What is the correct way of saying "decision has been made on a paper"?

I review papers submitted by officials. Is it OK to say it like this?

This paper has already been decision by Sam Rick.

I am looking for a formal way to convey this message.

  • Is Sam Rick the only person involved in making a decision regarding this paper? – tylerharms Dec 12 '12 at 18:52
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I'm not sure whether you want:

This paper has already been reviewed by Sam Rick.


A decision on this paper has already been made by Sam Rick.

  • Off topic (critique request). – MetaEd Dec 13 '12 at 1:39
  • Better to put the subject first... "Sam Rick already reviewed this paper." – kalu Mar 30 '17 at 19:53

Assuming OP's intended sense is that Sam Rick has already made the decision, it's theoretically possible to say...

This paper has already been decided upon by Sam Rick.

...but in practice we don't normally use that form. I think if it's important to emphasise that a decision was actually made (as opposed to simply saying Rick reviewed the paper), we'd say...

This paper has already been pronounced upon by Sam Rick. (or assessed, evaluated, etc.)


The "by Sam Rick" part makes every construction sound a little odd, like Sam Rick is speaking about himself in third person (probably not), or Sam Rick's assistant is writing his emails. Either way, I would put the sentence in active voice and say,

Sam Rick has already reached his decision on this paper.

  • 1
    I think the problem with your rephrasing is it casts Rick as the "primary" agent (it would be a slightly odd form to use if there were in fact dozens of other people who could have decided). OP's looking for a way to express the "state" of the paper, not how to say what some (possibly irrelevant) individual might have done. – FumbleFingers Dec 12 '12 at 18:50
  • @FumbleFingers: I think so, but then who is Sam Rick? Why not just say "A decision on this paper has already been reached." Passive with no subject makes the sentence about the state of the paper. – tylerharms Dec 12 '12 at 18:55
  • Well, yes - of course you can "airbrush out" Sam Rick by saying, for example, "A decision on this paper has already been reached". I guess I just meant that since OP's example sentence is of the form "This paper has already been [subjected to some process]", we should look for a form of words that keeps as much as possible of his original structure. But there's nothing inherently wrong with your suggestion, obviously - unlike the one I put up as a "theoretical possibility", yours is both "natural phrasing" and has the benefit of using a variant of OP's specific word decision. – FumbleFingers Dec 12 '12 at 21:53
  • ...but I don't see anything odd about mentioning Sam Rick in any of these formulations. Perhaps there are hundreds of reviewers, and OP just happens to know the name of the particular one of his "co-workers" who dealt with the paper. – FumbleFingers Dec 12 '12 at 21:56

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