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What is an embargo period?

When an author decides to self-archive their research outputs in an Open Access repository (Green route to Open Access) they need to observe any embargo period a publisher might have in place. In practice this means that the author submits the research article to the institutional repository but only the metadata will be made openly accessible during the embargo period. Once the embargo period expires, the full-text article is released to the open web. Embargo periods vary between a few months to a few years.