Researching your novel is important, no matter what genre you’re writing in. You want the characters and events you portray to seem believable, even if your story is the stuff of fantasy. Accomplishing this usually takes a bit more effort than just looking something up on Wikipedia. Sure the internet is a great place to start, but it’s a good idea to try some other sources as well. You may even want to interview some experts who might be able to provide insight into whatever you’re writing about.
Here’s an article about interviewing techniques from novelist Steven Harper (In the Company of Mind, Corporate Mentality). I’m currently editing Harper’s forthcoming book Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story (due February 2011). If you write science fiction or fantasy you should check it out.