Having read in a German textbook that this word-order (SOMETHING - VERB - SUBJECT) is impossible in English, I immediately suspected that this wasn't the case. Since then I've noticed that it actually crops up quite a lot, e.g.:
"On the front lawn grazed several cows."
"In the villages all around lived many poor black workers."
"The city is flanked by imposing craggy cliffs from where looms the granite-clad facade of a five-star hotel."
All these examples were taken from recent newspaper articles. They sound perfectly natural to me, although this word order is clearly optional and is much less common than it is in German. It's easy to do a thought-experiment and realise that in many examples it would just sound plain weird, although it's difficult to identify why it sounds natural in some sentences and not others.
I think Jocap's example ("Wrote the researchers...") sounds noticably more formal because the sentence is simply (VERB - SUBJECT) rather than (SOMETHING - VERB - SUBJECT).