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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 14 (2004)

Issue 1
Faces in Relation: A Case Study  1
Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D.
Behind the Stage of Interacting Faces: Commentary on Case Study by Beatrice Beebe  53
Michael Heller, Ph.D.
Self Communion in the Intersubjective Field: Commentary on Case Study by Beatrice Beebe  65
Carolyn Clement, Ph.D.
Making the Music Visible: Commentary on Case Study by Beatrice Beebe  73
Judith Edwards, M. Psych. Psych.
Reply to Commentaries  89
Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D.
“The Light Militia of the Lower Sky” The Deeper Nature of Dreaming and Phantasying  99
James S. Grotstein, M.D.
A Little Psyche-Music  119
Michael Eigen, Ph.D.
The Relational Unconscious: Commentary on Papers by Michael Eigen and James Grotstein  131
Adrienne Harris, Ph.D.
“To Sleep, Perchance to Dream” … on the Couch: The Interpersonal Nature of Dreams and Other Dissociative Processes—A Case Illustration  139
Amanda Hirsch Geffner, M.A., C.S.W.
Issue 2 - Symposium on What's American About American Psychoanalysis
As American as a Patchwork Quilt: Introduction  163
Adrienne Harris, Ph.D.
What's American About American Psychoanalysis?  165
Stephen A. Mitchell, Ph.D. and Adrienne Harris, Ph.D.
American Psychoanalysis: A Comparative Attempt  193
Charles Spezzano, Ph.D.
The American Independent Tradition: Loewald, Erikson, and the (Possible) Rise of Intersubjective Ego Psychology  207
Nancy J. Chodorow, Ph.D.
Dreams of America/American Dreams  233
Lynne Layton, Ph.D.
The American Impact on Psychoanalysis  255
Leston Havens, M.D.
Freud in America  265
Pamela Schirmeister, Ph.D.
Issue 3
Introduction to “Impasse Recollected in Tranquility: Love, Dissociation, and Discipline in the Analytic Process”  287
Stuart A. Pizer
Impasse Recollected in Tranquility: Love, Dissociation, and Discipline in the Analytic Process  289
Stuart A. Pizer, Ph.D.
The Ailing Analyst and the Dying Patient: A Relational Perspective  313
Nancy Edwards, ED.D., ABPP
Finding Home in (An)other: Relational Chemistry and Its Psychoanalytic Derivations  337
Velleda C. Ceccoli, Ph.D.
You Are Requested to Close the Eyes  349
Bruce E. Reis, Ph.D.
Review Essay: The Fate of Romance Over Time  373
Thomas H. Ogden, M.D.
Review Essay: Attachment and Eros: Opposed or Synergistic?  381
Virginia Goldner, Ph.D.
Review Essay: Beyond the Fear of Intimacy  397
Susie Orbach, Ph.D.
Issue 4
Race for Cover: Castrated Whiteness, Perverse Consequences  405
Gillian Straker, Ph.D.
A Relational Encounter with Race  423
Melanie Suchet, Ph.D.
Whiteness Uncovered: Commentary on Papers by Melanie Suchet and Gillian Straker  439
Neil Altman, Ph.D.
A Look Beyond the Mirror: What He Saw and I Didn't Reply to Commentary  447
Gillian Straker, Ph.D.
Whiteness Revisited: Reply to Commentary  453
Melanie Suchet, Ph.D.
Cracking In: The Psychotherapeutic Action of Comedy  457
Ken Corbett, Ph.D.
On the Patient' Becoming an Individual: The Importance of the Analyst's Personal Response to a Deprived Patient and her Dreams  475
Franco Borgogno, Ph.D.
Playing with the Reality of Analytic Love: Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies “Falling in Love with Love”  503
Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., FBA and Mary Target, Ph.D.
Reply to Commentary  517
Jody Messler Davies, Ph.D.
Issue 5
State of the Hope: The New Bad Object in the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis  527
Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D.
The Cocreation of Fantasy and the Transformation of Psychic Structure  553
Christopher Bonovitz, Psy.D.
Remember Where You Come From: Dissociative Process in Multicultural Individuals  581
Susan Bodnar, Ph.D.
Toward a Critical Global Psychoanalysis  605
Gary B. Walls, Ph.D.
The Politics of Relational Psychoanalysis  635
Steven Botticelli, Ph.D.
Culture, Influence, and the “I-ness” of Me: Commentary on Papers by Susan Bodnar, Gary B. Walls, and Steven Botticelli  653
Cleonie White, Ph.D.
The “We” in You and Me: Reply to Commentary  693
Susan Bodnar, Ph.D.
Sociorelational Psychoanalysis and Agency: Reply to Commentary  699
Gary B. Walls, Ph.D.
The Perils of Polemic: Reply to Commentary  707
Steven Botticelli, Ph.D.
Issue 6
Whose Bad Objects Are We Anyway? Repetition and Our Elusive Love Affair with Evil  711
Jody Messler Davies, Ph.D.
Relationships to Bad Objects: Repetition or Current Self-Disorganization? Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies  733
Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., FBA and Mary Target, Ph.D.
Escape from the Hall of Mirrors: Commentary on Paper by Jody Messler Davies  743
Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.
Reply to Commentaries  755
Jody Messler Davies, Ph.D.
From Enemy Combatant to Strange Bedfellow: The Role of Religious Narratives in the Work of W. R. D. Fairbairn and D. W. Winnicott  769
Marie Hoffman, Ph.D.
Symposium on the Return of the Dissociated: Psychoanalysis Re-Engages Society Editors' Introduction  805
History Repeat Itself in Transference: Countertransference  807
Neil Altman, Ph.D.
Politics on the Couch? Psychotherapy and Society—Some Possibilities and Some Limitations  817
Andrew Samuels, DHL
Extreme Normality: Preface and Performance  835
David Schwartz, Ph.D.
The Return of the Dissociated: Discussion  859
Muriel Dimen, Ph.D.
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