Whilst I have not been at this research malarkey very long, several people have made suggestions for useful software, in addition to my own past experience. I have put some notes/links below on various tools that should help towards the process of research. Hopefully this might be of interest to others, and feel free to add your suggestions below.
When out on site visits for work (as with other times), I often record where I have gone using the GPS on my phone. It can often be handy to overlay this on a CADdrawing. Until now, converting this has been non-trivial. However, I now have a reasonable, if somewhat convoluted, workflow.
source: OS_OpenData_StreetView when editing OSM was becoming tiresome. Therefore I hacked together a quick sources preset based on one for Spain by user Sanchi. Perhaps this will be useful for others editing OSM in the UK using JOSM.
I have done most of my Open Street Map editing using the free JOSM Editor, as I feel it has a number of advantages over the default, Flash-based, Potlatch editor built into the website. The feature I use most is the various background image layers, but also being able to quickly loading my GPS tracks and support for other plugins are useful too.