In a report, there is this sentence: "we question the rationale behind ABCDEF..."
Questioning something means to have doubts about it. Cambridge defines it as "to express doubts about the value or truth of something".
Two other phrases often used to express the same idea (i.e., to question something) are expressed doubts or raised doubts. Google returns about 110 real entries with "authors express doubts" or "authors raise doubts"; around the same number for any combination of those (e.g., authors have expressed doubts).
My sentence looks like this:
The authors express/raise serious doubts about the general validity and appropriateness of ABCDEF ...
My problem is I don't see how "express" (to convey or suggest or say or show) is equivalent to "raise". I have a feeling that a situation can raise doubts, as opposed to people (authors in my case). Or, person A can raise doubts about something in the mind of person B.
Example: But defense lawyers are paid to raise doubts. The New York Times.
In my case, the authors themselves doubt the validity of the issue or question the rationale. I feel that "express" is more suitable here, but then I am told they both work equally well.
Which is the appropriate word that fits the phrase in my case?