Research involves many steps. As you work through the steps, you may find that you need to revisit earlier steps.
Identify your question
Gather background information.
Plan your methods.
Do the research (once your project is approved).
Share your findings.
Availability of Research Content
Information is both a commodity and a public good. Some sources will be freely available to you but you will not have access to other sources.
In the U.S., the federal government does not buy subscription resources for the country. Instead, you will need to rely on resources that:
are freely available
your own institution provides through its own subscriptions
your institution's library can get from other libraries on your behalf
other libraries near you will let you use
you choose to buy as an individual
Libraries exist to help you with your research.
The institution where you are a student will have some resources available to you. You do not need to pay to use those resources.
Public libraries near you will have resources you can use. Anyone can read books, journals, and newspapers in the library. You can apply for a library card to use those resources in other places too. Your library card lets you borrow books to use them elsewhere. Your library card also lets you use the library's online content.
Sometimes, you can also use some of the materials at academic libraries near you. It depends on that library's policies. It also depends on what the companies that make online resources will allow. Check for a visitor / guest policy or for notes about walk-in users. If you are not sure, ask the library.
Do you want a specific book or article? WorldCat.org can help you identify the libraries closest to you that have that book or article. You can then check if that library will let you use the book or article you want.