Writers research all the time. Even if you write speculative fiction - or other fiction for that matter - you need to make sure that your world is believable and to do that you, as the creator of this fictional world, need to know what makes it tick or your reader won't believe in it.
How do you do this? You can and should read widely and non fiction is where the really cool stuff comes from as are television documentaries. Would I have ever known about the way trees are trained to cross streams in parts of India, providing a living bridge, if I hadn't watched The Human Planet, a BBC documentary? Would I have ever dreamed that orcas in some parts of the world actually throw themselves up a certain beach so they can catch their prey if not for a wonderful nature documentary I saw? I doubt it.
Then there is the internet, a wonderful resource at our finger tips but one we have to use carefully. We have become so used to using it that we google now, using the name of a search engine instead of calling it research. But there is always the question as to reliability of information given that anyone can post anything on their websites. That's why I was pleased to find this article by Jane Friedman on her There Are No Rules blog giving her favourite research websites and as well some tips on how to get the most out of using Google.
Why not share some of your favourite research websites with us. We would love to hear from you.