So chase the idea when it first hits and record clear and in-depth notes, making sure to list the individual sources of each piece of data. This enables you to refer back later to your notes and know exactly where you found what.
I always make notes in the form of bullet points when researching, making sure to write the information in my own words. This way, when it comes time to write up the article, there’s little chance that I’ll use the exact same phrases I found in my research material. And therefore, little chance I’ll be accused of plagiarism (using another person’s words and saying that they’re mine).
Years ago when my exuberance for research overtook my thoroughness, I spent a month ordering topical books into my local library and sifting through them, searching for the slightest relevant detail. After weeks of reading, I had literally piles of notes in front of me.
However, later, when it came time to write up my notes, I realised that a couple of my quotes seemed out of context and I needed to recheck them against their source. It was then that I realised that I hadn’t noted their source. So, because the information was vital in my manuscript, I had no alternative but to order in all the books again and start from scratch.
Needless to say, if I hadn’t been really hooked on the topic, the story would never have been finished.