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I wrote the following sentence:

Bringing an article from draft to polished publication on a scientific journal requires to go through a process called "peer reviewing".

My questions are:

  • Is it actually an infinitive form?
  • Is this form stylistically readable and acceptable for medium-high level writing?
  • How would you rework the phrase to express the same concept in a stylistically more appropriate form?
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Bringing an article from a draft to a polished publication for a scientific journal requires going through a process called "peer reviewing". – Orbling Mar 11 '11 at 0:07
@Jimi : thanks. Initially I wrote "a gerund". – Stefano Borini Mar 11 '11 at 0:12
@Orbling: surely that should be an answer? I’d +1 it if it were :-P – PLL Mar 11 '11 at 0:25
@PLL: It's just a correct form of the sentence, as opposed to answering all the grammatical questions. I tend to err on the side of comment rather than answer on SE. – Orbling Mar 11 '11 at 0:28
I think it sounds better to call the process "peer review". – Henry Mar 11 '11 at 0:43

There are several issues.

Firstly, some simple ones: it should be publication in a journal, not on; and the process as a whole is usually called peer review, not peer reviewing. [Edit: a third "correction" removed after Colin Fine convinced me it's not needed.]

Secondly, the form …requires to go through… is incorrect. Requires is never followed by just an infinitive in English — it can be followed by either a gerund (the necessary action), or a noun phrase plus an infinitive (the person/thing who has to do the action, plus the action):

Joining the army requires passing a physical exam.

Joining the army requires you to pass a physical exam.

Thirdly, as Adam points out, there’s a slight clash in your sentence between the verbs bringing (whose subject is the author) and go through (whose subject is the paper itself). Given the form of the sentence — the verbs aren’t literally parallel — this isn’t quite a matter of grammar (to my ear) so much as of meaning. Something like

Bringing an article from draft to polished publication in a scientific journal requires it to go through a process called “peer review”.

is grammatically quite correct, parallel to eg:

Sending your daughter into the army requires her to pass a physical exam.

But it’s a slightly awkward phrasing, making a shift in agent that really isn’t necessary. So in the end I’d suggest something like:

Bringing an article from draft to polished publication in a scientific journal requires putting it through a process called “peer review”.

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A good answer, but a couple of quibbles: first, I find "from draft to polished publication" quite acceptable. I'm still thinking about what licences this omission of articles. Secondly, while intransitive "requires" cannot take an infinitive, transitive "requires" (whether active or passive) does take one: "They required him to pass..."; "he was required to pass ... " – Colin Fine Mar 11 '11 at 16:01
I've thought a bit more about that "from draft". I find that "from X to Y" is generally acceptable without articles (in all senses of "from") as long as X and Y are not specific. – Colin Fine Mar 11 '11 at 16:35
@Colin Fine: fair point about the "from draft" - on reflection, I agree. Will edit that bit. About the "requires", that's exactly what I was trying to get across, with the two "Joining the army..." examples: it can indeed take an infinitive, just not an infinitive alone, i.e. not in the intransitive form. – PLL Mar 11 '11 at 17:31

As is, I don't think that your sentence is acceptable. If you are going to start with an active word like 'bringing', you should have the agent that is doing the bringing somewhere:

Bringing an article from draft to polished publication in a scientific journal requires that the author subject it to a process called "peer reviewing."

I think that I would leave off the word bringing and choose a wording more like this:

For an article to go from draft to polished publication in a scientific journal, it must go through a process called "peer reviewing."

Or even better:

For an article to go from draft to polished publication in a scientific journal, it must go through "peer review."

To answer your other questions:

  • It is not really possible to say what 'to go' is here, but it is not used correctly in any sense. Your sentence's subject is the gerund 'bringing,' and the verb is 'requires,' but 'to go through...' is not a workable direct object.
  • I believe that it is not stylistically or grammatically acceptable
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I disagree - why does using bringing at the start require mention of the agent? The sentence (at least, the versions as reworked by Orbling/PLL) quite clearly expresses that the one action requires the other, whoever wants to do it. (Which is better, "Winning requires perseverance", or "Winning requires that the person desiring to win persevere"? :-) – psmears Mar 11 '11 at 11:41

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