The behavior of researchers when selfâ€“archiving in an institutional repository has not been previously analyzed. This paper uses available information for three repositories analyzing when researchers (as authors) deposit their research articles. The three repositories have variants of a mandatory deposit policy.
It is shown that it takes several years for a mandatory policy to be institutionalized and routinized, but that once it has been the deposit of articles takes place in a remarkably short time after publication, or in some cases even before. Authors overwhelmingly deposit well before six months after publication date. The OA mantra of 'deposit now, set open access when feasible' is shown to be not only reasonable, but fitting what researchers actually do.