A few weeks ago, Dayton wrote about Research and the importance of this task in a writer's work. I've been immersed in some research myself recently. In fact, I have read so much about snakes for my new children's book 'Sea Scapes' that I was really not surprised to find that one had materialized in my garage last week.
I do a lot of my research on the internet. It is convenient and it can be comprehensive, however, I was interested to realise how completely unreliable internet sources can be. Try to find out whether or not snakes can see in colour and you will find a plethora of experts contradicting each other and even more amateurs commenting although they know nothing concrete on the topic.
Today's writers rely quite a bit on the internet as they research topics to make their characters and scenes authentic. However, we have to be extremely careful about where we get our information. Do a search on the internet and Wikipedia is sure to be in the top ten results on your search page. It is true that this source contains a great amount of information, and it is true that much of it is accurate but consider the description the site proclaims--"the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit"--and you will understand the need to be cautious. The information is provided by volunteers and the site relies on the users to point out errors. The views are often biased and can be inaccurate.
For my snake research I had to do things the old-fashioned way. I headed out to my local library to get the information that I needed. What sources do you rely on when researching for a book?