The Challenge of Full-Text Access for the Turfgrass Literature

Access to the full-text of research reports or other management content is a serious challenge for turf professionals, as most don’t live next to a research library. However, this is changing. The Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database, originally conceived to index and abstract the literature of turfgrass, has now taken dramatic steps to increase user ability to directly access the full-text of identified articles and other items of interest - over 50% of TGIF records now link in this way!

This includes many publications hosted by the Center, as well as links to full-text access provided by other publishers, including universities, organizations and the commercial press.

Clearly more needs to be done to provide full-text access to a greater percentage of the 250,000+ entries now searchable within TGIF, but the challenge in most cases is that publishers, who hold the copyright to these materials, may not allow TGIF to digitize and make available the back file of their publications, even when sales of older materials virtually ceases. In the case of the Journal of Turfgrass Science, the Turfgrass Information Center (TIC) undertook all of the costs associated with digitizing and mounting the back file, and TIC hopes to move forward on similar projects if and when publishers will grant the required permissions. Publishers are encouraged to get in touch with TIC about making the full-text of their backfile in cooperation with the Turfgrass Information Center. A co-branded journal website can provide browsing access to the periodical run, while the power of TGIF's search engine enables easy identification of materials regardless of the date of publication.

Both of these presentations will help turf professionals access the research findings and other management literature that ultimately allows for the improvement of techniques and practices in the world of turf.

From the TIC website, several public sites featuring full-text content are accessible, including the USGA Green Section Record and the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online. Users can access a wealth of additional full-text access, plus utilize the index itself to identify other relevant information, by gaining access to the TGIF.

In addition, special features of TGIF processing, such as cross-linking materials written by the same authors, articles belonging to a series, reprints, and followups, such as letters-to-the-editor, enhance even further the usefulness of the content in this electronic form.

The Turfgrass Information Center, with your help and support, stands ready to make the desire for additional access a reality. Please contact us to discuss your organization or firm’s publication(s) which you would be willing to make available in this way, and look over our digitization prospectus/operational questionnaire (pdf). Everyone gains from such an effort: your members or clientele, your advertisers, and the broader world of turf science in general.

If items are monographic (for example, books, booklets, research papers, posters, manuscripts, etc) here you can find the monograph item-specific permission form (pdf) which we need.

If items are theses/dissertations, we need the theses/dissertation item-specific permission form (pdf).