Wednesday, March 14, 2012

California Breast Cancer Research Fund Tax Checkoff; wondering about Open Access policies

Just got this email below about what seems to be a worth cause:
March 8, 2012 
Dear UC Colleagues, Throughout California and UC, researchers are developing new approaches to prevent, treat and cure cancer. I am writing you to share important information with those of you who will soon file your California state tax return. At the end of California Tax form 540, there is a section in which you can donate to two highly regarded cancer research programs that are administered by the UC Office of the President.

If you go to line 405, you can contribute to the California Breast Cancer Research Fund and if you go to line 413, you can contribute to the California Cancer Research Fund.

No contribution is too small, and 95 percent of contributions to these two programs via this tax check-off go directly to cancer research or community-based education.

Donations from line 405 go to our California Breast Cancer Research Program, which is renowned not only for its cutting-edge research, but also for working with community advocates and health care providers in targeting the issues and needs of patients and families, especially the underserved.

In recent years, donations from line 405 have supported critical research including: identifying environmental factors that potentially cause breast cancer; developing targeted therapies to block breast cancer from spreading to other organs; and improving support networks to empower patients as they maneuver the health care system. See this website for more information:

Donations to line 413 go to the California Cancer Research Fund, which is helping to provide prevention and awareness programs in communities disproportionately affected by cancer. One major ongoing project is increasing the understanding of the impact of tobacco use and cancer on vulnerable populations. This research could lead to reduced smoking, increased cancer awareness and strengthened prevention programs.

I wanted to be sure you were aware of this means of investing in research that can serve all Californians and our communities.


Lawrence Pitts, M.D. Provost and Executive Vice President University of California, Office of the President

However, I wonder about the open access requirements of the fund. I sniffer around at their web site and could not find anything about guaranteeing access to the results of the work supported by this fund. That is too bad - this seems to be a great case where openness could be both a good thing and a useful marketing tool (to get people to chip in money from their taxes).

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