There are a fair number of memes out there at the moment throwing rocks at people who “do their own research” (meaning reading a few articles online).
The point they are trying to make is not unreasonable – casual reading up on a subject doesn’t trump the results of professional researchers results.
On the other hand, reading the right sources is research; not as valuable as academic research with all that extra “stuff”, but research nevertheless. The OED definition includes :-
To engage in research upon (a subject); to investigate or study closely.
Doesn’t say a whole lot about publishing papers in a peer-reviewed journal, the scientific method, or all that other tedious stuff that separates the professional academic researcher from the amateur.
There is of course a whole other post on how to do research properly in terms of background reading :-
- Wikipedia may be a good start but it’s just that – a start.
- You need to assess the trustworthiness of a source; if nobody trusts the source you’re reading it probably means the source can’t be trusted.
- You’re looking for accepted wisdom; you need to do a lot more work to start looking at the kooky stuff.