One of the writing lists I subscribe to has had a plethora of postings asking for assistance with research help. Topics have ranged from cruise ships to tenure at colleges to potential careers for someone living in the 16th century.
It's a rather diverse set of topics. Some can be answered by simple Google searches. Others are answered with personal experience of others on the list.
Research is one of those black holes or detours that writers can fall into. It's tempting to check just "one more source" only to find that hours or days have disappeared. Using a writing list to point you in the right direction and target that research might be the way to go.
What's your favorite research method?