So I've been writing [English] scientific articles for quite a while, but for years I've wondered what preposition is needed in the following sentence structure (just an example in my field of research, but it applies science-wide). I'm a non-native English speaker.
We measured speech understanding scores [preposition] cochlear implant users.
[preposition] options as far as I can see:
- in : is technically awkward, as speech understanding is tested by verbal testing and hence it's not an objective measure obtained within the body. However, it is commonly used in the scientific literature;
- of : sounds a bit weird, but technically it seems OK;
- from : also quite awkward, as it seems to imply something is taken from the study subjects;
- by : In a way this is a good choice, but requires a different sentence structure, like: 'We measured SRTs obtained by performing speech recognition....'. This is OK, but more words are needed and the 'active' format of the sentence is lost. I therefore do not support this option.