. . will be published elsewhere.”
This paper is short because it was intended only to announce Watson and
Crick’s discovery, and because they were in a competitive situation.
In January 1954, they published the "full details" of their
work in Proceedings of the Royal Society. This "expound
later" approach was common in science in the 1950s. In fact, Rosalind
Franklin did the same thing, supplementing her short April 25 paper with
two longer articles.
Journals today offer scientists a greater variety of publishing formats
than journals in the 1950s. Nature now has more than five different
options, most of which are subjected to a rigorous evaluation known as
peer review. Since Watson and Crick largely presented a hypothesis instead
of new data in this paper, Nature would likely have published
it today as an "Analysis" paper—one of the journal’s
shorter peer-reviewed formats. This paper was not peer-reviewed—Nature
had no formal review process in the 1950s—but it would have been
peer-reviewed if submitted today.
For many decades, conferences have also been an important forum for researchers
to present their work. Watson reported his and Crick’s results at
the prestigious annual symposium at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in June
1953. Meetings continue
to be a significant part of the culture of science at Cold Spring Harbor.