If I am not wrong, turbo codes was submitted to the ICC conference and rejected but accepted later on.
I want to know if there are other similar works (strong works) that were rejected at first but then accepted and considered revolutionary.
Higgs's 1964 paper on the Higgs mechanism was rejected by Physics Letters (where his preliminary paper on the subject was published).
He was told that it was not suitable for rapid publication and that he should send it to another journal. However, he reportedly heard that the paper had been rejected because the editors felt that "it was of no obvious relevance to physics."
Apparently, Higgs acknowledged that the paper "had been short on sales talk," and after adding a couple of paragraphs it was accepted by Physical Review Letters.
Here is an early example of manuscript rejection, from 1842: Mayer came up with the theory of conservation of energy, and wrote an article explaining his idea that "energy is neither created nor destroyed." It was rejected by the leading physics journal of the time, ended up in an obscure chemistry journal, and was mostly ignored by physicists. When the physicists of the time rallied around Joule, who described conservation of energy later in the 1840s, Mayer suffered a mental breakdown. Towards the end of his life, he was finally given credit as a father of thermodynamics.
Nature declined to accept Krebs's paper on the "Krebs cycle" in 1937. The work later won a Nobel Prize. The letter from the editor regretfully informs Mr. Krebs that the editor already has "sufficient letters" for the next 7-8 weeks.
The seminal paper on quantum cryptography, Wiesner's “Conjugate Coding,” was rejected by the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. (A surviving copy of the original typewritten manuscript says "Submitted to IEEE, Information Theory" on it.) It was published about a decade later.
In the same subfield, the original manuscript by Bennet, Brassard and Breidbart that introduced quantum key-recycle scheme (QKRS) was rejected several times by major CS conferences including STOC, and was never successfully published.
Ernst's work on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which won the 1991 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was rejected not once, but twice, by the Journal of Chemical Physics.
Binning and Rohrer's report on their first experiments in scanning tunneling microscopy, which earned them a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986, was initially rejected on the grounds that it was "not interesting enough."
These are just a few examples. Many more have been compiled in various publications:
It is published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.
Full citations, for posterity's sake:
Campanario, J. M. and Acedo, E. (2007), Rejecting highly cited papers: The views of scientists who encounter resistance to their discoveries from other scientists. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 58: 734–743. doi: 10.1002/asi.20556
Campanario, J. M. (1996), Have referees rejected some of the most-cited articles of all times?. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 47: 302–310. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(199604)47:4<302::AID-ASI6>3.0.CO;2-0