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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 27 (2010)

Issue 1
From the Editor  1
Elliot Jurist
Elliot Jurist Interviews Peter Fonagy  2
Elliot L. Jurist, Ph.D.
Siblings, Transference, and the Lateral Dimension of Psychic Life  8
Jeanine M. Vivona, Ph.D.
Examining the Relationship Between Current Attachment Status and Freely Recalled Autobiographical Memories of Childhood  27
Greg D. Haggerty, Ph.D., Caleb J. Siefert, Ph.D. and Joel Weinberger, Ph.D.
Reality Matters: The Shadow of Trauma on African American Subjectivity  42
Janice P. Gump, Ph.D.
The Psychoanalytic Process and Freud's Concepts of Transference and Transference Neurosis  55
Siegfried Zepf, M.D.
Freud's Debt to Stoicism? A Critical Response to Kirsner  74
Mark Holowchak, Ph.D.
Book Reviews
Polarities of Experience: Relatedness and Self-Definition in Personality Development, Psychopathology, and the Therapeutic Process, by Sidney J. Blatt, Washington, D.C., American Psychological Association, 2008, 404 pp., $59.95.  81
Philip S. Wong, Ph.D.
Awakening the Dreamer: Clinical Journeys by Philip M. Bromberg  85
Robert Grossmark, Ph.D.
Handbook of Evidence-Based Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Practice, edited by Raymond A. Levy and J. Stuart Ablon, New York: Humana Press, 2009, 399 pp., $99.50  94
J. Christopher Fowler, Ph.D.
Issue 2
Research and Psychoanalysis: Still Time to Bridge the Great Divide?  99
Marco Chiesa, M.D., FRCPSYCH
Psychic Retreats or Psychic Pits? Unbearable States of Mind and Technological Addiction  115
Adriano Schimmenti, Ph.D. and Vincenzo Caretti, PSYD
E-Mail Notification of Your Latest Issue Online!  132
Psychoanalytic Theory as a Unifying Framework for 21st Century Personality Assessment  133
Robert F. Bornstein, Ph.D.
Psychoanalysis Conducted at Reduced Frequencies  153
Robert Carrere, Ph.D., ABPP
Repression, Suppression, and Conscious Awareness  164
Simon Boag, Ph.D.
The O.R.T. (The Object Relations Technique): A Reintroduction  182
Danielle S. Knafo, Ph.D.
An Empirically Supported Psychoanalysis: The Case of Giovanna  190
Vittorio Lingiardi, M.D., Francesco Gazzillo, Ph.D. and Sherwood Waldron, Jr., M.D.
An Investigation of the Object Relations Theory of Depression  219
Gregory L. Herbert, MSC, Vincent McCormack, MSC and Jennifer L. Callahan, Ph.D., ABPP
Book Reviews
Attachment, Play and Authenticity: A Winnicott Primer, by Steven Tuber, New York: Jason Aronson, 2008, 237 pp., $39.95.  235
Gemma Marangoni Ainslie, Ph.D., ABPP
Heterosexual Masculinities: Contemporary Perspectives from Psychoanalytic Gender Theory, edited by Bruce Reis and Robert Grossmark, New York, NY: Routledge, 2009, 268 pp., $34.95.  239
James Hansell, Ph.D.
Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections by Robert Stolorow, New York, The Analytic Press, 2007, 62 pp., $19.95.  241
Philip A. Ringstrom, Ph.D., PSYD
Issue 3
Beyond “ESTs” Problematic Assumptions in the Pursuit of Evidence-Based Practice  251
Paul L. Wachtel, Ph.D.
The Dynamics of Sexual Fidelity: Personality Style as a Reproductive Strategy  273
Lawrence Josephs, Ph.D. and Jessica Shimberg, M.A.
A Three-Person Perspective on Transference  296
Uri Hadar, Ph.D.
E-Mail Notification of Your Latest Issue Online!  318
Supervising Student-Therapists: Suggestions for the Transfer of Long-Term Psychotherapy Patients  319
Frank Trimboli, Ph.D. and Charles W. Keenan, Ph.D.
Members of Underrepresented Groups: Reviewers for Journal Manuscripts Wanted  329
Long-Term Influences of Childhood History and Educational Level on Authoritarianism  330
J. S. M. Rusby, Ph.D.
The Return of the Noble Repressed: A Freudian Reinterpretation of Freud's Moses Story  355
Susan Sugarman, Ph.D.
Life and Death Drive in Transplantation Medicine: Clinical Observations and Consequences for Psychotherapy  360
Lutz Goetzmann, M.D.
Comment on Interview with Dr. Peter Fonagy  372
Johanna Krout Tabin, Ph.D.
Phenomenology is Not Metaphysics: Reply to Philip Ringstrom  374
Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Book Reviews
Psychoanalysis at The Margins by Paul E. Stepansky, New York: Other Press, 2009, 384 pp., $39.00.  376
Carlo Strenger, Ph.D.
Dialogues on Difference: Studies of Diversity in the Therapeutic Relationship, edited by J. Christopher Muran, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007, 313 pp., $49.95  389
Pratyusha Tummala-Narra, Ph.D.
Issue 4
The Relationship between Personality Organization, Reflective Functioning, and Psychiatric Classification in Borderline Personality Disorder  395
Melitta Fischer-Kern, M.D., Peter Schuster, M.D., Nestor D. Kapusta, M.D., Anna Tmej, M.A., Michael Rentrop, M.D., Peter Buchheim, M.D., Stephan Doering, M.D., Anna Buchheim, Ph.D., Susanne Hörz, Ph.D., Svenja Taubner, Ph.D. and Peter Fonagy, Ph.D.
Attachment is about Safety and Protection, Intersubjectivity is about Sharing and Social Understanding: The Relationships between Attachment and Inter Subjectivity  410
Mauricio Cortina, M.D. and Giovanni Liotti, M.D.
Using the SWAP-200 with Novice Psychodynamic Clinicians Is It Reliable, Useful, and Non-Biased?  442
Cheri L. Marmarosh, Kathryn Bieri, Emily Stuber, Karthik Gunnia, Maxine Nwigwe, Colleen Sevilla and Kathryn Rice
Exile as A Dissociative State: When a Self is “Lost in Transit”  460
Andrew Harlem, Ph.D.
As Generations Speak  475
Dodi Goldman, Ph.D.
Online First Publication  491
Three Psychoanalytic Realities  492
John Rosegrant, Ph.D.
The Ambiguity of the Psychoanalytic Situation and its Relation to the Analyst's Reverie  513
Eystein Victor Våpenstad, PsyD
Book Reviews
Relational Theory and the Practice of Psychotherapy, by Paul L. Wachtel, New York: The Guilford Press, 2008; 338 pp., $38.00 (hard copy)  536
Rebecca Coleman Curtis, Ph.D.
Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy: Initial Assessment, Boundaries, Money, Disruptions and Suicidal Cases, by Salman Akhtar, London: Karnac Books, 2009, 190 pp., $30.95.THE DAMAGED CORE: Origins, Dynamics, Manifestations and Treatment, by Salman Akhtar, New York, NY: Jason Aronson/Rowman & Littlefield, 2009, 229 pp., $60.18.  539
Michael Berzofsky, Ph.D.
Review of Rediscovering Psychoanalysis: Thinking and Dreaming, Learning and Forgetting, by Thomas H. Ogden, New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2009, 168 pp., $36.95.  541
Michael C. Klein, Ph.D.
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