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I know that I can say like this:

"Dr. Thomson paid them a visit."

Is this sentence correct:

The author tries to elucidate, in his book, what Dr. Thomson saw and did not see during the visits he paid to them (a group of experimenters).

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    I would say, "to" is not necessary, but not wrong, either. – Teacher KSHuang Apr 18 '17 at 8:50
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    "Visits he paid to them" may be grammatically correct, but it isn't typical usage. I couldn't figure out the title until I saw your example within the question (and then it made sense). A more natural way to phrase it would be "...during his visits with them." – fixer1234 Apr 18 '17 at 9:12
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    I'm missing what you see as a potential issue. Can you be more explicit? – fixer1234 Apr 18 '17 at 19:28
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    Ah, now I see. "Visits to them" is unambiguous--he went to them and there is no mention of 3rd parties who might have accompanied him. "Visits with them" could mean either that or they accompanied him while he visited a 3rd party. The surrounding text would provide context, but you're right, "his visits to them" would be better. The original wording with "paid" is unnatural and confusing because "paid" also means to give money or value in exchange. – fixer1234 Apr 20 '17 at 16:06
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    @Simplex11, BTW, if you "address" comments to a user with "@", like I did here, the user will get an alert to your post. Otherwise, they will only be aware of it if they stumble across it. The author of a question or answer is automatically alerted to any comment, but commenters are alerted only if they are the only person who has commented. – fixer1234 Apr 20 '17 at 16:06
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The sentence is grammatically correct, and would sound perfectly natural, but if the visits have been discussed earlier, it might be better to write:

In his book, the author tries to elucidate what Dr. Thomson saw and did not see during his visits.

(I moved the prepositional phrase to the beginning; I think it sounded better there. Also, you have two "he"s in the sentence, the author and Dr. Thomson. You might want to recast the sentence to avoid that.)

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