...so I stumbled upon a nifty website for SF writers and it started with something morbidly funny, which I will reproduce here for your amusement.
"Hypothetically, being a writer-for-a-living means you never get a day off. Ever. The deadlines don't typically move much, so it's rather like having a permanent term paper due -- if you're lucky. If you're not lucky, it's like not having any work due. And then you starve to death.
But I digress."
(from SF Novelists.)
...but then, near the end she talked about "research" as "pre-writing" in a way that sounded a lot like what I would call "outlining." The academic in me tends to understand "research" as "reading." Thus I think of my writing research as broadly defined reading. But if I can get away with calling outlining "research," I totally am.