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Can answers on eNotes be classified as "scholarly sources?"   Can eNotes answers be classified as "scholarly sources?"

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Post 6 is correct. I would mark down any student who cited eNotes as a reference. Contra Scott's position, peer reviewing in journals is normally done by experts with PhDs and significant scholarly publications in a field. Answers here are often produced and evaluated by people who may have pedagogical but not subject matter expertise.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

I would not call the answers peer-reviewed in the traditional sense, but I do think that if an answer is wrong it is likely to be corrected.  The one answer policy probably does inhibit this to a certain extent.  There should be a one CORRECT answer policy!

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

I probably wouldn't allow students to cite enotes as a scholarly source.  For me it's the difference between expert (as mentioned above) and scholarly which would keep me from letting students use this as a research source.  This is an effective, helpful and generally reliable resource, which is different than a source in scholarly research.  I know that reflects on me and others who regularly contribute to enotes; however, I mean no disrespect.  This is the best resource for literary discussion and analysis; it is not, though, a scholarly research source.

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kiwi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write1,176 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

 I would want to consider each reference on its particular merit within the context of the work cited. If an answer from e-notes or study guide reference was cited at high school level, I would consider that the student able to consider using critical sources deserved to be allowed to cite e-notes. At a higher level, I would hope that students were using a range of sources and would use the assistance found at e-notes to facilitate further personal and critical evaluation. As has been said, e-notes probably needs time to gain acceptance as an accepted literary source.

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Good question! I share my colleagues concerns about how we define scholarly. In a sense, the main users of enotes I am guessing are going to be high school students. I certainly feel qualified to give answers based on my professional experience as a teacher and of what I expect from my students; however, I would hesitate to label my responses as "scholarly," which to me indicates that the person giving the answer has studied that particular text or author or subject at a very high level--normally PhD.

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clairewait eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,328 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Science

I have come to appreciate the contributors on eNotes as experts in the field of teaching.  I think without a doubt, the majority of the editors on this site take the profession very seriously - and consider more than just our initial reaction or first thoughts when approaching questions.

That said, I'm not sure that as a teacher I would allow students to use eNotes as a source for a research paper.  I've had students attempt to quote me (from informal interviews) in their senior graduation project papers.  My direct response was, "You can't use THAT!  What do I know?!  I'm just a teacher!"  (Hah.)  I guess my thought from a requirement perspective, is that the line is blurry when it comes to internet sources.  But then again, I don't allow interviews as sources either, for the same reason.

If your question is concerning direct quotes from eNotes - I might consider this a secondary source.  While many of us could certainly be considered "experts" most of us haven't worked extensively in the area of research and publication.  That is usually my line when requiring "scholarly sources" for research papers.  It would also depend on the topic of the paper and the way this information was presented.

I have a feeling this line will only become more blurry with the advancement of communication and technology.  Definitely check with your teacher on this one.

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crmhaske eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write434 answers

starTop subjects are Math, Science, and Literature

The editors on this site are put through quite a thorough review before they are able to answer questions for students and teachers alike. While some editors are arguably more professional in their answers and their discussion posts than others, in general, the responses the asker receives are from professionals in the field, and therefore can be considered "scholarly".  If the...

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amy-lepore eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Scott Locklear eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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crmhaske eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Scott Locklear eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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kapokkid eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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