For research articles of any type, authors are recommended to look at the EQUATOR network

Seems to me authors don't get recommended. Should be "we recommend that authors..." or "authors should...."

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Feb 2 at 14:33

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This form is called the passive voice.

In the active voice we write:

we recommend that authors check the EQUATOR network.

Converted to the passive it becomes

Authors are recommended to check the EQUATOR network

  • Good to know. I'm editing work of non-native speaker and thought it was wrong. Thanks – JuanTamad Feb 2 at 3:40
  • Typically, the subject of a passive-voice construction corresponds to the object of an active-voice construction. But "authors" is not an object in "We recommend that authors check the EQUATOR network." "Authors are recommended to check the EQUATOR network" seems like it should correspond to the active-voice sentence "We recommend authors to check the EQUATOR network" – sumelic Feb 2 at 8:08
  • 1
    @sumelic Good point. The passive of the mooted active should be “It is recommended that ...”, or more traditionally, “Authors checking the ... network is recommended”, though that’s starting to get unwieldy. – Lawrence Feb 2 at 8:42

transitive of recommend OED

b. To advise (a person) to do a thing. Occasionally without infinitive: to direct to something.

As in:

2000 Daily Tel. 21 July 9/1 People taking the drug are recommended to stop and to see their doctors to discuss alternative treatment.

  • @KannE one can view links ... but cannot navigate the dictionary without subscription. tks – lbf Feb 2 at 4:07

I see a subtle difference in meaning between the two sentences (given and proposed).

[A]uthors are recommended to look at the EQUATOR network.

Meaning (1.2): Authors are advised to do something ('look at' the EQUATOR network.)

Recommend (less common meaning per ODO, entry 1.2):

Advise (someone) to do something.

‘you are strongly recommended to seek professional advice’

(There are many more example sentences to view below the entries.)

[W]e recommend that authors [search] the EQUATOR network.

Meaning (1.1): We recommend something (that authors search the EQUATOR network).

Recommend (more common meaning per ODO, entry 1.1):

Advise or suggest (something) as a course of action.

‘some doctors recommend putting a board under the mattress’

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