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In an academic paper, when I refer to an article by author's name and publication year, then use a relative pronoun, should I use 'who' or 'which?'

For example,

We referred to the method proposed by Smith and Johnson (2004) who suggested blah-blah.

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    I'd use who, but probably this question is a better fit for ELU.SE. – Massimo Ortolano Dec 22 '15 at 23:26
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    I think it is appropriate for Academia.SE because it involves a very specific feature of language rarely if ever seen outside of academic writing. – Corvus Dec 23 '15 at 4:21
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This depends entirely on the subject of your subordinate (relative) clause.

If the authors are the subjects of the subordinate clause, use who. E.g.

Many postmodernists reacted angrily to the stunt pulled by Sokal (1996), who they felt had acted unethically in an effort to discredit their field.

If the paper or text is the subject of the subordinate clause, use which. E.g.

If you want to improve your mathematical writing, I recommend carefully examining Halmos (1974) which as a text manages the difficult feat of combining scrupulous rigorous with broad accessibility.

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In your example, you'll need who, as you wrote:

We referred to the method proposed by Smith and Johnson (2004) who suggested blah-blah.

Here's an example with which:

We compared our results with those of the method proposed by Smith and Johnson (2004), which is similar to our method except in how xxx is handled.

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    In your second example, note that the subject of the subordinate clause is actually "method" not "Smith and Johnson (2004)" -- though still a correct answer to the question because I realize the OP specified only the word order not role. – Corvus Dec 23 '15 at 4:15
  • @Corvus - Yes. I wanted to show the OP how it works, with a couple of simple examples. But perhaps the OP will want the full grammatical explanation. I suppose everyone learns differently. – aparente001 Dec 23 '15 at 4:18

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