What is an embargo and what does it mean when a journal has one?
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2022     Views: 1

In academic publishing, an embargo means a journal publisher has restricted access to the full text of articles for the most recent issues for a certain period of time. Embargoes can be in effect anywhere from 6 to 24 months. During the embargo period, abstracts of the article are still available.

Here is an example of a journal with an embargo: 

When the library subscribes to an online version of a journal, it does not mean all print content is available. Publishers set embargoes to give access to customers of a journal’s print edition first and to encourage users to subscribe directly before they make content available online. The library does not have any influence over a journal’s embargo, and an embargo time period is generally based on usage patterns. 

An article that is under embargo will still show up in search results even if you can’t view the full text because it may still be possible to get the article through document delivery, where a copy can be purchased directly from the publisher. 

For additional information on requesting an article through document delivery, check out the Request a Specific Document page

One of the easiest ways to avoid embargoed articles while searching is to ensure the full-text checkbox is checked when you are searching within a database. Look for a box on either the search page or the results page that reads Full Text. Checking this box will limit your search results to only include articles available in full text and filter out embargoed articles that only have abstracts available. 

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