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I am aware of solutions that use "can" or "will" to circumvent the issue, but I really want to know the answer. In the sentence below, "efficacy" is what I want to center on. It is what "that" describes. However, the word "that" immediately follows "gamification mechanics", which got me confused.

Cross-platform comparison of multiple pro-green programs will be a valuable addition to the literature because it helps researchers measure the efficacy of gamification mechanics that is/are particularly robust in some situations but not others.

If you have better ways to rewrite the sentence without contorting or undermining the message, please share.

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  • If you are referring to the efficacy of all gamification mechanics (rather than just those that are particularly robust....... etc), replace that with which, preceded by a comma. (See non defining relative clauses) Prefer is after which. Dec 20 '20 at 0:29
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Possibly - by simplifying the sentence and omitting the reference to literature, while also clarifying that you are talking about the efficacy:

Cross-platform comparison of multiple pro-green programs will afford valuable assistance to researchers in measuring the efficacy of gamification mechanics, a feature that is particulary robust in certain situations.

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  • Ronald: The way you did it definitely flows better than mine. Thank you for that. What if I want to keep the reference to literature?
    – Guest 1
    Dec 20 '20 at 1:39
  • Then you have to weigh up the added complexity of lengthening the sentence against the benefit. Alternatively, you might delete the first valuable and add :**.....in certain situations, representing a valuable addition to the literature. Dec 20 '20 at 14:20
  • Super! Thanks again.
    – Guest 1
    Dec 21 '20 at 4:08

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