I find myself often doing research of some sort when writing a story. Some people like to add on where everything left off to avoid those types of conflicts with the timeline. I actually like looking for gaps and try to fill them in with an adventure of my own. Or perhaps tell a story from my characters perspective based on what's already happened in the Trek universe.
I also like using real science and pushing its boundaries to fit a story. Research helps a lot there. It's happened on more than one occassion that I would start looking for one thing and two hours later, I find myself reading about something else.
That's what I love about the Internet. All that information at your fingertips. When I was a kid, I had to ride my bike to the library, then go find a book. I still don't know who Dewey Decimal is, but apparently, they named a punctuation after him