She has consulted on the design of information systems, search vocabulary, and search interfaces for numerous organizations, including private industry, dot-coms, government, and foundations.
Dr. Bates is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement for Science. In 2005, she received the Award of Merit from the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the association’s highest award. She is also a recipient of the ASIST Research Award, 1998 (in recognition of an extensive program of research), 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, co-sponsored by the American Library Association’s Library and Information Technology Association and OCLC, Inc.
She has taught at the University of Maryland, University of Washington, UCLA, and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Tampere, in Tampere, Finland.