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on October 19, 2010
I gave this book a three-star but it is really a book I would like to give two different ratings to. Since that is not possible I have compromised. I split it down the middle.

If you are not already in the business of researching in some fashion this is a one-star book. You have to have some background to build on, in particular when it comes to finding clients. If you are like me and just enjoy research and thought this a way to start a home based business, you will be sorely disappointed.

However, if you are someone with a research background this is the blueprint for how it is done by someone who wants to branch out on their own. It is that simple. Five-star must have book for the info pro with entrepreneurial inclinations.
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on July 8, 2013
This book, although a bit dated, is comprehensive. This is for the serious information professional--or one who wants to work hard to become one. Well-organized chapters cover business management as well as types of research.

A research business is not for everyone. If it is for you, then be sure to get this book. Make a small investment in yourself by reading this before you take the plunge into self-employment.
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on February 10, 2013
I'm going to use this item to help me do my research for locating people. Received it in a very timely manner and looked inside. This book will be VERY helpful with my research. Thanks.
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on October 1, 2011
This is a great book if you are looking for solid info on this topic, this is a wonderful that is informative and you will not regret purchasing it!!!
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on November 2, 2008
Although this book contains a lot of interesting information, Mary Ellen Bates makes it clear that if you don't have a degree in library science or an extensive background in research you are pretty much wasting your time. I can appreciate her experience but she doesn't give much encouragement to those of us who don't have her background and/or connections. This is not a book for those looking to build a business from the ground up.
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on March 13, 2005
Four words of this title (viz., building, running, independent, business) excite those mesmerized by opportunities in the direct marketing revolution. Thanks to the catchy terminology, `independent business owner,' that charisma tempts everyone. To give such an audience a peace of mind let's clarify: the book in hand is neither about a home-based business's quick money making tips, nor it will show short cuts to an earlier retirement in life.

Bates & Basch's Building & running a successful research business (henceforth, A Guide) is a detailed tool for information-research industry demonstrating `what works' as a case in best businesses practices. As against the charismatic movement, a goal of the information industry is avoiding magic, hype, and illegalities (see: Ethics & Legalities, chapter 15). With this conceptual framework, Bates skilfully presents a compendium so much essential in today's volatile economy. A Guide has added value, because it comes neither from a theoretician, nor from an idealistic visionary-the book is a true story of what happens while "launching, managing and growing an independent research firm" (A Day in the Life of an Independent Info Pro, Chapter 2). This book, on the whole, reflects the ever-growing convergence of infostructure--print, digital content, media, medium and message. A description, `about the book,' may summarize A Guide's depth, extent and intent:

"This is the handbook every aspiring independent information professional needs to launch, manage, and build a research business. Organized into four sections, "Getting Started," "Running the Business," "Marketing," and "Researching," the book walks you through every step of the process. Author Mary Ellen Bates covers everything from "is this right for you?" to closing the sale, managing clients, promoting your business on the Web, and tapping into powerful information sources beyond the Web. Bates, a popular author and speaker and a long-time successful independent info pro, reveals all the tips, tricks, and techniques for setting up, running, and growing your own information business".

