In the context of open access, an embargo period is the time between publication and when an article is viewable to the public on an open access repository like the ScholarsArchive@OSU. Publishers specify these embargo periods when an author transfers copyright. Other things being equal, the most common is an infinite embargo on posting the published PDF imposed by so many of the for-profit publishers (Elsevier, Springer, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, Sage etc.). An author’s accepted manuscript can be a highly desirable alternative in these cases: Elsevier places no embargo on these, but several publishers impose an embargo of 6 to 18 months on their use, and a few, notably Wiley retain the infinite embargo on this version as well.
Prior to publication, an author can negotiate his/her rights when transferring copyright to the publisher. Items with embargo periods added to the ScholarsArchive@OSU are not be viewable until the end of that period.