Marcia J. Bates
|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (September 2012)|
|Marcia J. Bates|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Institutions||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Alma mater||Pomona College, University of California, Berkeley|
|Known for||Work on information seeking behavior, search strategy, subject access to information, and user-centered design of information systems|
|Notable awards||American Association for the Advancement for Science Fellow, American Society for Information Science Research Award and Award of Merit, American Society for Information Science "Best Journal of ASIS Paper of the Year Award," Frederick G. Kilgour Award|
Marcia J. Bates (born 1942) is Professor VI Emerita of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.
She previously taught at the University of Maryland, College Park and was tenured at the University of Washington in 1981 before joining the faculty at UCLA. Bates has published on information seeking behavior, search strategy, subject access in manual and automated systems, and user-centered design of information retrieval systems. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recipient of the American Society for Information Science Research Award, 1998, Award of Merit, 2005, and has twice received the American Society for Information Science "Best Journal of ASIS Paper of the Year Award," in 1980 and 2000. In 2001 she received the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology.
Bates' early work dealt with searching success and failure in library catalogs. She initially became known for her articles on information search tactics, that is, techniques and heuristics for improving retrieval success in information systems.
She was Editor-in-Chief of the Third Edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences (Taylor & Francis, 2010).
Many of Bates' contributions have been in the area of user-centered information system design. Several of her papers have been widely cited and used, including articles on her concepts of "berrypicking," of "information search tactics," and the "cascade of interactions" in the user-system interface.
In conjunction with the Getty Research Institute, and other Getty agencies, she has studied humanities information seeking online extensively, producing six articles on the work. In subject access, as early as 1985, she designed and argued for a "cluster thesaurus" that would bring together all the syntactic and semantic variants of a concept under each concept. Searches could then match on any term in the cluster, with the searcher able to select subsets of terms for further searching. This was also known as the "front-end system mind." 
Bates takes an evolutionary approach to the development of human and animal information and knowledge., which marks a change from the definition of information in communication theory. The communication model sees information as the flow and exchange of a message, originating from one speaker, mind, or source and received by another. According to Ronald Day, "Implicit in this standard model of information are such notions as the intentionality of the speaker, the self-evident 'presence' of that intention in his or her words, a set of hearers or users who receive the information and who demonstrate the correctness of that reception in action or use, and the freedom of choice in regards to the speaker's ability to say one thing rather than another, as well as even the receivers freedom of choice to receive one message rather than another in the marketplace of ideas."
Bates claims (drawing on S. Goonatilake) that there are three fundamental channels of information: genetic, neural-cultural, and exosomatic.
In response to the rapid transformations in libraries and in information science, Bates has also written on the nature of the information disciplines. The design of the encyclopedia she and Maack edited also reflects her arguments about the nature of the information disciplines.
- "Marcia J. Bates". Pages.gseis.ucla.edu. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
- "Marcia J. Bates". Pages.gseis.ucla.edu. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
- Bates, Marcia J. (1979). Information Search Tactics. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 30(4): 205-214.
- Bates, Marcia J. (1989). The Design of Browsing and Berrypicking Techniques for the Online Search Interface. Online Review 13(5): 407-424
- Bates, Marcia J. (1990). Where Should the Person Stop and the Information Search Interface Start? Information Processing & Management 26: 575-591.
- Bates, Marcia J. (2002). The Cascade of Interactions in the Digital Library Interface. Information Processing and Management 38:381-400.
- Bates, Marcia J. (1996). The Getty End-User Online Searching Project in the Humanities: Report No. 6: Overview and Conclusions. College & Research Libraries 57(6): 514-523.
- Bates, Marcia J. (1994). The Design of Databases and Other Information Resources for Humanities Scholars: The Getty Online Searching Project Report No. 4." Online & CDROM Review 18(6):331-340
- Bates, Marcia J. (1986). Subject Access in Online Catalogs: A Design Model. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 37(6): 357-376.
- Bates, Marcia J. (2005). Information and Knowledge: An Evolutionary Framework for Information Science. Information Research, 10 (4) paper 239, 2005 [available at http://InformationR.net/ir/10-4/paper239.html ]
- Bates, Marcia J. (2006). Fundamental Forms of Information. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 57(8):1033-1045
- Day, Ronald E. (2001). The Modern Invention of Information: Discourse, History, and Power. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, p. 38.
- Bates, Marcia J. (2006). Fundamental Forms of Information. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 57(8):1044
- Hjørland, Birger (2007). Information: Objective or subjective/situational? Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 58(10), 1448-1456,
- Bates, Marcia J. (2008). Hjørland's Critique of Bates' Work on Defining Information. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 59(5): 842-844.
- Hjørland, B. (2009). The controversy over the concept of "information". A rejoinder to Professor Bates. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(3), p. 643.
- Bates, Marcia J. (1999). The Invisible Substrate of Information Science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 50(12): 1043-1050.
- Bates, Marcia J. (2007). Defining the information disciplines in encyclopedia development. Information Research, 12(4) paper colis29. [Available at http://InformationR.net/ir/12-4/colis/colis29.html]
- Bates' Faculty Website
- UCLA Department of Information Studies
- Works by or about Marcia J. Bates in libraries (WorldCat catalog)