Wouldn't it be nice to have an expert on speed-dial? Someone to call when the realization hits that you don't know everything?
With the magic of the internet, an expert is just a click away. Say you're writing a novel where the characters head out on an African safari, and you're stuck in New Jersey. An expert can help with that.
If it's a science fiction novel, you may be fuzzy on string theory or interplanetary travel. There are scientists who'd like to help.
Even freelance writers can benefit. Maybe that article on separation anxiety needs a sound byte from a professional. All you have to do is ask.
I've collected some links to sites that will help answer all those questions and more.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
This site was started by a journalist who was blessed with lots of contacts. The downside was that so many people contacted him to ask for referrals to experts, it became too time consuming. He started the site to connect writers with experts. You can ask for expert advice, or even become one of the more than 100,000 experts. Top media outlets use this free service.
This website is a collection of professional communicators, from researchers to analysts to government officials. Users can search over 30,000 professional profiles to find the expert they want to contact.
Another site, boasting thousands of experts on a wide range of topics. Need someone well-versed in geography, decorating, or cartooning? They're here.
Here, you'll find as series of links to other sites with professionals of all varieties. Did you know you could ask your word questions directly to the Oxford dictionary folks?
This site is similar to Library Spot, but with different links. Check out connections to attorneys, musicians, even specialists in etiquette.
These sites are just a start--the internet is a huge place. Do you have any go-to resources for research?