EAST LANSING, Mich., Sept. 2023 – The Michigan State University 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 (USGA) and the Turfgrass Information Center, can be openly accessed at https://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those in the turfgrass sciences expedient access to contemporary literature and ultimately expanding to published and unpublished materials reporting on all aspects of turfgrass and its management regardless of sector, context, geography, language, or age.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.
“The development of what would become the Turfgrass Information File was a specific goal of the USGA Green Section’s original research committee, and the MSU Libraries has done an exceptional job advancing it,” said Cole Thompson, USGA Director, Turfgrass and Environmental Research. “Today, TGIF has become the go-to database for people interested in turfgrass literature. I can’t imagine life without it, which reinforces both its status and how visionary the original development effort was. Allowing public access of TGIF advances our original goals, and the USGA is appreciative to collaborate with MSU Libraries on the effort.”
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 percent 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 openly accessible.
About the USGA
The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.