More About the Turfgrass Thesaurus

What can the Thesaurus do? Uses include:

  1. Providing a simple, reliable search structure using a predictable, easily-identified terminology. Example: "K=OVERSEEDING AND K=GOLF FAIRWAYS" to locate a concise set of articles on this topic (searching in Power Search ).
  2. Act as an online dictionary/product guide/thesaurus, from the past up to the present or from the present into the past. Example: You have a research report which evaluates an experimental designation of a not-at-that-time released chemical. What is its actual substance (active ingredient) and trade names as released?
  3. Strengthen searches by adding synonyms, abbreviations, or variant forms of terms you know you want to use (in Power Search).

A Thesaurus Record Overview and Introduction

Unlike in the TGIF database, each listing in the Turfgrass Thesaurus is for a single keyword. As shown in the examples which follow, there are two classes of descriptors; "valid" and "invalid." Valid descriptors are terms which TIC has decided to use for indexing purposes to concisely describe a particular concept, thing, action, place, role, or grouping. Invalid descriptors are the terms we have decided were better represented, for one reason or another, by another term. Sometimes, these decisions follow established rules, at other times they are judgement calls. In general, the below criteria are used:

  1. Scientific (binomial) nomenclature is used, rather that "common names." Example: Agrostis palustris is the valid descriptor, "creeping bentgrass" is invalid. Note: For searching purposes, underlines do not matter (i.e. Agrostis palustris is the same as Agrostis palustris.), nor does case (i.e. ALL CAPS IS OK).
  2. American usage and spelling is used, rather than any other variants. Example: "Fertilizers" is valid; "Fertilisers" is invalid
  3. Current and/or more generally recognized taxonomic/etiologic classifications are used in preference to superseded or controversial forms. Example: "Take-all patch" is valid; "Ophiobolus patch" is invalid.

In all of these situations, the Turfgrass Thesaurus will tell you which term to use (as long as we've accounted for it already.) Please note that the Turfgrass Thesaurus is a continuously evolving and developing outline/structure of turf terminology. It is not a static construct, and will continue to grow and change as TGIF grows and turf research continues.

Remember also that these "correct" forms of nomenclature apply only to the "Descriptor" field in TGIF (searched as K="xxx"). If you search "K=FERTILISERS" in TGIF you will get 0 hits; but this doesn't influence searching any other field. You therefore could search "Fertilsers" and find hits, based on abstract or title occurrences. Clearly, it is very, very likely that such materials would be from British or other Commonwealth sources. In the Basic Search interface, "invalid" forms of terms which you might type in will automatically be converted to the "valid" form.

Record Structure

As will be shown in the examples below, certain entries normally have opposite or reciprocal entries, as listed below:

Broader Term <---> Narrower Term

Use <---> Used for

Cultivar <---> Cultivar of

Trade Name <---> Substance

Related Term <---> Related Term

Essentially the Thesaurus is an outline structure with cross-references. "Broader Terms" are "higher" in the outline; "Narrower Terms" are "lower". "Cultivar of", "Substance", and "Use" statements tell you that the term is invalid as a descriptor and tell you what term is valid to search in the descriptor field in Power Search (or, perhaps, to add to your search statement) to find these terms in other fields, such as the title or abstract.

Several sample Turfgrass Thesaurus records are shown below, with explanatory comments following:

Example - Valid Descriptors:

Record: 10944

Term (a) - Sphenophorus parvulus (Gyllenhal)

Broader Term (b) - Curulionidae

Broader Term (b) - Rhynchophorinae

Broader Term (b) - Insect Pests

Broader Term (b) - Root-eating insects

Broader Term (b) - Sphenophorus

Related Term (d) - Sphenophorus phoeniciensis

Used for Term (f) - Bluegrass billbug


Record: 60

Term (a) - Lolium perenne (L.)

Broader Term (b) Cool season turfgrasses

Broader Term - Lolium Related

Term (d) - Bunch-type grasses

Related Term (d) - Creeping grasses

Related Term (d) - Lolium multiflorum

Related Term (d) - Ryegrass mosaic virus

Used for Term (f) - Perennial ryegrass

Used for Term (f) - Annual Ryegrass

Used for Term (f) - Common ryegrass

Used for Term (f) - English ryegrass

Bayer code (m) - LOLPE

Cultivar (h) - Acclaim

Cultivar (h) - Acrobat

Cultivar (h) - All*Star (etc.)


Record: 9000

Term (a) - Snow molds

Broader Term (b) - Diseases

Broader Term (b) - Foliar diseases

Narrower Term (c) - Coprinus snow mold

Narrower Term (c) - Snow scald

Narrower Term (c) - Typhula blight

Narrower Term (c) - Gerlachia patch


Record: 2025

Term (a) - Glyphosate Broader

Term (b) - Herbicides

Broader Term (b) - Non-selective herbicides

Used for Term (f) - N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine

Trade Name (k) - Rodeo

Trade Name (k) - Roundup


Record: 9478

Term (a) - Football fields

Broader Term (b) - Sports turf

Related Term (d) - Baseball fields

Related Term (d) - Soccer fields

Scope Notes (e) - For North American Football fields only: for Association football USE Soccer fields.


Example - Invalid Descriptors:

Record: 7694

Term (a) - Bluegrass billbug

Use (g) - Sphenophorus parvulus


Record: 9892

Term (a) - Ranger

Exp. Designation (l) - HE 129

Cultivar of (i) - Lolium perenne


Record: 8757

Term (a) - Roundup Substance (j) - Glyphosate


COMMENT (a) - The "Term" which is the heading for that record (valid or invalid). Note that the parenthetical taxonomic namer in the display (if present) is not a part of the term, though present.

COMMENT (b) - A "Broader Term" is a more general term, relatively speaking (and also a valid descriptor with a record of its own).

COMMENT (c) - A "Narrower Term" is a more specific term, relatively speaking (and also a valid descriptor with a record of its own).

COMMENT (d) - A "Related Term" is of parallel interest in some way (and also a valid descriptor with a record of its own).

COMMENT (e) - A "Scope Note" usually clarifies a concept to explain how it is used as a descriptor. It may contain elements of a definition, or direct a user elsewhere.

COMMENT (f) - A "Used for Term" identifies invalid descriptors which, for indexing puposes, "mean the same thing" as the "term". the "Used for Term" has a record of its own, but all it does is refer you to the "valid" descriptor. (See also (g) below.)

COMMENT (g) - "Use" identifies the "valid" descriptor for an "invalid" one. It tells you what term to use to search and also look-up for further ideas. (See also (f) above).

COMMENT (h) - "Cultivar" lists the release names of known cultivars of a grass species (with an emphasis on turf). (See also (i) below).

COMMENT (i) - "Cultivar of" identifies what species a cultivar "Term" is. (See also (h) above).

COMMENT (j) - "Substance" identifies the active ingredient(s) in a released trade name pesticide or other agent. (See also (k) below).

COMMENT (k) - "Trade Name" specifies known released trade names of substances. (See also (j) above).

COMMENT (l) - "Exp.Designation" identifies known experimental designations for cultivars or trade names.

COMMENT (m) - "Bayer Code" specifies the 5 letter code used by the Weed Science Society of America to abbreviate weeds. These are present in the Thesaurus for informational and reference purposes only.