What does 'embargo' mean on a journal title?

Found a link to access a journal on the A-Z of Electronic Journals only to discover that you cannot access the most recent issues and wondered why?

This is usually because the publisher allows free access to older articles but has a restriction on recent articles – this restriction is called an 'embargo period' - the publisher allows free access to articles older than three, six, nine or twelve months etc. but no access to the most recent content.

It is important to read the availability dates that appear in small print next to the link to a title in order to know if a title has an embargo period.

For example (from our A-Z List of Electronic Journals) – the journal ‘Hand’ is available from three providers from 2006 to present, but includes a one year embargo, meaning the most recent 12 months of issues are not available (image below).

We hope this helps, if you have any questions about this, or accessing e-journals in general, please contact us.

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