The Annotated Bibliography The first step in data collection is the development of the annotated bibliography. The research concept is to gather all information that is known about the problem so that the current project research can delve into the unknown and new knowledge can be developed.

The development project is typically large and detailed. Every resource that can be found is evaluated to determine if it adds knowledge and value to the project. If so, then a short description of that value is noted in the bibliography along with the title, author, etc. The process is repeated until no further pertinent sources can be found.

The body of knowledge that is built through the development of the bibliography will indicate where the research can jump off and expand into unknown territory and produce new knowledge. For example, one may find that studies have been completed that show how many people moved out of Gulfport after Hurricane Katrina. However, there may been no studies that examined how many people had moved back. That then becomes a ready-made research project with research questions.

Because the annotated bibliography is typically large, it is not contained in the final report itself.