Have you ever been frustrated because you found a link in the Alphabetical List of Electronic Journals only to discover that you cannot access the most recent issues? Often this is because the publisher has put a restriction on access, called an “embargo period,” on the title which allows free access to articles older than three, six, nine or twelve months and sometimes even longer. The benefit to this is that we can offer access to titles for which we don’t have a subscription. The downside is that for some titles you cannot get to the most current issues.
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. Sometimes you will have more than one option, but the dates will vary, so this is why it is important to read them carefully (and put on your glasses to read the fine print!).
An example (from our A-Z List of Electronic Journals) shows that access to Infection and Immunity is available several ways. The Highwire Press access offers full-text from 1995 on. You can also view full-text in PubMed Central, BUT there is a note that says “Availability: Most recent 6 months not available.”