Tonight I cooked dinner, baked a cake and assembled a new office chair. All of these tasks had distinct instructions that led to the final product.
Sure the cooking has its own subtleties, but ultimately you can follow a recipe precisely and the results will be acceptable. Research is a mixture of serendipity and precision.
You can follow processes, you can assemble checklists that will allow you to do a comprehensive search for a specific task, but ultimately, research requires its own unique talent. Talent that allows information professionals to weave their way through a myriad of sources all the while executing queries and analyzing the data in the way that only info pros can.
That is what is so invigorating about research and data analysis. The chase allows me to review a lot of information, make determinations about its relevance to the problem at hand, and provide recommendations about next actions. With a complex research problem or a situation that requires determination of the right information solution, I get to create rather than follow.