"Jason, please call me as soon as you can. It's about our article..."
"We really need to talk about our article..."
The first thought that went through my mind was that we're going to need to do more revisions. Our nearly 30-page, 600-pound gorilla of a white paper is probably the most complex scholarly project I've ever helped complete. More than a year's worth of research and investigation.
We spent three days huddled in front of her fiance's laptop last year, arguing, writing, arguing about writing, and beating the hell out of a complex topic in a St. Louis coffee shop to get the preliminary draft completed. Then two months of internal revision, editing, and local peer reviews.
We finally submitted the article to an information science journal last September. The editor was on sabbatical and somehow our e-submission was lost. We finally heard back earlier this year. We were asked to formally resubmit with only four changes.
After turning down an offer to - sigh - entertain the idea of being the first librarian to cross into that "scholarly" erotic cinema in December, my collaborator and I finally sat down for 16 hours over the MLK holiday - right after my fling. Working through my illness/post-fling high and her grief over a recent death, we revised the entire article using via IM software.
I'm pretty sure our article is one of the first in the U.S. that advocates adopting open-source, non-proprietary ICT in Least Developed Nations that was composed almost entirely in OpenOffice, delivered toin-boxess via Mozilla Thunderbird, and utilizing public WiFi and FireFox to access the web during the research process.
Maybe its just me, but I think my collaborator and I need to gloat about the fact that we wrote an entire scholarly piece practicing what we're preaching.
We finished and resubmitted. My partner heard back last week.
After completely scaring the shit out of me yesterday (she had left the intentionally misleading voicemails to trick me into believing we were going to suffer through another round of revisions), I almost had a heart attack when she finally informed me that our gorilla is now formally accepted and will be published shortly.
Hot damn. I'm gonna be a published scholar.
To my lovely friend and fellow researcher - who, I might add, is the sexiest information science scholar in the world, will one day be the spouse of one of the smartest Habesha men in the world, and will one day produce the most beautiful, intelligent children the world has ever known... thanks for putting up with my bullshit and pushing me to push myself.
You bring the injera. I'll bring the wine. It's time to celebrate!
I really wish I could republish the article, but, well, then I'd be opening myself up to a whole world's worth of trouble in terms of privacy, first-use copyright, and several scholarly faux-pas. But here's an excerpt from an early draft (left in its unedited format):
...There must be a push towards integrating [Sub-Saharan Africa's poorest nations] into the Information Age, as opposed to simply adapting Western technologies for the developing world's needs. The possibility of Western dominance over information infrastructure and local culture and custom provides numerous opportunities for [information and communication technologies] access and availability, but also raises concerns about the possibility of creating a colonial environment driven by [information and communication technologies] ...
And yes, that was written by an Ethiopian and an American, sitting in a coffee shop in downtown St. Louis on July 4, 2005.
Digital Divide, ICT, Information Poverty, Information Science, Least Developed Nations, Sub-Saharan Africa, Teledensity