translated by Elizabeth Bryant, Julia Deming, Mary O'Neil Hawkins, George J. Mohr, Esther J. Mohr, Helen Ross and Hildegarde Thun. New York: The Viking Press, 1935. 236 pp.  119
Sydney Biddle
Outlines of General Psychopathology: By William Malamud, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1935. 462 pp.  131
Ives Hendrick
Guiding Your Child Through the Formative Years. From Birth to the Age of Five: By Winifred De Kok, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. New York: Emerson Books, Inc., 1935. 191 pp.  138
Marie H. Briehl
Basic Problems of Criminology: By Olaf Kinberg. Copenhagen: Levin and Munksgaard, 1935. 436 pp.  141
John Dollard
Current Psychoanalytic Literature  142
 
Notes  145
 
Notes  145
 
Notes  145
 
Notes  145
 
Erratum  145
 
Sigmund Freud—May 6, 1936  147
 
A Clinical Study of Learning in the Course of a Psychoanalytic Treatment  148
Thomas M. French
Dreams and Dream Interpretation of the Diegueño Indians of Southern California  195
Gertrude Toffelmier and Katharine Luomala
Obscene Words  226
Edmund Bergler
Male and Female—Psychoanalytic Reflections on the "Theory of Genitality", and on Secondary and Tertiary Sex Differences  249
Sándor Ferenczi
Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety  261
Sigmund Freud
Autobiography: By Sigmund Freud. Translated by James Strachey. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1935. 153 pp.  280
Hanns Sachs
Practical Aspects of Psychoanalysis: A Handbook for Prospective Patients and Their Advisors. By Lawrence S. Kubie. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1936. 223 pp.  283
Franz Alexander
Destiny and Disease in Mental Disorders: With Special Reference to the Schizophrenic Psychoses. Thomas W. Salmon Memorial Lectures by C. Macfie Campbell. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1935. 207 pp.  289
Carl Binger
Psychoanalysis for Teachers and Parents. Introductory Lectures: By Anna Freud. Translated by Barbara Low. New York: Emerson Books, Inc., 1935. 118 pp.  291
Erik Homburger
Franz Anton Mesmer: A History of Mesmerism by Margaret Goldsmith. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1934. 308 p.  293
Carl Binger
To the Editors Of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly  294
William Malamud
The Editors of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly  296
Ives Hendrick
Current Psychoanalytic Literature  297
 
Notes  299
 
Notes  299
 
Notes  299
 
Notes  299
 
Notes  299
 
Notes  299
 
Notes  300
 
Notes  300
 
Notes  300
 
Notes  300
 
Notes  301
 
Notes  301
 
Notes  301
 
On Projection  303
Dorian Feigenbaum
Ego Development and Certain Character Problems  320
Ives Hendrick
Euthanasia: A Clinical Study  347
Felix Deutsch
Exceptions to the Fundamental Rule  369
René Laforgue
An Abnormal Child  375
Editha Sterba
Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety  415
Sigmund Freud
Montagu David Eder, M.D—(1866-1936)  444
Dorian Feigenbaum
Twentieth Century Psychiatry. Its Contributions to Man's Knowledge of himself: By William A. White, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1936. 185 pp.  447
Martin W. Peck
For Stutterers: By Smiley Blanton, M.D., and Margaret Gray Blanton. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1936. 191 pp.  450
Raymond Gosselin
An Inquiry Into Prognosis in the Neuroses: By T. A. Ross. Cambridge: University Press, 1936. 192 pp.  451
Martin W. Peck
Hulsey Cason. The Nightmare Dream: Psychological Monographs, V. 46, No. 5; Whole No. 209, 1935. 51 pp.  455
Ives Hendrick
Readings in Mental Hygiene: Edited by Ernest R. Groves and Phyllis Blanchard. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1936. 596 pp.  457
D. F.
Current Psychoanalytic Literature  460
 
Notes  463
 
Notes  463
 
Notes  463
 
Notes  463
 
Notes  464
 
Notes  464
 
Frankwood E. Williams, M.D—(May, 18, 1883-September 25, 1936)  465
 
A Miniature Psychotic Storm Produced by a Superego Conflict Over Simple Posthypnotic Suggestion  467
Richard M. Brickner and Lawrence S. Kubie
Psychological Factors in Urological Disease  488
Karl A. Menninger
Analysis of a Case of Neurosis with Diabetes Mellitus  513
George E. Daniels
Addenda to "The Medical Value of Psychoanalysis"  548
Franz Alexander
An Abnormal Child  560
Editha Sterba
Horace Westlake Frink, M.D—1883-1936  601
C. P. Oberndorf, M. A. Meyer and A. Kardiner
Research in Dementia Præcox. (Past Attainments, Present Trends, and Future Possibilities.): By Nolan D. C. Lewis. Acknowledgment by Dr. Arthur Ruggles. Copyright by the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, released by the National Committee for Mental Hygiene. 1936. 280 pp.  604
Ives Hendrick
The Medical Man and the Witch During the Renaissance: By Gregory Zilboorg. The Hideyo Noguchi Lectures. Publications of the Institute of the History of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University. Third Series, Volume II. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1935. x+215 pp.  606
H. A. B.
Psychoanalysis Explained: By Dorothy R. Blitzsten. New York: Coward McCann, Inc., 1936. 66 pp.  610
Martin W. Peck
Current Psychoanalytic Literature  611
 
Notes  613
 
Notes  613
 
Notes  613
 
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Notes  614
 
Notes  614
 
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