Nature and the University of California are in a negotiation that at the moment looks more like a game of chicken. Norman Oder has a very interesting post about it at Library Journal. “UC says it currently pays $4,465 per NPG [Nature Publishing Group] journal, while the proposed cost for 2011 is $17,479. Nature responds that the proposed cost per download represents a very good value.” Nature contends that the current pricing represents and overly-generous discount. Further, Nature points to a per-download cost of $0.56 under the new prices. Keith Yamamoto, a professor and executive vice dean at the University of California San Francisco, is threatening to organize a UC boycott of Nature titles.

It’s all very complex and I don’t claim to understand it. But it is yet one more indication that this system is very broken.