You need to find background information within pre-existing sources to support your work. SAGE Research Methods Online and SAGE Campus are both great places to learn more about how to get started with a research, how to conduct a literature review, and how to publish.
I love how this table about evidence and their uses (found in Andrew Pennock's The CQ Press Writing Guide for Public Policy, 2019, p. 27, Table 2.1) orients you to the different kinds of background documents and how you might find them. You might only need to focus on academic documents (journal articles, books, etc.) but some of you might also want to explore the three other main types of background documents.
|Find Academic Docs
|Find Gov Docs
|Find Interest Group Docs
* Helpful for understanding the broad outlines of a problem but unlikely to address your problem directly.
* Can provide helpful evidence about the effectives of proposed alternatives.
* Seek out peer-reviewed... journals.
* Often provide good interviews and histories of a problem.
* May have produced reports on specific problems analogous to yours.
* Agencies produce documents reflecting their viewpoints, so look for differences.* Can tip you to important data sources.
* Can quickly help you understand industry or sector viewpoints.
* Provide information in testimony, issue briefs, or regulatory comments, op-eds, and other documents.
* Articles can give the broad outlines of an issue and understand what educated readers likely know about the problem.
* Can be a good sources of systematic knowledge and broad perspective on a problem.
* Seek academics working in [related fields].
* Gatekeepers of government information you need.* Can be great background on an issues if you have a relationship. If not, come prepared with questions to make good use of their time.
* Consult for specific statistics, as they can have data and information not found elsewhere.
* Can provide perspectives on a political conflict.
* Helpful for understanding technical aspects[...]
* Helpful for background information.
* Good source of contacts to interview in other domains.
* May tip you off to political landmines about which you don't know.