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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 98 (2011)

Issue 1
Psychoanalytic Education
The Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Frequency of Sessions: The Root of the Controversy  1
George Frank
Psychoanalytic Education: Invited Paper
The Effect of Frequency and Duration on Psychoanalytic Outcome: A Moment in Time  11
Allan Frosch, Ph.D.
Original Articles
Chimeras: Immunity, Interpenetration, and the True Self  39
Sheldon Bach
Exploring the other Dark Continent: Parallels between Psi Phenomena and the Psychotherapeutic Process  57
Ruth Rosenbaum, Ph.D.
Original Articles: Invited Paper
The Human—Canine Bond: New Learnings and a Changing Rationality from a Psychoanalytic Perspective  91
Joel R. Gavriele-Gold, Ph.D.
Loving Faeden: Psychoanalytic Reflections on the Relationship between a Therapist and Her Dog  107
Dora Ghetie, Psyd
Film Note
In Treatment: Doctor Paul Weston—Psychotherapist or Cinetherapist?  121
Harvey Roy Greenberg, M.D.
Repair of the Soul: Metaphors of Transformation in Jewish Mysticism and Psychoanalysis. By Karen Starr. New York: Routledge, 2008, xxi + 134 pp.  135
Leanne Domash, Ph.D.
Issue 2 - Special Issue: FORESHADOWING THE PRESENT: The Legacies of Theodor Reik
Issue Editor: Carl Jacobs
Foreshadowing the Present—The Legacies of Theodor Reik: Editor's Introduction  145
Carl Jacobs, DSC
Masochism: Passionate Pain and Erotized Triumph  155
Harold P. Blum, M.D.
Ruined by Success, But Rescued by Failure: Theodor Reik and the Creative Impact of Social Masochism  171
Dany Nobus, Ph.D.
Listening with a Third Ear, A Second Heart, and a Sixth Sense: Standing on the Shoulders of Theodor Reik  183
Anna Aragno, Ph.D.
Theodor Reik's Listening with the Third Ear and the Role of Self-Analysis in Contemporary Psychoanalytic Thinking  205
Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D.
The Sexual Couple: A Psychoanalytic Exploration  217
Otto F. Kernberg, M.D.
Reik's Confession: Construction or Interpretation  247
Martin A. Bergmann
Reminiscences of a Good Man  253
Erika Padan Freeman, Ph.D.
Issue 3
Original Articles
The Madness and Genius of Post-Cartesian Philosophy: A Distant Mirror  263
George E. Atwood, Ph.D., Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D. and Donna M. Orange
“You are Requested to Close an Eye” Freud's Seduction Theory and Theory of the Oedipus Complex Revisited  287
Siegfried Zepf, M.D. and Florian D. Zepf, M.D.
Conflicts in Female Sexuality and Romantic Intimacy  325
Jamie Ghany, Ph.D.
The Importance of a “Broken Heart”  351
Richard Reichbart, Ph.D.
Projective Identification and Countertransference in Borderline Couples  375
Robert Mendelsohn, Ph.D., ABPP
Psychoanalytic Education
Celebrating Psychoanalytic Supervision: Considering a Century of Seminal Contribution  401
C. Edward Watkins, Jr., Ph.D.
The Zen Impulse and the Psychoanalytic Encounter. By Paul C. Cooper. Hove, East Sussex, U.K.: Routledge, 2010, 246 pp.  419
Mark Finn
The Eitingons: A Twentieth Century Story. By Mary-Kay Wilmers, London: 2010, 476 pp.  421
Joseph Reppen, Ph.D., ABPP
Issue 4
Falling Man: Encounters with Catastrophic Change  425
Marilyn Charles, Ph.D.
Racism in the Consulting Room: Myth or Reality?  451
Naison Msebele, Ph.D. and Hilary Brown, Ph.D.
Sadism Linked to Loneliness: Psychodynamic Dimensions of the Sadistic Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer  493
Willem H. J. Martens, M.D., Ph.D.
Pronouns and Progress: A Psychoanalytic Primer  515
Charles A. Peterson, Ph.D.
The Alterability of the Memory Trace  531
Rosaura Martínez Ruiz, Ph.D.
Psychoanalytic Education
Toward a Tripartite Vision of Supervision for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies: Alliance, Transference—Countertransference Configuration, and Real Relationship  557
C. Edward Watkins, Jr., Ph.D.
Psychotherapy and the Everyday Life: A Guide for The Puzzled Consumer. By Emily Budick and Rami Aronzon. London: Karnac Books, 2007, 223 pp.  591
Catherine B. Silver, Ph.D.
Issue 5 - Special Issue: Diversity, Controversy and Innovation in Contemporary Psychoanalysis
Issue Editor: Harold P. Blum
Introduction  597
Harold P. Blum, M.D.
Cutting Edge Controversies: True Contradictions and False Dichotomies  613
Helen K. Gediman, Ph.D., ABPP
Divergent Contemporary Trends in Psychoanalytic Theory  633
Otto F. Kernberg, M.D.
The Dual Impact of Freud's Death and Freud's Death Instinct Theory on the History of Psychoanalysis  665
Martin S. Bergmann, Ph.D.
Psychoanalytic Education in the Twenty-First Century: A Syllabus for all Seasons  687
Carl Jacobs, DSc, LP
Integration Verses Diversity: An Approach to Narcissism  711
Samuel Herschkowitz, M.D.
The Freudian Tradition at one Hundred Years Through the Lens of Berta Bornstein  723
Helene Keable, M.D.
Psychoanalysis at the Margins. By Paul Stepansky. New York: Other Press, 2009, 357 pp.  743
Ann-Louise S. Silver, M.D.
Personal Reflections on the Master and his Emissary. By Iain McGilchrist. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009, 534 pp.  746
Gerald J. Gargiulo, Ph.D.
Notes on Contributors  751
Issue 6
Letter to Freud: On the Plight of Psychoanalysis  755
Dinah M. Mendes, Ph.D.
The Teachings of Honorary Professor of Psychiatry Daniel Paul Schreber, J.D., to Psychiatrists and Psychoanalysts, or Dramatology's Challenge to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis  775
Zvi Lothane, M.D., DLFAPA
Interpreting Psychoanalytic Interpretation: A Fourfold Perspective  817
Victor L. Schermer, M.A.
What's So Different about Lacan's Approach to Psychoanalysis?  843
Bruce Fink
Resurrecting the Buried Self: Fairy Tales and the Analytic Encounter  871
Linda Jacobs, Ph.D.
Fairytales  891
Frederick Feirstein
The Jewish World of Sigmund Freud: Essays on Cultural Roots and the Problem of Religious Identity. Edited by Arnold D. Richards. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2010, viii + 196 pp.  893
Charlotte Kahn, ED.D.
The Artist's Mind by George Hagman. New York: Routledge Publications, 2010, 179 pp.  902
Gerald J. Gargiulo, Ph.D.
Notes on Contributors  907
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