Frequently Asked Questions About the Databases of the Turfgrass Information Center (Index)


I pressed a button and nothing's happening. What's wrong? What should I do?

Check your browser's status line: the line at the bottom of your browser's window. If it says "connecting to host", "waiting for reply", or "receiving data", or if your screen pointer shows an hourglass instead of or in addition to an arrow, your computer is still working on the last command you gave it. Be patient! If there is a lot of traffic on the network, or if your search retrieves many items, it can take several minutes for the results to display on your screen. If you want to cancel your command, press the "Stop" button on your browser. Do not start clicking buttons randomly: this will only stack up more instructions for your computer to try to follow.

I did a search, and I got a screen full of gibberish and meaningless text. What should I do?

Press the "Reload" button on your server. If you are asked, "Repost information from form?", press "OK."

Where's the rest of the article?

The TGIF database started as a bibliographic database: it contains information about books and articles, but it doesn't contain all the books and articles themselves. Sometimes, the record for a book or an article contains a link to the complete item. If no Internet address is given, use one of the other means of finding the original article which are available to TGIF users.

I got too many records in my search - How can I limit the size of my search results?
  1. In any of the Search interfaces, after records are retrieved browse the set and use the Mark boxes to create a subset.
  2. In Basic Search introduce another search term to "cross" with your existing search by adding another search term.
  3. In Guided Search, use the AND box with another term to better refine results.
Why do I get a different number of results in different kinds of searches using the same keywords?

The different number of results in different searches using the same keywords is related to the different search algorithm for each search. For example, let us look at Basic Search and Guided Search:

First, the Basic search algorithm takes your word or whole phrase and searches for it as a keyword, facility, cultivar, person, business, trade name, or geographic term. if it finds it as a keyword, it looks for use terms and searches for records with that use keyword (for example, the keyword for annual bluegrass is Poa annua, so annual bluegrass is also searched as Poa annua). Next, the algorithm strips out "stop words", like of, in, on, turf, grass, etc., parses your search phrase and searches using the NEAR operator what is called the Basic Index, which is contains almost all fields (excludes full-text). Afterward, your parsed phrase is searched using within-occurence operator (W/O) as an author, then as a title, keyword, or author using the AND operator to de-dupe it.

Now let us search the phrase "Biological Control of Dollar Spot" in Basic Search.
Here is how all the above mentioned search algorithm looks like (this can be seen by changing the Display Format to Algorithm Display):

Count Srch# Search



78 S4. (S1 OR S2)

78 S5. (S4)

0 S10. biological control of dollar spot

Second, the Guided Search is meant for more refined searching, so it does not "backfill" so much and takes your search much more literally. For example, our search of "Biological Control" as anything is searched as an entire phrase, as is our search "Dollar Spot". Using "Anything", it searches BITEXT, which is the Basic Index plus the Full-Text field. This is what the Guided Search algorithm looks like based on our search:

Count Srch# Search



68 S4. S1 AND S2

68 S13. (S4)

Hence, even if you are using the same keywords to search you still might get different results in different kinds of search interfaces because of the different search algorithm.

My search retrieved more records than I want to print or download. How can I display only certain selected records?

Each record has a box labeled "Mark". Check the "Mark" box for each record you want to print, then hold down the Ctrl key and press Home to display the buttons at the top of the list of records, then press "Display Marked Records". A new report will be displayed, containing only the records whose "Mark" boxes were checked. You can return to the display of all the records by pressing "Return to Display."

How can I navigate through a display that has many records?

There are several navigational methods:

  • You can navigate between different pages of results by clicking on the page numbers above the search results.
  • Ctrl+Home moves to the beginning of the display
  • Ctrl+End moves to the end of the display
  • Your browser's Find command can also be useful. In most browsers, either hold down Ctrl and press F, or select Edit, then Find from your browser's menu. A box will appear in which you can enter the text you want to search for. Since each record is headed by its TGIF record number and its number within your search results, you can use "Find" to skip to a particular record. For instance, to go through your search display to TGIF record number 33076, find "Record: 33076"; to find the 36th record in your search result, find "Item 36 of".
How do I change how the records are displayed on my browser screen?

In TGIF/Web it is possible to change the display format and record sort of searched records. Once a search has been executed in the default setting, users may change the display format and sortĀ  from the drop-down lists at the top of the screen.

Display Formats:
  • Default - Brief Table: tabular format with selected TGIF data
  • Full Table: all fields in the TGIF record
  • Display in Citation Format: display TGIF records in a Crop Science-like citation format
  • Citation File Download
Sort Formats:
  • Default - New to Old
  • New to Old, Full-Text First
  • Old to New
  • 1st Author A to Z
  • 1st Author Z to A
  • Relevance
How do I view the rest of the TGIF record?

To view the entire record for a single item, press the "More" button next to that item.

To view the entire record for all of the search results, select "Full Table" from the Display Format pull-down box at the top of the screen. Re execute your search, and the results will reappear with the full record for each item displayed. (Note: If your search set is large, this may take a while.)

Hint: If your search resulted in many items, you may want to select a few of the "best" ones before displaying the full record.

How do I print my results?

Press the "Print" button on your browser. Most browsers allow you to print "All" (all the records retrieved by your search), or to specify which page numbers to print. If you highlight part of the screen (by dragging your mouse across it) before pressing "Print", you can print only the highlighted area.

I indicated a maximum number of records to be displayed for my search. Now, with the records listed, I am not able to display more records when I indicate a higher number to be displayed. What's wrong?

When you chose to display a given number of records at the beginning of your search, this number will trump the "display number of records" when the search results are displayed. If you chose to display 25 records at the beginning of your search, and once the records are displayed you decide you would like to 100 records, you must re-execute your search to see more results.

Can I reuse the items that have TGIF records in course packs or learning management systems?

The Turfgrass Information Center has no copyright enforcement over externally published material, so any reuse of the materials must comply with the original publisher's/copyright holder's use and conditions policy.