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This article reviews the history of open access (OA) policies and examines the current status of mandate policy implementations. It finds that hundreds of policies have been proposed and adopted at various organizational levels and many of them have shown a positive effect on the rate of repository content accumulation. However, it also detects policies showing little or no visible impact on repository development, and attempts to analyze the effects of different types of policies, with varied levels of success. It concludes that an open access mandate policy, by itself, will not change existing practices of scholarly self-archiving.