An embargo is a mechanism for publishers to restrict access to publications for a duration of time as determined by the publisher. Embargoes can be levied on either the publisher's version or the accepted manuscript versions.
The most common embargo periods are between 6 and 12 months in the STEM, but can be upwards of 24 months or more in the social sciences and humanities. Embargoes are laid out within the publisher transfer agreements, so it is important for authors to review these terms before signing.
Common Myths About Embargoes:
Myth: I cannot submit my article to the NOAA IR until the after the embargo period has passed.
Truth: Per the NOAA PARR plan the publication should be submitted to the NOAA IR within 12 months of publication, regardless of embargo periods. Once submitted, the IR team will determine the end of the embargo date for the author and make sure that the file is available at that time.
Myth: Once the embargo is over, I can freely use the publisher's version of the article on my website and in the NOAA IR.
Truth: Not necessarily. As mentioned above, embargoes can be levied on either version of the publication--oftentimes it is on the manuscript version. The terms of your copyright transfer agreement with the publisher is what will determine which version of the article can be used (either accepted manuscript or the publisher's version). If you are unsure, the NOAA IR staff can help you make that determination.
Below are a few resources to that can help identify journal policies, credibility, open access policies, and more: