The MSU Libraries’ Turfgrass Information Center is making the Turfgrass Information File database publicly available. This database, which is a cooperative project of the United States Golf Association and the Turfgrass Information Center, can be openly accessed at tic.msu.edu/tgif.
The release of the publicly accessible TGIF database coincides with the 40-year anniversary of the partnership between the USGA and the MSU Libraries. The database initiative began in 1983, with the goal of providing those in the turfgrass sciences expedient access to contemporary literature and ultimately expanding to published and unpublished materials reporting on all aspects of turfgrass and its management regardless of sector, context, geography, language, or age. The USGA provided the seed money to fund this project, with the first record being entered into the TGIF database on Sept. 10, 1984. In 2019, the database saw its 300 thousandth record entered.
MSU Turfgrass Research Professor John N. “Trey” Rogers III expressed enthusiasm about the database and its move to open access.
“The TGIF database has been a tremendous resource for anyone in the turf industry, and certainly a source of pride for me and my colleagues during my 35 plus years on the MSU Turf faculty,” he said. “To watch this vision of Peter Cookingham and others take shape and become the quintessential source for all turf information has been both amazing and gratifying. Open access will only enhance the reputation of the TIC at MSU, and we could not be happier.”
The TGIF database indexes material from a wide variety of sources including governments, higher learning institutions, professional organizations and private publishers. Materials include articles from peer-reviewed publications, technical reports and conference proceedings, trade and professional publications, local professional newsletters, popular magazines, monographs, theses and dissertations, fact sheets and brochures, images, software, and web documents. The majority of the database uses English-language materials, but it does include non-English resources. As of August 2023, the database comprised 323,469 records, 67% of which link to the full text of the item. According to Elisabeth Mabie, head of the Turfgrass Information Center, the number of full-text resources in the database is significant.
“For turfgrass professionals who cannot regularly visit a research library, access to full-text turfgrass research and other pertinent turf literature can be a challenge,” Mabie said. “However, these are often the individuals who utilize these materials the most. With two-thirds of TGIF database records linking to the full-text of the item, this means many thousands of records link directly to content, saving valuable time and effort that would otherwise be spent locating physical copies for personal use.”
The TGIF database, which was previously accessible only via paid subscription and usually at an institutional or organizational level, is now open.
This story originally appeared on the MSU Libraries website.