Turfgrass Information Center >> The Database >> Searching TGIF >> Fastlinks


What is a Fastlink?
"Fastlinks" are a database capability which can be described as a form of "deep linking." Essentially, this is the ability to create a URL (= hot link) which can burrow into a database (such as TGIF) and retrieve a specific set of records (or a specific record) in a specific presentation format, without the user even necessarily being aware of what has actually occurred. To the user, it is "just another hot link."

These can be used in a wide range of very non-traditional-TGIF ways. The series of examples below are intended only to demonstrate some ways in which it will be possible to use this capability; it is intended primarily as a brainstorming aid.

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Why link to the TGIF record instead of directly to the item itself?
How to create a fastlink
The benefits and uses of Fastlinks

Why link to the TGIF record instead of directly to the item itself?

  • Consistent speed of retrieval, to the TGIF records. Reduced user frustration.

  • Fastlinks access is free to linkers and users

  • Consistent format enables faster relevance review and more accurate citation data.

  • TGIF includes the print as well as online literature, allowing most of the turf literature to be linkable. As additional older material is made available online in the future, these materials will then automatically be linked via the TGIF record.

  • Avoids future dead links -- you don't have to maintain them! TGIF becomes a central "link-maintenance" center for the turf literature, on into the future.

  • Provides a free intermediate link for limited-accessed materials.

  • Revisions & errata notes are incorporated into the TGIF record; including cross-links to future editions.

How to create a fastlink
1.) Fastlink generator for a Single Record

The TGIF Record # is needed for this. For more information, see "Searching Known Items in TGIF" in the Power Search documentation.

Sample single-record fastlink: http://ticpass.lib.msu.edu/cgi-bin/flink.pl?recno=61166

2.) "By or about" fastlink generator (available from "Conditions and Terms of Use" page in TGIF). This identifies all records written by or about a person or persons from within TGIF.

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The benefits/uses of fastlinks:

  • Instead of providing a citation in a "For Further Reading", "References", "Literature Cited", "Bibliography,", etc. list, each item listed can provide access to the expanded TGIF record, providing the ability to better evaluate item relevance (as well as increase accuracy), without "taking up any more space" or changing the visual presentation.

  • Full availability information can be included in the TGIF record, if relevant (example: for a book) and it thus doesn't go "out-of-date." (unless we do).

  • Customized presentation formats can deliver the same record in different ways, for different uses. In addition, variant headers/footers can be created to "package" the contents (for specialized audiences).

  • The entire "bibliography" can be passed alone as a single dynamic link, rather than as a document.

  • Emailed "searches" can be (depending on the search done) a dynamic, self-updating "file" rather than a static one.

  • Full-text link URL's will be maintained by TIC through TGIF, and will not need to be maintained separately (as long as we do). TGIF becomes a central "link-maintainer" for the discipline's literature.

I. Every record has a link. For example:

1.) TGIF R=63018
2.) Or Zazueta, Fedro S., Miller, Grady L., and Zhang, Wenxiu. 2000. Reduced irrigation of St. Augustinegrass turfgrass in the Tampa Bay area. Florida Turf Digest 17(4), July/August, p. [1-8]
3.) Or perhaps, Why didn't I think of doing this study?….

II. Every search can be a link. For example:
         1.) Defibrillators on the golf course
         2.)The same search, presented in a different way.

III. "Live bibliographies."

1.) Serials - for example, fastlinks are utilized throughout the USGA TERO publication as links for cited material. Sample USGA TERO article with fastlink references: July 15, 2003
2.) Monographs - for example, the attached bibliography from the Rutgers folder,

Reviewing Golf Course Proposals: Materials for Local Officials
"Selected Publications"

         In this case, a web-based version of the "for further reading" portion of a report has been converted into an html document. Each TGIF record contains a fastlink to the full TGIF record for the item.

         As an alternative, the entire bibliography could be a single, dynamic link, with the results presented directly from the TGIF data.

IV. "Giveaway" searches can be included in online (or offline) newsletters, or online presentations, or imbedded in other web sites. For example: 

Want to try building your own "road hole bunker"?

V. Periodical-specific or even issue-specific "Searches" (which outline the contents) can be distributed easily, for example:

Diversity magazine -- special issue on Turfgrass

VI. TGIF records include an imbedded pointer to themselves, which can be used to "home" back to the current, fullest possible form of the record

VII Supplemental information for non-TGIF content can be linked to supporting documentation, for example, a slide:

        See "Information About this Image" on Rolling Greens in Spring, 1940

VIII. "Custom search' results can be delivered via email, using a tag added into records after the search is done.

IX. Dynamic-content "featured highlights" can be presented

What's new in turf research?

X. Value-added features can be added to electronic journals, see "Search TGIF for recent articles by...:" in the header of this sample article.

XI. "Fastlink Generator" Scripts can be used to make using fastlinks easier, shorter, and less complicated.

       1.) For a single TGIF record by #
       2.) For a tagged search set

XII. Within a database record (fastlinked or not...) a fastlink can link to information that you don't want cluttering a record, For example:
      1.) Quotable quotes
      2.) Full text (we haven't made this accessible via fastlinks, so can't show it--ie. conditional access)

XIII. Tying together analytics records (ie. Book chapters to/from the book itself)

XIV. Present entire 'web site content'--via guide screen structure. For example, start at: USGA Research

XV. Build 'horizontal navigation' capabilities within TGIF. See for example:
       1.) Hot "see also's"
       '2.) See others like this
       3.) Series links
       4.) Record 'forwarding'

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