For a manuscript we were having under review, a new reviewer was invited in the second round because another reviewer dropped out.
The new reviewer proposed some new changes, including ones regarding writing style rather than science. For example, they suggested that hypotheses development should happen in the literature review or separate sections. We gave our reasons and cited some articles that review literature and discuss the hypothesis in the same section. The reviewer didn’t agree and for the third revision, they only had this concern. We still didn’t want to make these changes, as that we felt we would have to rewrite the paper. More important, the suggestions had too much personal perspectives inside. So we argued with more evidence. It was all about writing style instead of science.
We submitted a third revision. Note that the other reviewers recommended accepting the paper at this point.
We also wrote an email to the editor in chief as we don’t know who the associate editor was. The editor in chief said she will review everything, and make a decision. But just today, we got email saying the article was rejected and it just said, that the reviewers only provide private comments to editor and against accepting. I just feel so upset with the editor.
Shall I appeal or move on to the next journal?