What's in this article:
What is the Moving Wall embargo?
The Moving Wall embargo refers to the gap of content between the archival (past) and current (more recent) issues of a journal.
The Moving Wall delay is set by a journal’s publisher and ranges from 0 to 10 years, although the majority of journals in the JSTOR archive have a Moving Wall delay of 3 to 5 years. In rare instances, a publisher has elected to have a "zero" moving wall, so their current issues are available in JSTOR shortly after publication.
The Moving Wall resets, or moves forward, after a complete year, every year in early January. This is when another year of content is added to the JSTOR archive. The Moving Wall calculation does not include the current year.
For example, in 2022 for a journal with a Moving Wall delay set to 5 years, archival content is covered through 2016. This means you can access the journal's content 5 years from the previously completed year, which in this case would be 2021.
Terms related to the Moving Wall
- Fixed walls - Journals with no new volumes being added to the archive.
- Absorbed - Journals that are combined with another title.
- Complete - Journals that are no longer published or that have been combined with another title.
Where can I find Moving Wall information?
To find the Moving Wall embargo for a journal, from any publisher journal landing page, click the “Journal Info” button to the right of the journal's title.
The Moving Wall delay and other information about the journal are listed below the “Description” and “Coverage” sections.
In the example above, the Moving Wall delay is 2 years, which means that if this year is 2022, archival access is available up to and including content published in 2019.
Why it's important to understand the Moving Wall delay
If you can't access a specific issue of a journal and aren't sure why, it might be because of the Moving Wall embargo.
Unsure of whether you should be able to read certain issues of a journal? Check with your librarian on how to get access to the content you need, or contact JSTOR Support.