I am a very objective person and I don't mind constructive criticism.
I have submitted a research paper to an IEEE journal with high reputation. The co-authors of this paper have broad experience in this field with hundreds of peer-reviewed publications. Hence, the paper is of good quality.
I provided the implementation along with full theoretical and experimental analysis of the proposed novel algorithm, so they can replicate the results and make sure that we are genuine.
The reviews were as follows:
- Reviewer 1: Very positive feedback, highly appreciated the work, its novelty and quality.
- Reviewer 2: Wasn't very clear for them about the contribution of this work with respect to this journal. With some very few minor feedback.
- Reviewer 3: Same as Reviewer 2.
The Associate Editor decision was: Two of the reviewers think the contributions of the proposed method are not clear ---> Reject!
This is not the first time I submit a paper and reflect upon the feedback. I already have accepted paper in high reputation IEEE journals.
The decision was as a shock to me!
I've seen worse reviews/feedback, yet the Associate Editor usually goes with a Minor or Major Revision.
I truly believe that we deserve another chance to make the contribution "clearer" as much as they want.
Is this normal? Should I appeal to the decision? Should I go to another journal since I didn't get a real feedback to improve the paper, and most likely the other two reviewers were too lazy or lack of required knowledge to evaluate the paper?
Your advice is very much appreciated.