Search Strategy Halloween Style

thrift store
By Sparklingdawg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
Last year I developed two broad research topics from the idea of cosplay (costume play).  Let’s use another costume-related topic to explore how searching is strategic (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015).

As I mentioned in my 10/10/2013 post, I sometimes turn to thrift stores for costume pieces.  What studies have been conducted about such places?  Such stores go by many names.  We can start by brainstorming keywords: thrift stores, thrift shops, secondhand stores, charity shops, etc.

The Business Source Complete database has a Thesaurus to help us find its official subject terms.  In fact the BSC Thesaurus has Thrift Shops as a subject.  From there you can even explore other terms.

Databases without a thesaurus still use subject terms.  When you find a relevant article, look at the subject headings attached to it.

You can apply these strategies–brainstorming keywords, using a thesaurus, and checking subject headings–to most research projects.  Have a safe, happy Halloween!


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2016).  Framework for information literacy for higher education.  Retrieved from ACRL website:

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