A peer reviewer of my manuscript from an International Journal, in his suggested corrections, wrote: Pleas find a a different way to say "Some successful experiments on propagating.... " in this sentence:

Some successful experiments on propagating ornamental plants have been conducted where peat was effectively replaced by biochar as the growing media.

Could you please share with me your ideas?

Thank you

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  • a nit-picking reviewer! May he does not like propagating. – lbf Jun 14 '18 at 22:50
  • Hard to say without knowing why the reviewer didn't like the phrase. Did you use it repeatedly? What's the purpose and context of the overall sentence (i.e., what are you trying to say with this reference to replacing peat with biochar)? – De Novo supports GoFundMonica Jun 15 '18 at 1:20

We have conducted experiments using biochar as the growing medium instead of peat. In these we were able to successfully propagate ornamental plants.

You would need to add more detail about the kind of success, but I wonder whether that was the point your reviewer didn't like: that you were too vague with some success. I have also transformed the sentence into the active voice; some reviewers won't like that, as it it supposedly against the impersonal academic style. But it was you who conducted the experiments (I assume), so why make it harder to read by using the passive voice?

  • Thank you. I think he asked me to rephrase it because a similar sentence already was writing above in the manuscript – Jose M Alvarez de la Puente Jun 15 '18 at 18:01

Perhaps you could remove the first two words? "Experiments on propagating ornamental plants have been conducted where peat was effectively replaced by biochar as the growing media."


I agree with Robyn, removing the first two words makes sense.

Also, instead of using "have been" you could try rephrasing in the active voice

Experiments on propagating ornamental plants with biochar effectively replacing peat as growing media.

  • Is that even a sentence?   What’s the main verb? – Scott Jun 15 '18 at 2:03

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