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The Reject Pile

The paper that launched proteomics almost never made it into print.

University of California, San Francisco professor Patrick O'Farrell's groundbreaking 1975 Journal of Biological Chemistry paper on using 2D electrophoresis to resolve the proteome of a bacterial cell was initially rejected by two reviewers, notes Fred Neidhardt, in a story detailing the origins of proteomics republished this week on the American Society for Microbiology's Small Things Considered blog.

These rejections were eventually overruled by the journal's editorial board, Neidhardt writes. Given that it essentially kick-started proteomics research and has since gone on to garner more than 16,000 citations, we'd say they probably made the right call.