Two features to improve the current embargo functionality:
- Full embargo capability
Under a full embargo, an item is submitted and assigned a persistent URL/handle, but no information (metadata or bitstream) is visible or searchable until the embargo has lifted. This is, in effect, a temporary withdrawal, with an expiration date after which the item becomes reinstated.
Note that this is how authors and publishers affected by the many and various mandated open access policies (NIH, Wellcome, etc.) define embargo, since e.g. the NIH does not make anything visible in PubMed Central until the embargo is lifted.
- Current functionality: partial embargo warning text
As currently configured, an embargoed item, its metadata, and the "View/Open" link for its bitstream are all visible, with no indication that the bitstream is not accessible. An automatic note should be placed in e.g. the bitstream description field indicating that the bitstream can not in fact be viewed or opened by most users.
The current implementation provides a bad user experience – in effect, a bait-and-switch: Everyone sees the "View/Open" link, but that link doesn't open the file; it instead triggers a login prompt. But after doing so, users find they still can't access the bitstream unless they're a site administrator. The administrator can of course add "Access to file restricted until DD-MMM-YYYY" or something similar to the item retroactively, but having the system prompt for this, or do it automatically, is appropriate.