I'm not affiliated with a physics department and I want to do independent research. I'm working my way through Peskin et al. QFT now. Let's say that I've finished Peskin et al. and Weinberg QFT books and want to do some independent research on phenomenology although I don't have a specific topic in mind. Would I be prepared for doing research at this level? Where should I start? Should I just begin reading papers until I figure out current unanswered problems in the field? What journal would accept my paper provided that It doesn't have scientific errors and well-written?
Can some-one knowledgeable in these topics give me an advice? I didn't go to graduate school so I don't know how one usually do research in particle physics. EDIT: Can I just visit a physics department and seek advice from some-one working on the field who can also give me an endorsement so that I can publish my papers on arXiv?