Answered By: Librarian at Main Library
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2024     Views: 8

If you run across the term "embargo" or "moving wall" while looking for resources in our online databases, you are encountering a restriction from the content provider (database) that keeps the most current issues of a publication locked down with no access for a set number of months or years. The popular database, JSTOR, has most of its content under an embargo period (link for people with HawkID only). So, if you are looking for a current, up-to-date take on your topic, try searching another database.

This is done for a few reasons, but it is primarily a way for journals to keep subscribers to their publication's current content (as opposed to getting access through a database that aggregates lots of publications in one place).

What should you do if you encounter an embargo?

  • The first, best choice is to use another library database to access the current content. Not sure how to find one? Look up the journal in the e-journal tool (or in InfoHawk+) to see where to get access.

  • If that isn't an option, our Interlibrary Loan service can be used to request the material you need from a library that subscribes to the current content. Usually requests are filled within 24-48 hours...sometimes sooner.

  • If you are desperate for it the information right now, you can usually pay out of pocket for the article at the publisher's website. Be warned, this will cost you upwards of $30 to $50. We'd love for you to save that money and let us track it down for you with Interlibrary Loan instead.