A 27-year-old letter reveals the research done by Sir Peter Ratcliffes, was rejected for journal publication in 1992. On October 7th, Sir Peter Ratcliffes received Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019 by Royal Society along with Professor William Kaelin Jr. and Professor Gregg Semenza. The honour is due to their outstanding contribution to “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.”
As per news report on August 5, 1992, Nature editor, Dr Rory Howlett, stating the journal decision to not publish the study with comments from reviewers. That said, “Given the discrepancy mentioned by reviewer 1, we have sadly concluded, on balance, that your paper would be better placed in a more specialised journal, particularly given the competition for space.”
Back then, reviewers were not able to conclude the study and understand the mechanism of genetic response to hypoxia. Due to which the study was considered as unfit for publication and something beyond their understanding.
With respect to that Nature, in its congratulatory announcement said, “Over the years, the pioneering research helped pave the way towards a plethora of medications that target this pathway.”
Peter Higgs founder of Higgs model faced a similar situation but won the Nobel Prize in 2013. His short paper was rejected by the journal Physics Letters in 1964