I submitted a manuscript to an Elsevier journal. I was given a major revision after a two-month review period. The comments from the two reviewers are positive and constructive. It took me a month to carefully revise the manuscript, but yesterday, my manucript was given the final decision "reject and resubmit".
The editor told me that reviewer #1 declined to review this time, so they assigned a third reviewer. While Reviewer #2 was satisfied with our revision, Reviewer #3 addressed many weird readability problems and was against publication. Since the journal only allows one major revision, my manuscript was given the R&R decision.
I strongly disagree with ALL comments from reviewer #3 because if I follow their suggestions in "increasing" the readability, my paper will become lengthy, redundant and less understandable to me. However, if I decline to address their comments, my manuscript will remain almost unchanged, because Reviewer #2 only gives very minor comments. In this case, what should I do if I still want my manuscript to be published in the same journal?
Is is possible for me to contest the "reject and resubmission" decision, or request the editor to re-invite Reviewer #1 for another round of review? I just really do not understand why they were positive to my manuscript but refused to review after revision.
Is it possible for me to resubmit a minor-revised manuscript with a rebuttal letter which declines almost ALL comments from Reviewer #3?
If 2 is possible and the manuscript is sent to Reviewer #3, they will highly likely reject it again. Hence, is it possible to oppose reviewer #3 for reviewing upon resubmission? (The journal allows authors to oppose specific reviewers, but obviously I cannot identify reviewer #3 simply because the reviewing process is single-blinded).
If all above are impossible, I would like to resubmit my manuscript to another journal with lower level.