- Handbooks can represent a significant benefit to scholars around the world with limited or no access to commercial publishers' book products, since they summarize current research in a compact and organized fashion.
- Commercial publishers in our field are producing many more handbooks than in the past, since they represent a significant profit opportunity. Many linguist-hours are being poured into these volumes, but their focus and direction is being at least partly driven by publishers' goals, rather than by the field's needs.
- Open exchange of ideas is essential to the advancement of science, and open access to our research products is therefore a key priority for our field, as for all scientific work.
Note: Our initial group consists of volunteers we reached initially on social media, which is very limited in its reach. Interested colleagues who are learning of this initiative for the first time via this announcement are MORE than welcome to write to me to volunteer. The only constraint is that volunteers should have the rank of Professor, at this initial stage of development.
Sarah Thomason, University of Michigan
Alan Yu, University of Chicago