Charging $50 to submit a manuscript.
This is another baffling move from a journal that was already heading in the wrong direction for three reasons:
(i) Editorials are all over the place. See a recent letter in response to one from last year.
(ii) The editor-in-chief is not an editor. They don't handle manuscripts or communicate with reviewers. Many reviews are definitely not worth $50 (good, bad or neutral)!
(iii) An increasing number of papers have obvious issues with basic reporting, which the journal clearly doesn't care about.
In some areas of finance and accounting, it is common to have submission fees, which are sometimes refunded following acceptance. However, this is not the norm for psychology (nor should it be).
It looks like the publisher has implemented this on the quiet (kudos to Lee Hadlington for noticing) and is presumably an attempt to handle submission loads.
The number of submissions shouldn't come as a huge surprise.
First, cyberpsychology is a growth area and this is a positive sign. Second, but more troubling, is that there is literally nothing of note on what the journal wants or doesn't want. This will lead to a large number of manuscripts being submitted that are not in line with the scope or aims of the journal.
But there is no vision because there is no editor.
At the same time, non-transparent decision making alongside poor communication with reviewers and authors has become a growing problem for both this journal and related publications. This simply serves to alienate everyone who gives the journal a reason to exist in the first place. Exasperated reviewers will refuse to give their time for free and so manuscripts move even more slowly through the system.
It's a vicious cycle.
I wonder if members of the editorial board were consulted about these changes? Assuming they weren't, I would urge them to consider their position carefully.
Personally, for me this is the final straw. I will no longer be reviewing manuscripts or submitting work to the journal.
There are a growing number of excellent alternatives.
At least three members of the editorial board have now resigned in protest.