I would strongly recommend A Guide because it explicitly serves as a standalone resource, especially for the potential prospects. Readers who were unable to get a total solution in Florence Mason's Information Brokering (New York, Neal-Schuman, 1998), will definitely benefit from Bates's work--comprising far more creative content and innovative techniques of information visualization. In addition, A Guide has also lessons of history for info pro practitioners, knowledge workers, publishers and vendors.
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on February 2, 2004
These days, newspapers and magazines are full of "work-from-home" business opportunities. Most of these advertisements claim to provide the gullible consumer with a way to make thousands of dollars each month in their pajamas. The truth is there are no easy ways to make a living as a small business owner. Owning your own small business means constant hard work in promotion, administration, client meetings and endless planning for the future. It also means doing due diligence in an effort to discover exactly what transitioning into a new line of business fully entails. For those interested in developing their own business dedicated to the discovery, packaging and sale of information, Mary Ellen Bates, with the assistance of Reva Basch (Editor), has put together a comprehensive how-to manual devoted to the burgeoning profession of the Independent Information Professional. Any effort at discovering what this field is about should include a study of this book.
Readers will note from the very first sentence that this is not a get-rich quick business scheme, nor is this a business for the faint of heart. Through the work's thirty-five chapters and four appendices (443 pages total), Mary Ellen Bates deftly guides her readers through the myriad intricacies of starting and growing an information brokerage. This book contains many of the things that one would expect from a book that directs the reader in the business of running a business: Finances, accounting, rates and fees are all addressed. What sets this work aside from others though is the depth of the information Bates gives her readers. For instance, most people starting a one or two person business might think about the most obvious things like desks, bank accounts and the like. However, what about errors and omissions insurance, confidentiality, networking and professional development? These are but a few of the critical issues that the small business owner would be remiss to overlook. All are covered in depth in Building & Running a Successful Research Business.
In the first three chapters, Bates provides her readers with a detailed job description, if you will, of the "Independent Info Pro", a glimpse into what might be a typical day in her business life and some insight into the joys and frustrations of the profession. This is exceptionally useful information that covers finding clients, real-life experiences and a section of frequently asked questions. This is exactly the type of information that potential info pros need to help them make decisions about the viability of joining this profession.
This book truly begins to soar when Bates launches into details about the research process and the resources available for use in the field. I have to admit an almost guilty pleasure in reading this section of the book. Like many who have taken advanced degrees in Library and Information Science, I learned long ago that it's all about the information and our ability to communicate that information to our clients and patrons. While many of us lean toward the joys of interacting with clients, there are others who enjoy interacting with the information resources maybe a bit more than interacting with humans. I count myself in that latter group. For this reason, I felt a palpable chill in my spine as I went through Bates' description of online resources, public records, special collections and the like. For the information junkie, this is simply outstanding material.
As a detailed reference tool and guide to the profession, Mary Ellen Bates has constructed an impressive work that will leave readers well informed about the career. Those contemplating a career change into the field of Independent Information Professionals, as well as those who are just starting out, will be well served by this outstanding work. I highly recommend Building & Running a Successful Research Business: A Guide for the Independent Information Professional.
--- Reviewed by
Timothy E. McMahon, M.S.
Executive Editor
Northeast Book Reviews
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on May 13, 2003
Mary Ellen Bates has compiled a thorough handbook that gives readers a comprehensive understanding of the Information Business. If you are interested in starting such a business this book offers a great insight into the necessary steps you need to take to assure success in this field. Packed with information in 35 chapters, this book is also a must read for those who already consider themselves Information Professionals. The tips on marketing, setting fees, strategic planning, and professional development can be appreciated by anyone who knows the industry but needs help with developing their own business.
The information profession has always been a highly investigated self employment career, and it has been one of the most popular home business ideas for many years. But, as Mary Ellen explains, this industry is for those who want to take the time to do their homework, lay the groundwork, plan carefully, and be willing to make a candid self-assessment of your own personality, preferences, skills and experience before starting out on your own.
If you're serious about exploring the idea of working from home as an independent information professional then you want to read this book!
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on July 17, 2007
Mary Ellen Bates has created a very well-written, informative work that covers all of the salient aspects of starting one's own information services business - including those that someone looking into the field would never even think to ask about. Ms. Bates' writing style has a personal feel that is at the same time very professional. Her personality as a no-nonsense, savvy, and yet friendly information services professional comes across on every page.

The book really covers two important but somewhat distinct skill sets: how to start and run a successful business and how to be a successful information services professional. Ms. Bates' apt writing style weaves these two elements together quite seamlessly.

I suggest reading "Building & Running a Successful Research Business" cover to cover before spending your time reading any one of the more generic books available on the topics of how to find information online or how to conduct research. Once you have covered all of the bases with Ms. Bates' work, it would then be prudent to pick up some of these other works to dive more deeply into the areas where you need additional support.
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on September 4, 2003
Building and Running a Successful Research Business by Mary Ellen Bates is an invaluable resource for any information professional working on his or her own or even just considering it. It provides insights into all aspects of starting and operating a research business and is organized so that you can refer to it quickly for specific references or spend in-depth time with various sections to immerse yourself in a topic.
Having mentors, guides and industry leaders like Mary Ellen who share their knowledge and wisdom so freely makes it less intimidating for someone, like myself, who is relatively new to this dynamic but challenging field. It also reassures me that the industry will continue to provide viable careers and produce future generations of information professionals of the highest quality.
For many people this is the best career in the world and Mary Ellen is showing you, step by step how to be successful at it.
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