Q. Why isn't the most recent issue of this journal available?


Sometimes e-journals have an embargo period. An embargo period is a period during which access to the online full-text of the journal is not allowed due to publisher restrictions.  This is a common (and frustrating) practice in academic publishing; it is done to encourage libraries to continue purchasing the most recent copies of journals in print or online for an additional fee.  

Embargo periods vary depending on the publisher of the journal: it could be firm dates (1984-2005, for example) or it could mean the most recent 6 months, 1 year, 18 months (etc) will be unavailable.  Sometimes a moving wall is established; this is the time between the last issue of the journal available full-text in an online database and the most recently published print journal issue. JSTOR, for example, has a 5 year moving wall, so the most recent 5 years of most journals in the database will not be available full-text.

If you find an article that you want but is not available due to an embargo period, these are your options:

  • See if the article is available elsewhere online. Sometimes publishers offer a preview of the most recent journal or give selective access to articles. It's worth checking into!
  • Consider finding another article. Most databases give you a "find similar articles" search option - see if you can find something else that will work and is immediately accessible.
  • If you want to continue to seek this particular article and have time to wait for library staff to find it for you, fill out an interlibrary request form




  • Last Updated Aug 14, 2018
  • Views 27
  • Answered By Lisa Crumit-Hancock

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