Our manuscript faced rejection after two rounds of review, despite receiving favorable recommendations from three out of four reviewers. Initially, one reviewer endorsed our work for publication, and after the first round of review, a second reviewer joined in their support. Following the second review round, a third reviewer not only recommended publication but also praised our efforts.
However, the fourth reviewer, who consistently recommended rejection throughout the process, exhibited self-contradiction in each round of review. This reviewer presented entirely unscientific arguments, such as personal experiences, which were not only weak but also incorrect. We addressed and refuted each of the reviewer's points using our data and supplementary scientific literature, yet the editor ultimately decided to reject our paper.
In my perspective, the review process was undemocratic, opaque, and unscientific. We sought clarification from the editor regarding the decision to reject our work despite the favorable recommendations of three out of four reviewers, but we received no response. Interestingly, the journal's editors have recently published articles similar to our own. While I hesitate to directly suggest a bias, it is challenging not to entertain such an assumption in the face of an evidently undemocratic and unscientific procedure.